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Plans to build Babbage's Analytical Engine



#2

Hi all!

This might seems a bit OT, but it really sounds interesting, at least for me!

Please check out Plan28 for the plans to actually build the ideas of Charles Babbage, who had the idea of a "steam engine driven calculator/computer", dating back to 1837! This was the machine that Lady Ada started to write "programs" for, and she will for ever be remembered by the programming language Ada. But she never got the opportunity to "execute" them on a working machine ...

The Difference Engine has previously been build and proven, but never the Analytical Engine, and this might be an oppertunity to see it happen.

I have already made my pledge ... :)

Best regards!


#3

The closest I ever got to anything like that was programming the Mechanical Differential Analyzer at UCLA in 1960-61. Huge thing, about 6-7 feet wide and 40 feet long. Multiply was by gear ratio, add-substract were geared differentials, integration by a little wheel rolling on a larger disk. Not all that similar to Babbage's analytical engine, but it stimulated memories. We solved dif eqs with it.

Ed


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