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Topic: Difference engine

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  Difference engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Difference engines were forgotten and then rediscovered in 1822 by Charles Babbage, who proposed it in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled "Note on the application of machinery to the computation of very big mathematical tables."
Inspired by Babbage's difference engine plans, Per Georg Scheutz built several difference engines from 1855 onwards; one was sold to the British government in 1859.
The difference engine and printer were constructed to tolerances achievable with 19th century technology, resolving a long-standing debate whether Babbage's design would actually have worked.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Difference_engine   (767 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
A Difference engine is a mechanical special-purpose computer designed to tabulate polynomial functions.
Difference engines were forgotten and then rediscovered in 1822 by Charles Babbage.
Inspired by Babbage's difference engine plans, George Scheutz built several difference engines from 1855 onwards; one was sold to the British government in 1859.
wikiwhat.com /encyclopedia/d/di/difference_engine.html   (501 words)

 Science Museum | Babbage | The Difference Engine   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
Difference engines were designed to calculate using the `method of finite differences’, a well used principle of the time.
The advantage of using the method of differences is that it eliminates the need for multiplication and division in the calculation of a particular class of mathematical functions called polynomials.
This portion of the Difference Engine, 'the finished portion of the unfinished engine', was completed in 1832 and is among the most celebrated icons in the prehistory of computing.
www.sciencemuseum.org.uk /on-line/babbage/page3.asp   (480 words)

 Difference Engine No 1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Start the Difference Engine No 1 article or add a request for it.
Look for "Difference Engine No 1" in the Wikimedia Commons, our repository for free images, music, sound, and video.
Promotional articles about yourself, your friends, your company or products; or articles written as part of a marketing or promotional campaign, may be deleted in accordance with our deletion policies.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Difference_Engine_No_1   (194 words)

 Charles Babbage
While he did produce prototypes of portions of the Difference Engine, it was left to Georg and Edvard Schuetz to construct the first working devices to the same design which were successful in limited applications.
Engineer Joseph Clement was hired to construct the engine for the government, and to oversee the fabrication of special tools.
In Babbage's design for the Analytical Engine, the discrete functions of mill (in which "all operations are performed") and store (in which all numbers are originally placed, and, once computed, are returned) rely on this supposition of reversibility.
ei.cs.vt.edu /~history/Babbage.html   (3782 words)

 The Difference Engine - Wargaming and the Analytical Engine
The Difference Engine - Wargaming and the Analytical Engine
However, the extremely costly Engine, which required thousands of finely engineered mechanical gears, was according to most current experts way beyond the the capabilities of Victorian Engineering, and the Engine was thus never completed.
The steam engine, developed to power pumps that extracted water from deep coal mines, aided the Industrial Revolution, bringing about the railway engine, thus mass transportation and the tractor, which in the world of The Difference Engine led directly to the gurney.
www.ifelix.co.uk /art22.html   (2880 words)

 Difference Engines
Charles Babbage's difference engines was the desire to be able to create absolutely accurate mathematical tables.
method of differences is a technique for calculating tables, in which the vast majority of the calculation involves nothing more than simple addition or subtraction.
We see that the general case of an nth degree polynomial requires n differences to evaluate by this method, and that, once we have found the initial values for the first row of the table, the only arithmetical operation required to compute a table of arbitrary length is simple addition.
www.meccano.us /difference_engines/index.html   (1200 words)

 Steam & Engine of Australia - Babbage Difference Engine No. 1 in Meccano by Graham Jost
Strictly speaking, it is not a model at all, but a fully working mechanism, realised using Meccano parts, of part of a 'Difference Engine', similar to that first designed and demonstrated by Charles Babbage, the 'father of computers', in 1832.
The Difference Engine was seen by Babbage as a suitable device for evaluating such polynomials, and hence the tables, utterly free from error.
Difference Engine No. 1 was the first of two designed by Babbage - a small portion of No. 1 was the only working fragment of either of Babbage's difference engines that was ever actually built.
www.steamengine.com.au /misc/models/babbage/index.html   (848 words)

 A Difference Engine Built With LEGO® Pieces   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
Because of engineering issues as well as political and personal conflict the Babbage Difference engines construction had to wait until 1991 when the Science Museum in London decided to build the Babbage Difference Engine No.2 for an exhibit on the history of computers.
A Difference Engine uses Newton's method of differences to evaluate a polynomial for successive values of x; 1, 2, 3, etc. Computing the next entry in a table can be significantly easier than computing an arbitrary entry of the table.
In simple terms the method of differences is based on the observation that if the work has already been done to multiply 5 by 6, that work can be reused to multiply 5 by 7 with the addition of another 5 into the previous total.
acarol.woz.org   (3237 words)

