When old tech dies, it usually stays dead. No one expects rotary phones or adding machines to come crawling back from oblivion. Floppy diskettes, VHS tapes, cathode-ray tubes—they shall rest in peace. Likewise, we won't see old analog computers in data centers anytime soon. They were monstrous beasts: difficult to program, expensive to maintain, and limited in accuracy.
Or so I thought. Then I came across this confounding statement:
Bringing back analog computers in much more advanced forms than their historic ancestors will change the world of computing drastically and forever.
I found the prediction in the preface of a handsome illustrated book titled, simply, Analog Computing. Reissued in 2022, it was written by the German mathematician Bernd Ulmann—who seemed very serious indeed.
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