The Difference Engine: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer

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Penguin Books, Oct 29, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 342 pages
21 Reviews
In 1821 an inventor and mathematician named Charles Babbage was reviewing a set of mathematical tables. After finding an excess of errors in the results, he exclaimed, "I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam." Thus began Babbage's lifelong enterprise to design and build a mechanical calculating engine-the world's first computer. Drawing on Babbage's original notes and designs, Doron Swade recounts both Babbage's nineteenth-century quest to build a calculating machine-the Difference Engine-and Swade's own successful attempt to build a replica for the bicentennial of Babbage's birth. Set against the tantalizing background of Victorian science and politics with a colorful cast of characters, The Difference Engine is a saga of ingenuity and will-and the dawning of a new age.

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Review: The Difference Engine : Charles Babbage And The Quest To Build The First Computer

User Review  - Catherine Siemann - Goodreads

A history of Babbage's proto-computers from the perspective of someone with a real technical interest -- part of the team that actually built a working Difference Engine in the 1990s. Lots of interesting details. Dismissive of Ada Lovelace, alas. Read full review

Review: The Difference Engine : Charles Babbage And The Quest To Build The First Computer

User Review  - Vince Manapat - Goodreads

This was not the story I was expecting to read. The vague notion that I had of Babbage was that of a misunderstood genius who, if he had been recognized in his time, would have brought about the ... Read full review

Contents

The Tables Crisis
9
A Personal Question
32
Tragedy and Decline
49
Copyright

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