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Sunday, June 21, 1998 Published at 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK

World: Europe

Scientists celebrate 50th anniversary of computer

Scientists in Britain are marking the fiftieth anniversary of the world's first computer today by re-running its programme -- a primitive series of dots and dashes.

In 1948, the scientists from Manchester University were in competition with about seven other groups around the world to make the first computer, but only they found the way to store a programme electronically.

Although the computer is more than two metres high, its memory can hold only a millionth of what modern desktop machines can hold.

Today's reconstruction of the first computer was made from spare parts, including old-style radio valves, that have lasted fifty years.

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