The most important computer you’ve never heard of

Airmen operating SAGE radar consoles.

Enlarge / Airmen operating SAGE radar consoles. (credit: Computer History Museum)

It’s not unusual to hear that a particular military technology has found its way into other applications, which then revolutionized our lives. From the imaging sensors that were refined to fly on spy satellites to advanced aerodynamics used on every modern jetliner, many of these ideas initially sounded like bad science fiction.

So did this one.

Consider the following scenario:

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