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"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
- Frederik Pohl

Games Machine  
  A vast computer system.  

The Machine itself stood on the leveled crest of a mountain.

It was a scintillating, silvery shaft rearing up into the sky nearly five miles away. Its gardens, and the presidential mansion near by, were partially concealed behind trees. But Gosseyn felt no interest in the setting. The Machine itself overshadowed every other object in his field of vision.

From World of Null-A, by A.E. van Vogt.
Published by Astounding SF in 1945
Additional resources -

Here is a more detailed description of the device's capabilities:

"People sometimes think that the electronic brain system of the Machine constitutes a development superior to that of man. They marvel at the Machine's capacity to handle twenty-five thousand individuals at once, but actually it can do so only because twenty-five thousand electronic brains were set up in intricate series for just that purpose...

The Machine also had control over its own evolution:

"...It is located over a multimetal mine, which is completely under its control. It has laboratories, where robots work under its direction. It is capable of manufacturing tools, and does all its own replacement and repair work."

Compare to the Vulcan 3 computer from Philip K. Dick's 1960 novel Vulcan's Hammer and the Government Machine from Mechanocracy (1932) by Miles J. Breuer.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from World of Null-A
  More Ideas and Technology by A.E. van Vogt
  Tech news articles related to World of Null-A
  Tech news articles related to works by A.E. van Vogt

Games Machine-related news articles:
  - Google's Compute Engine Is Sfnally Large

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