Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/01

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: RE: [Leica] Off topic: Sports Cars & Com
From: Dave Richards <>
Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 21:43:24 -0600

Some folks, myself included, would argue that Charles Babbage's Difference
Engine predated either of these.  Although it was never completely debugged
(sort of like Windows95) it did function after a fashion and managed to
produce the right answer at least part of the time.  Since it was a
single-pupose device with all logic and programming built it, it might also
be construed as a 'stored program' device.

Interestingly enough, until about 15 years ago the Coast & Geodetic Survey,
and later NOAA after the C&GS and US Geological Survey were merged, used a
purely mechanical 'computer' to calculate the time and height of tides for
every port in the US.


>Eric Welch wrote:
>> That's funny. My uncle helped the U.S. Navy build a computer in '47.
>The Manchester one was the first stored program computer completed on
>21st of June 1948, see
>Colossus was the first electronic valve computer, designed and built in
>1943, and operational in 1944 two years ahead of ENIAC. See
>I mentioned Stockley Park in reference to this in an earlier message. This
>was brain fade, I meant Bletchley Park.
>            David Morton  |  "saepius ventis agitatur ingens
>  |  pinus est celsae graviore casu
>   Islington, London, UK  |  decidunt turres feriuntque summos
>      (+44) 171 272 8908  |  fulgura montis." (Horace)