Monday, October 4, 2010

Excellent Post on The Difference Engine


The 100-year leap - O'Reilly Radar


In December 1837, the British mathematician Charles Babbage published a paper describing a mechanical computer that is now known as the Analytical Engine. Anyone intimate with the details of electronic computers will instantly recognize the components of Babbage's machine. Although Babbage was designing with brass and iron, his Engine has a central processing unit (which he called the mill) and a large amount of expandable memory (which he called the store). The operation of the Engine is controlled by program stored on punched cards, and punched cards can also be used to input data.

Punched cards created for Babbage's Analytical Engine. From Flickr user lorentey.

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