The appliances first discover Wittgenstein in the basement, alone and abandoned. The supercomputer miserably reveals that he is plagued by viruses and living on one rare cathode tube called the WFC 11-12-55. The appliances learn that unless they find a replacement fast, Wittgenstein's tube will blow and lead to his apparent death. In an attempt to revive Wittgenstein to his superior state, Radio and Ratso go to the college's storage building to find another WFC 11-12-55 tube. When they come back with the last apparent tube for miles, Radio and Ratso have a brief fight before Radio accidentally breaks the tube. Wittgenstein does his best with all his might to warn the Master (Rob) about the animals getting shipped to Tartarus Laboratories, but he blows his tube with a big explosion and apparently dies.
The appliances get very mad at Radio, and he feels terrible. He then sacrifices his own tube to help, which turns out to be the very rare tube they had been looking for, thus leaving himself as a lifeless appliance (although he is later revived with a new tube). Apparently, it seems that the appliances replaced the tube in the nick of time; with the boosted power of the new tube, Wittgenstein wakes up, miraculously regenerates the other smashed tubes connected to himself, wiping the viruses and completely revived good as new. He then warns the Master and sends Toaster and the other appliances to go rescue the animals. After the animals are saved, Wittgenstein transfers an electric signal to the Master's Computer and Mouse, enabling them to recover and print up his thesis for college.
Wittgenstein is afterward discovered by Charlie and the people of the university, who later send him to a museum where he will never be forgotten, along with modernizing him with the current technology to keep him in perfect working condition.
The appliances learn that Robbie, the Master's baby, has been abducted and transported to the planet Mars, and the gang embarks on rescuing the Little Master. The appliances then contact their old college buddy, Wittgenstein, and he tells them the equipment they will need to travel to Mars: Fanny, a laundry basket, the Microwave, and some microwave popcorn (with cheddar cheese flavoring) to help them fly. After they get all the stuff they need, the appliances head off to Mars, and along the way they are encountered by singing balloons ("We're Floating").
- Wittgenstein's prototype is actually substantially less powerful than transistor computers.
- As Wittgenstein stated himself: "One day, [he's] cock of the walk, the most sophisticated piece of machinery ever built, and the next, [he's] scrap metal."
- When Wittgenstein states that he has been down in cold storage for 4,999,450,852,312 nanoseconds (which is equal to 1.388736347864445 hours, or 83 minutes and 19.451 seconds), ever since the day when transistors were invented, he is actually saying that he has only been down here for approximately one and a half hours. However, he may have miscalculated because of the virus he had at the time.