Difference Engine unboxed at Silicon Valley Computer Museum


13 Responses to “Difference Engine unboxed at Silicon Valley Computer Museum”

  1. Oskar says:

    I’d really love to see someone make an Analytical Engine, instead of building Difference Engines. I mean, sure, the Difference Engine was revolutionary, but not nearly as much as the Analytical Engine. Is it just too impractical and hard to build? I really hope not.

  2. nibornesnej says:

    Would this be steampunk? I am confused.

  3. simonjp says:

    Has anyone ever attempted to make the analytical engine? Were enough notes left for us even to know whether it would have worked?

  4. asher says:

    Babbage made a few bits of the Analytical Engine but it remained even more unfinished than the Difference Engine.

    There are (Java) emulators available from Fourmilab’s excellent pages so that you can get an idea (minus the steam engine) of what it would be like to use.

  5. Kieran O'Neill says:

    Hmmm … the label on the London Museum one needs a bit more info – I don’t recall them mentioning it being a reconstruction. (It’s in an appropriate place, though, right next to Stephenson’s Rocket.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I believe the term is proto-steampunk

  7. dtweney says:

    The one in London is actually the first one ever built, so it’s not a reconstruction, it’s the original. Of course, it did take 150 years to get the thing built.

  8. the_dannobot says:

    That’s some sexy clockporn.

  9. madsci says:

    I’ve seen the one in London, but this is even more incentive to go visit the Computer History Museum. They came and picked up my old VAX 6000-510 last year (I was tired of moving it with me and didn’t have the 3-phase power to run it) and I’m curious if they’ve put it on display yet.

  10. cha0tic says:

    Hands up all those people that had never heard the word Docent before?

    I learned something new today. Thanks Boingboing.

  11. strider_mt2k says:

    The smell of the machine oil must be intoxicating.

  12. stratosfyr says:

    I don’t think it counts as “punk” if it was designed in the 19th century…

  13. ohyesitsme says:

    “Charles, come to bed.”

    “I told you I’m not ready yet, Georgiana!”

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