Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a word that specifically means or makes reference to a computer that was once considered a super computer in its time, but due to rapid technological advancements, is no longer considered one?

Edit: aparrently not. I say we make one.

share|improve this question
2  
I would still call it a super computer. I would just qualify it by saying that it is hardly considered one. e.g. "This super computer from the '80s has one-third the processing power of a modern cellphone - making it not-so-super by today's standards." –  advs89 Mar 12 '11 at 5:10
    
As a side comment, supercomputer is usually written without space or hyphen. –  F'x Mar 12 '11 at 12:12

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I am unaware of a specific word or phrase that indicates the aged item is specifically a now-dated computer. However, when describing something old and "of another time," I often fall back on the following noun and adjective...

  • Relic - the ENIAC is a relic of supercomputers from days of vacuum-tubes and mercury-delay line memory.
  • Antiquated - at my university there sits an antiquated Cray I supercomputer, which at one time was the world's fastest.
share|improve this answer
2  
I often hear 'dinosaur' to describe both computers and software that are well beyond their prime. –  oosterwal Mar 12 '11 at 14:05

You could simply call such a computer obsolete.

obsolete no longer produced or used; out of date : the disposal of old and obsolete machinery [NOAD]

share|improve this answer
    
Specifically, the phrase "obsolete supercomputer" works perfectly and without confusion. –  MrHen Mar 17 '11 at 18:13

You could refer to "legacy" equipment (or code, for that matter; although legacy code most often runs on legacy equipment): a system that was generally big, powerful and impressive when purchased, which is now old and expensive to maintain, but is running some critical software or performing some critical function that for a variety of reasons the company is unwilling to move away from.

share|improve this answer

You might use "antique" (in the noun usage).

The implication of great age might be seen as slightly ironic, but it makes it clear that we are not talking about something current.

share|improve this answer
1  
Also in the adjective usage, surely? If you wanted to simply refer to the computer in passing — not making a big deal about the issue, but at the same time making clear that it once was a supercomputer but now no longer is — then “an antique supercomputer” seems a pretty effective way to do it. –  PLL Mar 12 '11 at 5:31

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.