I headed straight upstairs to the Difference Engine, where chatting with the two technicians elicited the information that they would be testing the Engine in the afternoon, after their lunch break.
The engine can be driven by one person, though it's tiring; Reg altered Babbage's design by installing a 4:1 differential gear at the crank which means the operator faces in the opposite direction from what Babbage had intended.
Reg said that in a way the printer was harder to build than the engine itself, because all of the pieces had to be fitted together, then intersections had to be marked, then the pieces needed to be disassembled and holes drilled before fastening them together.
www.ftldesign.com /Babbage   (2673 words)

The purpose of the account is to place on record the detailed interpretation of a Babbage engine design, it also serves to provide a technical record of the process by which a project, arrested in 1849, was resumed and culminated in the completion, in 1991, of an operational machine.
The drawings collectively constitute a comprehensive operational description of the engine: they are sufficiently detailed to describe the shape and nominal size of individual parts, their physical interrelationship and their intended function.
The engine depicted in the original design drawings consists of a calculating section to which is attached a printing and stereotyping apparatus.
ed-thelen.org /bab/bab_tech.html   (3652 words)

 Babbage's Difference Engine   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
Babbage called his machine a Difference Engine because it calculated tables of sums automatically using the method of finite differences.
Difference Engine No. 2 required three times fewer parts than Babbage’s original Difference Engine, for the same calculating power.
But, like his other Engines, Difference Engine No. 2 was not completed during Babbage’s lifetime.
www.colonization.biz /me/engine.htm   (367 words)

 The Difference Dictionary: D
Difference Engine - A machine to compute numbers mechanically, conceived of and constructed by Charles Babbage.
The first Difference Engine, completed in 1822, was basically an adding machine for the computation of polynomials, and worked to an accuracy of six decimal places.
He received a grant of about £17,000 for this from the British government, but was unable to have levers and cogwheels made to the tolerances he required, and the machine was never completed.
www.sff.net /people/gunn/dd/d.htm   (569 words)

 The Godfather of Computing - Charles Babbage LG #72
The way he sees it, all engineers think and see the world such an odd, but similar, way that it can only be attributed to some sort of mental disorder.
The answers, placed in a fourth column, delta 2, are 2, the difference between 3 and 5, and 2, the difference between 5 and 7.
Using the technology that was available to him, metalworking, engineering, and steam, he was able to approximate the early "computers" of the electrical age.
linuxgazette.net /issue72/jones.html   (2432 words)

 Charles Babbage Institute: EXHIBITS > Who was Charles Babbage?   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
The calculating engines of English mathematician Charles Babbage (1791-1871) are among the most celebrated icons in the prehistory of computing.
Babbage’s Difference Engine No.1 was the first successful automatic calculator and remains one of the finest examples of precision engineering of the time.
This was the Analytical Engine (1856), which was intended as a general symbol manipulator, and had some of the characteristics of today’s computers.
www.cbi.umn.edu /exhibits/cb.html   (1181 words)

 An Irascible Genius and His Difference Engine - Knowledge@Wharton
Conventional wisdom states that even if Babbage had tried harder to see his project through to completion, neither the Difference Engine nor the Analytical Engine could have been successfully built for the simple reason that Victorian manufacture was not up to the task.
Babbage’s original Difference Engine, for example, called for 25,000 separate parts, many of which had to be perfect duplicates of one another: an impossible job in an era before standardization enabled identical, interchangeable parts to be mass produced.
He fixed on Difference Engine #2 as the most viable design (it is the only one of Babbage’s many models for which complete plans exist).
knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu /index.cfm?fa=viewfeature&id=514   (1176 words)

 The History of Computer Programming Languages
Ever since the invention of Charles Babbage's difference engine in 1822, computers have required a means of instructing them to perform a specific task.
In the beginning, Charles Babbage's difference engine could only be made to execute tasks by changing the gears which executed the calculations.
The most obvious difference between this language and other languages is that the basic and only type of data is the list, denoted by a sequence of items enclosed by parentheses.
www.princeton.edu /~ferguson/adw/programming_languages.shtml   (2072 words)

 IEEE Spectrum: Mr. Babbage, Meet Mr. Lego
Andrew Carol, a software developer for Apple Computer Inc., Cupertino, Calif., and a self-described "engineering fiend," had for years been enamored of the idea of building a 19th-century difference engine out of Lego pieces.
One of the earliest conceptions of a mechanical computer, a difference engine is a machine for solving polynomial equations.
Engine No. 2 relies on lots of vertical rods for translating information between the machine's components.
www.spectrum.ieee.org /apr06/3217   (245 words)

