Sunday, November 26, 2006

For this computer, call an archaeologist
In the dim basement of the University of Kansas' Learned Hall stands the dust-covered carcass of what was once a technological gem.

"It's the first financially successful, mass-produced computer in the world," Earl Schweppe said. He pointed to the old machine that he believes was the first mainframe computer on the KU campus.

The university called on Schweppe, professor emeritus and founder of the school's computer science program, to haul off the IBM 650 after resigning itself to the fact that there's no room for the relic.

Schweppe recently began the process of dismantling the computer and salvaging what parts he could.

"This is an archaeological dig," he said.