Computing before Computers: Hydraulic Analogue Computers, Torpedos, Falling Domino Logic, Scanimate

Yes, MONIAC, a hydraulic analogue model of the United Kingdom economy, was not only a real thing, but at least a dozen of the machines were built. It served as the model for the Glooper in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel Making Money (here’s my review) which, in turn, inspired the GLOOPER rule in Cellular Automata Laboratory.

Here is more about the Scanimate analogue video animation system, which dominated the television special effects market in the 1970s to early 1980s even through only a total of eight systems were ever made.