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Technician Keeps Computer Made in 1959 Still Humming


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technician Tadao Hamada and the FACOM128B computer

Technician Tadao Hamada at Fujitsu Tokki Systems Ltd. maintains the 60-year-old FACOM128B computer so that it can continue operating.

Credit: Toshihiko Katsuda

An early massive computer developed 60 years ago remains working, thanks to a technician dedicated to preserving it for future generations.

Tadao Hamada believes that keeping the historic FACOM128B operational will help hand down Japan's technological heritage to posterity."I will maintain it forever," says Hamada, 49.

Hamada, an employee of Fujitsu Tokki Systems Ltd., a Fujitsu Ltd. subsidiary, works at the Fujitsu Numazu Plant to preserve the aged computer, which weighs three tons. It makes rattling sounds each time it makes a calculation by opening and closing switches using an electromagnet.

The FACOM128B model, which was developed by Fujitsu in 1959 as a pioneering Japan-made computer, uses relay technology developed for the core part of telephone switchboards.

Hamada describes the maintenance of the FACOM128B as "my true calling."

From The Asahi Shimbun
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