Bits, bytes and silicon transistors? Boy, you have it good -- back in 1953, state-of-the-art computers were made of gears, sprockets, chains and cams, and we trusted them to accurately wreck lives with ginormous naval guns. If you're wondering how that could possibly work, you don't have to go far -- a series of seven videos after the break show you how it was done, and which might even ingratiate you with the grizzled old neighbor who desperately wants you off his lawn.













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US Navy explains basic mechanical principles of a fire control computer -- in 1953 (video)