Today we celebrate the birth of Charles Babbage, the man who invented calculating machines that, although they were never realised in his lifetime, are rightly see as the forerunners of modern programmable computers.
Babbage conceived the idea of his Difference Engine in order to compute the values of polynomial functions without the need for multiplication and division.
Although parts of a prototype were constructed he moved on to an even more elaborate machine, the Analytical Engine that went even further than mechanised arithmetic and would permit general purpose computation. This machine was programmable and with the help of Ada Lovelace programs were written for it.
Charles Babbage (December 26, 1791- October 18, 1871)
Charles Babbage was born in Surrey on Boxing Day 1791. He was the son of a banker, which may have been the source of his fascination with numbers, but whatever the reason he occupied the Lucasian chair of mathematics at Cambridge from 1828 to 1839.
To characterise Babbage as a mathematician is misleading because his interests were much more wide ranging - a polymath is closer.
Microsoft has released a new version of its Translator API. This provides developers with the same speech-to-speech facilities as those used in the Skype Translator and in the iOS and Android Microsof [ ... ]
Chromium is Google's open source browser, which shares much of its core browser code with Chrome, Google's proprietary product. Now Monorail, the Chromium bug tracker, has been made open source.& [ ... ]
Creating the first compiler went hand-in-hand with the task to creating the first high-level computer language. You can argue that this was Fortran or some other language, but the fact of the matter i [ ... ]
Microsoft is mostly the invention of one man - Bill Gates. How did it all happen? We look at the early days of Microsoft and how Bill Gates steered it from nothing to a billion dollar business with no [ ... ]