The first post on this subject was focused on Cray supercomputers, which place beautiful images on the front to add an artistic touch to their technically-impressive machines.
In this (second) post, I will mostly address the “beauty through design” approach taken by Cray and a few other supercomputer makers.
Let’s start with the Thinking Machines Corporation. Founded in 1983, it has delivered some of the most advanced (for its time) and good-looking computers ever. A brief promotional video for its first models is available on YouTube.
Thinking Machines’ CM-5 Supercomputer, also known as FROSTBURG , was installed at the US National Security Agency (NSA) in 1991 for code-breaking tasks, and was operational until 1997:
No decorations, no frills. However, this supercomputer still remains one of the most futuristic-looking supercomputers ever. Its flashing and constantly changing red light panels showed processing node usage, and were also used for its diagnostics. In fact, this…
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