How-To Geek

1959 Polymorphic Computing Concept Film [Video]

The Prelinger Archives have a wonderful video from 1959 explaining the concept of Polymorphic Computing, otherwise known as distributing computing power using a whole host of machines. This is definitely an interesting and fun video to watch for anyone who loves computer history.

From the Archives: Simon Ramo’s concept of “polymorphic” computing is laid out in stop-motion animation, accompanied by acoustic guitar. The film anticipates parallel, distributed processing and the architecture of ARPANET and the Internet.

Note: The video can be downloaded and is listed under a Creative Commons license.

All About Polymorphics (1959) [via BoingBoing]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 10/18/10

Comments (5)

  1. Camilo Martin

    Awesome find! :D

  2. David Paul

    1959??? Seems a bit early?

  3. Balian

    Not really, David. The world’s first fully-functional computer was made in 1941. There was computer-like hardware in the very early 1800s but it could hardly do anything. They were basically the predecessors to computers.

  4. Balian

    Also, the very first remnants of the internet came around in 1946, used by the US Air Force.

  5. `gene

    “An Ordinary Giant Computer” LOL

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