Charles Babbage Difference Engine

3,684
-1

Published on

Barcamp Cambridge presentation on Charles Babbage and his Difference Engine

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
3,684
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
58
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Charles Babbage Difference Engine

  1. 1. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Charles Babbage Difference Engines 1
  2. 2. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 My background • Nathan Lisgo • BSc Hons Computing • Web Developer for over 10 years • PHP, MySQL, Javascript, Flash • Sept 2009 joined Panoetic 2
  3. 3. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Objectives • Bio of Charles Babbage • His Quest • Pioneer of the computer? • Doron Swade takes up the baton • World exclusive 3
  4. 4. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Charles Babbage • 1791 - 1871 • Age 8 recovered from life- threatening fever • 1810 - Arrived at Trinity College, Cambridge • 1812 - Founded Analytical Society with peers • 1812 - Transferred to Peterhouse, Cambridge • 1814 - Received honorary degree without examination 4
  5. 5. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Anything for science • Baked himself in an oven at 265 F • Lowering himself into the mouth of a volcano • Walking on water • A restless innovator 5
  6. 6. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 The character • Radical, bold and defiant • Protest was preferred to persuasion • Being right meant it was ok to be rude • Friends could do no wrong, his enemies could do no right 6
  7. 7. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 His Quest 7
  8. 8. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam 8
  9. 9. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Four sources of error • Calculation • Transcription • Setting of loose type • Verification 9
  10. 10. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 The excitement of the enquiry had an unfavourable effect upon my bodily health; and I was recommended to abstain entirely for a time from all thought of the ‘Calculating Engine’ 10
  11. 11. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 It was certainly fortunate for me, both at this period, and at many times, that I had no sufficiently distinct view of the multitude of difficulties...which were destined to attend its course. Had these not opened upon me by degrees, I might perhaps never have ventured on its execution. 11
  12. 12. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Planning • Designs • Prototypes • Diversions • Redesigns 12
  13. 13. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Difference Engine #2 13
  14. 14. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Pioneer of the computer? • On switch - crank • Micro program - stack of cams controlling operation of all parts • Registers - 7 stacks of 31 rotating digits store and change numbers during calculation • On screen display - results column • Printer - prints on paper and stereotype plates • Fault detection - machine was designed to jam rather than risk delivering an incorrect result 14
  15. 15. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Printer • Variable line height • Variable column width • Gaps between groups of lines • 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns • Stereotypes in 2 font sizes simultaneously and adjusts line height accordingly • Automatically line wrap or column wrap 15
  16. 16. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Doron Swade • Museum curator • Author • Specialises in History of Computing • Authority on Babbage 16
  17. 17. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Difference Engine #2 realised 17
  18. 18. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Authenticity • Missing information: Methods of manufacturing, tolerance and finish • Drew knowledge from 19th century machines • Composition analysis on metals used by Babbage • Resist the charge “You built the engine, but Babbage could not have” 18
  19. 19. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Finite Differences x 2x²-3x+2 Diff 1 Diff 2 0 2 -1 4 1 1 3 4 2 4 7 4 3 11 11 4 22 19
  20. 20. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 No substitute for seeing the machine run 20
  21. 21. Nathan Lisgo | Technical Director | Panoetic Ltd Barcamb 2010 Questions? http://panoetic.com @nlisgo 21

×