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From: mudede <mudede@oz.net>

i came across this last night while trying to sleep.

charles mudede

The first man to conceptualize a true computer, one that would be able to

do math and much more, was an irascible 19th century English

mathematician named Charles Babbage. Incensed by the inaccuracies he

found in the mathematical tables of his time, the ingenious Babbage

(father of the speedometer, the cowcatcher for locomotives and the first

reliable life-expectancy tables) turned his fertile brain to creating an

automaton that could rapidly and accurately calculate long lists of

functions like logarithms. The result was an intricate system of gears

and cogs called the Difference Engine.

Babbage managed to build only a simple model because the craftsmen of the

day were unable to machine the precise parts required by the contraption.

But the temperamental genius soon had a bolder concept. He called it the

Analytical Engine. Even more complex than its predecessor, it had all the

But the temperamental genius soon had a bolder concept. He called it the

Analytical Engine. Even more complex than its predecessor, it had all the

essentials of a modern computer: a logic center, or what Babbage called

the "mill," which manipulated data according to certain rules; a memory,

The first man to conceptualize a true computer, one that would be able to

do math and much more, was an irascible 19th century English

mathematician named Charles Babbage. Incensed by the inaccuracies he

found in the mathematical tables of his time, the ingenious Babbage

(father of the speedometer, the cowcatcher for locomotives and the first

reliable life-expectancy tables) turned his fertile brain to creating an

automaton that could rapidly and accurately calculate long lists of

functions like logarithms. The result was an intricate system of gears

and cogs called the Difference Engine.

Babbage managed to build only a simple model because the craftsmen of the

day were unable to machine the precise parts required by the contraption.

But the temperamental genius soon had a bolder concept. He called it the

Analytical Engine. Even more complex than its predecessor, it had all the

essentials of a modern computer: a logic center, or what Babbage called

the "mill," which manipulated data according to certain rules; a memory,

or "store," for holding information; a control unit for carrying out

instructions; structions; and the means for getting data into and out of

the machine. Most important of all, its operating procedures could be

changed at will: the Analytical Engine was programmable.

Babbage worked obsessively on his machine for nearly 40 years. Presumably

he was the world's first computer "nerd." Until his death in 1871, he

ground out more and more sketches. The Analytical Engine became

hopelessly complicated. It required thousands of individual wheels,

levers and belts, all working together in exquisite precision. Few people

understood what he was doing, with the notable exception of Lord Byron's

beautiful and mathematically gifted daughter, Ada, the Countess of

Lovelace, who became Babbage's confidante and public advocate. When the

government cut off funds for the Analyical Engine, she and Babbage tried

devising a betting system for recouping the money at the track. They lost

government cut off funds for the Analyical Engine, she and Babbage tried

devising a betting system for recouping the money at the track. They lost

thousands of pounds.

The Analytical Engine was never built. It would have been as big as a

football field and probably needed half a dozen steam locomotives to

power it. But one of its key ideas was soon adapted. To feed his machine

its instructions, Babbage planned to rely on punched cards, like those

used to control color and designs in the looms developed by the French

weaver Joseph Marie Jacquard. Ada poetically described the scheme this

way: "The Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the

Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves."

i came across this last night while trying to sleep.

charles mudede

The first man to conceptualize a true computer, one that would be able to

do math and much more, was an irascible 19th century English

mathematician named Charles Babbage. Incensed by the inaccuracies he

found in the mathematical tables of his time, the ingenious Babbage

(father of the speedometer, the cowcatcher for locomotives and the first

reliable life-expectancy tables) turned his fertile brain to creating an

automaton that could rapidly and accurately calculate long lists of

functions like logarithms. The result was an intricate system of gears

and cogs called the Difference Engine.

Babbage managed to build only a simple model because the craftsmen of the

day were unable to machine the precise parts required by the contraption.

But the temperamental genius soon had a bolder concept. He called it the

Analytical Engine. Even more complex than its predecessor, it had all the

But the temperamental genius soon had a bolder concept. He called it the

Analytical Engine. Even more complex than its predecessor, it had all the

essentials of a modern computer: a logic center, or what Babbage called

the "mill," which manipulated data according to certain rules; a memory,

The first man to conceptualize a true computer, one that would be able to

do math and much more, was an irascible 19th century English

mathematician named Charles Babbage. Incensed by the inaccuracies he

found in the mathematical tables of his time, the ingenious Babbage

(father of the speedometer, the cowcatcher for locomotives and the first

reliable life-expectancy tables) turned his fertile brain to creating an

automaton that could rapidly and accurately calculate long lists of

functions like logarithms. The result was an intricate system of gears

and cogs called the Difference Engine.

Babbage managed to build only a simple model because the craftsmen of the

day were unable to machine the precise parts required by the contraption.

But the temperamental genius soon had a bolder concept. He called it the

Analytical Engine. Even more complex than its predecessor, it had all the

essentials of a modern computer: a logic center, or what Babbage called

the "mill," which manipulated data according to certain rules; a memory,

or "store," for holding information; a control unit for carrying out

instructions; structions; and the means for getting data into and out of

the machine. Most important of all, its operating procedures could be

changed at will: the Analytical Engine was programmable.

Babbage worked obsessively on his machine for nearly 40 years. Presumably

he was the world's first computer "nerd." Until his death in 1871, he

ground out more and more sketches. The Analytical Engine became

hopelessly complicated. It required thousands of individual wheels,

levers and belts, all working together in exquisite precision. Few people

understood what he was doing, with the notable exception of Lord Byron's

beautiful and mathematically gifted daughter, Ada, the Countess of

Lovelace, who became Babbage's confidante and public advocate. When the

government cut off funds for the Analyical Engine, she and Babbage tried

devising a betting system for recouping the money at the track. They lost

government cut off funds for the Analyical Engine, she and Babbage tried

devising a betting system for recouping the money at the track. They lost

thousands of pounds.

The Analytical Engine was never built. It would have been as big as a

football field and probably needed half a dozen steam locomotives to

power it. But one of its key ideas was soon adapted. To feed his machine

its instructions, Babbage planned to rely on punched cards, like those

used to control color and designs in the looms developed by the French

weaver Joseph Marie Jacquard. Ada poetically described the scheme this

way: "The Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the

Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves."

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