Amateur Math Wiz Calculates Pi to 5T Digits
Breaks record on homemade computer
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2010 8:35 AM CDT
Shigeru Kondo did not calculate Pi to 5 trillion digits on a blackboard, sadly.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A Japanese math enthusiast has shattered the record for calculating the value of Pi. Shigeru Kondo, 55, spent roughly $17,800 building the homemade computer that helped him accomplish the feat—it boasted 32 terabytes-worth of hard drive, and had to have fans blown on it at all times to keep it cool. The calculation took 90 days and seven hours, and once was nearly ruined when Kondo’s daughter tripped a circuit breaker, the Daily Telegraph reports.

When the dust cleared, Kondo had calculated Pi to 5 trillion digits, shattering the 2.7 trillion digit record set by a French engineer late last year. He intends to apply to the Guinness Book of World Records, then do it all over again. He says he only used 60% of the computer’s capacity, and thinks he could get it up to 10 trillion digits if he tried.