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Bitcoin mining on a vintage Xerox Alto computer

Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2017 in vintage by DP

bitcoin-finished2

Ken Shirriff writes:

I’ve been restoring a Xerox Alto minicomputer from the 1970s and figured it would be interesting to see if it could mine bitcoins. I coded up the necessary hash algorithm in BCPL (the old programming language used by the Alto) and found that although the mining algorithm ran, the Alto was so slow that it would take many times the lifetime of the universe to successfully mine bitcoins.
The Alto was a revolutionary computer designed at Xerox PARC in 1973 to investigate personal computing. It introduced high-resolution bitmapped displays, the GUI, Ethernet and laser printers to the world, among other things. In the photo above, the Alto computer is in the lower cabinet. The black box is the 2.5 megabyte disk drive. The Alto’s unusual portrait display and an early optical mouse are on top.

See the full post and more details on his blog, righto.com.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 7th, 2017 at 11:53 pm and is filed under vintage. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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