Choicest VGM - VGM #464 - Universe at War: Earth Assault - Mechanical Brain

Universe at War OST artwork

Soundtrack composed by Frank Klepacki

This track is a treat for those who are a fan of Frank Klepacki's music, especially a certain track on the Command & Conquer soundtrack. It's definitely got the "Mechanical Man"/"Target" vibe to it.

And what of Mechanical Brains? Do such things exist? Well apparently an early computer in 1950 called "Simon" was dubbed a "a very simple model, mechanical brain". It was a relay-based computer developed by American computer scientist Edmund Berkeley. Programs ran from a standard paper tape and registers and Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) stored only 2 bits. Output was provided via five lamps. It could perform 4 operations: addition, negation, greater than and selection.

"Simon" was a very simple computer only able to represent the numbers 0, 1, 2 and 3 (due to it being a 2-bit computer) however Berkeley stated that the computer possessed all the properties that define any true mechanical brain. Berkeley mentioned the following in a 1950 Scientific American article:

Some day we may even have small computers in our homes, drawing their energy from electric-power lines like refrigerators or radios ... They may recall facts for us that we would have trouble remembering. They may calculate accounts and income taxes. Schoolboys with homework may seek their help. They may even run through and list combinations of possibilities that we need to consider in making important decisions. We may find the future full of mechanical brains working about us.

The soundtrack was originally offered for free off the Petroglyph forums but you can download a copy from the Free VGM section at Choicest Games. It's also available for streaming off Frank Klepacki's website