Restoring the computer that ran the first CT scanner in 1971

Rather a notable essential early use of computers - not a computerisation of an existing process - needing proper number crunching and in this case using a Nova 1210 from Data General.

This is a talk about efforts to restore a Data General Nova computer, similar to the one used in the first CT scanner. It introduces CT, restoration efforts, making the Nova remote controllable and CT reconstruction programming. Includes a small live demo.

From Wikipedia:

While Seligman was working on the SuperNOVA, the company received a letter from Ron Gruner stating “I’ve read about your product, I’ve read your ads, and I’m going to work for you. And I’m going to be at your offices in a week to talk to you about that.” He was hired on the spot. Gruner was put in charge of the low-cost machine while Seligman designed a matching high-performance version.

Gruner’s low-cost model launched in 1970 as the Nova 1200, the 1200 referring to the use of the original Nova’s 1,200ns core memory. It featured a 4-bit ALU based on a single 74181 chip, and was thus essentially a repackaged Nova. Seligman’s repackaged four-ALU SuperNOVA was released in 1971 as the Nova 800, resulting in the somewhat confusing naming where the lower-numbered model has higher performance. Both models were offered in a variety of cases, the 1200 with seven slots, the 1210 with four and the 1220 with fourteen.