The newest arrival at Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Living Computer Museum in Seattle is a big one — both literally and figuratively. Weighing more than 10,000 pounds, the Control Data Corporation 6500 is part of a line of machines that were the first to be called “supercomputers.” It was turned off in 1989 after two decades at Purdue University. Now, Allen’s engineers in Seattle are preparing to bring it back to life. The restoration will take an estimated two years — a project so challenging that there’s no guarantee of success.
Lath Carlson, Executive Director of Seattle’s Living Computers Museum + Labs shows off a fully-operational Control Data Corporation 6500, one of the first-generation supercomputers designed by Seymour Cray. This is the only CDC 6500 in existence.