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Before the PDA...
photo from: Science: A History of Discovery in the 20th Century by Trevor Williams.
This was one of the world's first digital electronic computers, The American Whirlwind, built in the mid-1940s. This shining, rip roarin' star of technology was based on thermionic tubes - valves, basically - and used to solve problems of aircraft flight performance. I mean, the guy working on this in the photo? Probably got girls like you would not believe, just saying he got to touch this computer at his job. This is how it went until transistors came along in the 1950s, reducing the modern marvel to one huge room, instead of two, and people just yawning in your face if you told them you worked on/with computers for a living.
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