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Mechanical Computer

Friday 11th October 2013

Computer Programming

In a previous post I referred to Ada Lovelace who has been recognised as the First Computer Programmer and an inspiration to legends such as Alan Turing. However most of her programs never ran on anything. The technology to do it didn’t exist and was too hard and too expensive to make at the time. But the concepts were brilliant. So I was pretty amazed to see an even earlier example of a Mechanical Computer that operated on a different principle using cams and levers; an already well known principle.

Clockwork Computing

Clockwork Computing

When Software is Hardware

Charles Babbage developed the concept of the mechanical calculating machine. And most of us will probably know about player pianos and music boxes that play back tunes according to either a drum or roll. But here we have something a little different.

My thanks go to the team at Efficient Pumping for bringing this to my attention. And that is quite appropriate since it is a mechanical device. An an amazing one at that. The video starts off a little slow but I recommend watching unit they start to show how it works and the programmable bit at the end is really clever.

And did you notice the age? 240 years ago!  An excellent example of Mechanical Computing or Clockwork Computing even if it is primarily for fixed automation.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2013 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

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