 University of Glamorgan, Difference Engine
Entitled “Different Engines: How science drives fiction and fiction drives science”, it concerns the relationship between the two, and places science fiction within the culture of science, something that surprisingly has not been done before, it seems.
Rather than abstracting knowledge, the authors of “Different Engines” aim to contextualise it, by getting readers involved in their subject, and creating word pictures of the scientists involved.
Difference Engine is a group weblog exploring our cultured universe from Asimov to apocalypse, and everything between.
difference.weblog.glam.ac.uk   (5021 words)

 The Difference Engine   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-22)
He first thought of the idea for the Difference Engine in 1821, when remarking to his friend how prone to error and inaccurate existing tables of values were.
While many do not have a constant difference at the first order, there are different degrees of constant difference.
The first order of difference is not constant in this case, but the second is. As the degree of the exponential in an exponential function increases by 1, so does the amount of differences increasy by 1 before the constant difference is found.
cse.stanford.edu /classes/sophomore-college/projects-98/babbage/DifferenceEngine.html   (480 words)

 Difference Engine - a Whatis.com definition
The Difference Engine, designed in the 1820s by the English mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage, was intended to automatically compute mathematical tables which, until that time, had been tediously calculated by hand and were prone to error.
According to Babbage's design, the Difference Engine was to be steam-powered and as large as a locomotive.
The Difference Engine was eventually built in 1991, the bicentennial of Babbage's birth, using the technology of the era as proof that Babbage's designs were valid.
whatis.techtarget.com /gDefinition/0,294236,sid44_gci213715,00.html   (326 words)

 babbage - introduction
So the second part of his Difference Engine was a type-setting machine, which reduced the probability of human error to a minimum.
The differences depend upon the relative range of the difference sample versus the range of the desired calculations.
When using the method of finite differences as a manual technique for subtabulation it is usual to form the table in a way that allows addition of the higher order difference to the next lower order difference in a fixed incremental sequence.
ed-thelen.org /bab/bab-intro.html   (4456 words)

 No. 646: Difference Engine Number Two
His difference engines were meant to calculate math tables -- logarithms and trig functions.
She helped preserve his legacy, but she told us only about his analytical engines.
He built parts of his analytical engines just as he built parts of his difference engines.
www.uh.edu /admin/engines/epi646.htm   (430 words)

 TAP: Ada Lovelace - ``Notes''
She emphasized the difference between Pascal's machine, which can be compared to a calculator, and Babbage's Analytical Engine, which can be compared to a modern day computer.
Again, it [the Analytical Engine] might act upon other things besides number, were objects found whose mutual fundamental relations could be expressed by those of the abstract science of operations, and which should be also susceptible of adaptations to the action of the operating notation and mechanism of the engine.
In addition to Ada's prescient comments linking the Analytical Engine to its potential use for sound and graphics she provided what might be justly called "the first computer program", a plan for the Analytical Engine to calculate Bernoulli numbers, a very complicated chore.
www.cs.yale.edu /homes/tap/Files/ada-lovelace-notes.html   (1652 words)

 No. 243: Babbage's Engine
In 1821 he made his Difference Engine -- a machine that evaluated polynomials.
Meanwhile, after his work on the Difference Engine had been stopped, Babbage turned to a much grander project -- to making his Analytical Engine.
Babbage called the arithmetic unit of his engine its "mill," because the gears in it really did grind away to produce a result.
www.uh.edu /engines/epi243.htm   (448 words)

 The Analytical Engine Table of Contents
This 1842 document is the definitive exposition of the Analytical Engine, which described many aspects of computer architecture and programming more than a hundred years before they were "discovered" in the twentieth century.
Babbage immediately recognised that one great advantage of the Engine was that once a given formula was prepared for it, the cards for that formula could be placed in a library and called on whenever evaluation of it was needed in the future.
Difference Engine No. 2, completed in 1991 at the Science Museum in London.
www.fourmilab.ch /babbage/contents.html   (863 words)

 Difference Engine
The Difference Engine is a calculating machine which could do mathematical computations in an automatic way.
An early prototype of the Difference Engine was built by 1822, and Babbage, with the help of the British government, started work on the full machine in 1823.
The London Science Museum (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/) has built a working Difference Engine and a printer for that engine based on Babbage's designs.
c2.com /cgi/wiki?DifferenceEngine   (492 words)

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