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Historical computer revs up car rally

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The only working ICT 1301 mainframe computer from 1962 era will be on public display at a Kent car rally in July.

‘Flossie’ is serial number 6 - the first machine out of the factory. It is an example of second generation British mainframe design - whirling mag tape decks, lots of flashing lights and strange noises. 

It printed GCE pass slips at London University and was eventually sold as scrap to students, who processed large club membership lists in the 1970s, before it came to its present location. Now a group of enthusiasts are reinstating the system to recover software contained in half-inch 10-track magnetic tapes. 

It boasts pounds shillings and pence arithmetic in hardware as standard, plus punched cards, line printer, drum and core store etc. Discrete germanium transistors and definitely no keyboards or screens.

It can be seen at a farm in Kent. which is also the venue that day for The Darling Buds Classic Car Show.