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Hunting for Government's Oldest Computer

What started out as an attempt to answer a (seemingly) simple question - what is the oldest computer still in use by a government agency - has seen spiraled into a project that touches on issues of national security, record keeping, and finally finding out whatever happened to Zeos.

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The oldest computer (not) on Earth

The oldest computer (not) on Earth

When Allan Lasser started his hunt for the Government’s most ancient piece of tech, he hadn’t even considered that the oldest active computer might not even be on Earth.

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The oldest computer in use by the federal government has been found

The oldest computer in use by the federal government has been found

A recently released Government Accountability Office report solved the mystery of the government’s oldest computer, which surprisingly enough, isn’t a technically a computer in the conventional sense. Even more surprisingly, The Simpsons accurately predicted the winner back in 1998.

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A look inside the Department of Energy's computer closet

A look inside the Department of Energy’s computer closet

Allan Lasser received spreadsheet from the Department of Energy, listing all the computer hardware they currently have in their headquarters office. With this digital copy, we can ask some simple questions against their inventory and get answers very quickly. And make cool charts!

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When conducting the Census, computers count

When conducting the Census, computers count

From the first mechanical counters to the first digital computers, the U.S. Census Bureau has lead the computer revolution since the 19th Century. Their decennial upgrade cycle means they’re operating on modern hardware, with their oldest active computer dating back to just 1999.

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The hunt for the government's oldest computer continues

The hunt for the government’s oldest computer continues

The hunt is on! You answered our call and sent in some great tips, which we’ve used to start filing. Plus: a new computer is discovered.

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