Computing Germany History


What a find:

On Monday, a German Redditor named c-wizz announced that they had found a very rare 66-year-old Librascope LGP-30 computer (and several 1970 DEC PDP-8/e computers) in their grandparents’ basement. The LGP-30, first released in 1956, is one of only 45 manufactured in Europe and may be best known as the computer used by “Mel” in a famous piece of hacker lore.

Developed by Stan Frankel at California Institute of Technology in 1954, the LGP-30 (short for “Librascope General Purpose 30”) originally retailed for $47,000 (about $512,866 today, adjusted for inflation) and weighed in at 800 pounds. Even so, people considered it a small computer at the time due to its desk-like size (about 44×33×26 inches). According to, the LGP-30 included 113 vacuum tubes, 1,450 solid-state diodes, and rotating magnetic drum memory—a 6.5-inch-diameter and 7-inch-long tube rotating at 3,700 RPM—that could store 4,069 31-bit words (equivalent to about 15.8 modern kilobytes).