(04/28/08) DARIEN &舑; Representatives from the Computer History Museum in California are in Darien to pick up a rare piece of computer history.

An IBM computer dating back nearly 50 years has been sitting in the basement of resident Buzz Bellefleur for its entire life. Bellefleur used the IBM 1401 as a billing system for some of his private golf courses in the area from the 1960s to the 1990s.

The nearly 5-ton computer is one of only six remaining in the entire world. Robert Garner, of the Computer History Museum, says the mammoth machine is quite an antique.

&舠;It contained about 200,000 components,&舡; says Garner. &舠;There are more components in this computer than in a 747 airplane. Today&舗;s PC, for the same dollar, you get about 10 billion times more performance per dollar.&舡;

Museum representatives are packing up the computer for shipment back to California. Once there, it will take a couple of months to get the 1401 up and running again. Once that process is complete, the computer will be only the third operational 1401 in existence.

IBM information on the 1401 Computer History Museum: IBM 1401 Restoration Project Brochure for IBM 1401 (Courtesty of Computer History Museum)