Trivia

Hard

Computing Power Used To Be Measured In What?

Kilogirls
Digiflops
Gigacycles
Diskhours

Answer: Kilogirls

Long before there were supercomputers (or even electric computers at all), there were human computers. People, almost entirely women, performed calculations in a sort of organic matrix much like an enormous living and breathing model of the machines that would later replace them.

These office buildings full of young women performed calculations on everything from astronomical positions to artillery tables. Decades before we’d be talking about kilohertz processors, the companies and researchers that employed the legions of women were talking about kilogirls; data processing was measured in terms of how many thousand-hour blocks of collective computing time would be required of any given pool of women.

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