Charles Babbage Born This Day In 1791
Written by Historian   
Thursday, 26 December 2013

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.

 

Babbage40

 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.

The story of his life, his Difference Engine and Analytical Engine can be found in our history article, Charles Babbage - The First Computer Visionary.

Related articles:

What if Babbage..   the story of what might have happened if Babbage had managed to complete his great work.

Plans to build Babbage's Analytical Engine

Babbage Archive Digitized

Babbage Difference Engine In Gigapixels

Ada Lovelace, The First Programmer

Computer Memory and Pigeonholes

 

To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, install the I Programmer Toolbar, subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Linkedin,  or sign up for our weekly newsletter.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Banner


Sniff - A Language for Arduino and Pi
01/09/2014

Sniff, a language that is based on Scratch in which you write regular text-based code rather than dragging and dropping blocks to create programs, has reached Beta 8.



Technology Pioneers 2015 Awards
09/09/2014

Each year since 2000, the World Economic Forum has chosen between 25 and 35 trailblazing companies as Technology Pioneers. Canonical, Couchbase and Raspberry Pi are among the latest to receive the awa [ ... ]


More News

 

Banner


Charles Babbage - The First Computer Visionary

Born in 1791, Charles Babbage was the man who invented calculating machines that, although they were never realised in his lifetime,  are rightly seen as the forerunners of modern programmable co [ ... ]



Clive Sinclair And The Small Home Computer Revolution

Not every computer innovation originated in the United States. Clive Sinclair was a designer who could make one transistor do the work of two or more. He built low cost and futuristic electronics by d [ ... ]


Other Articles

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 December 2013 )
 
 

   
RSS feed of news items only
I Programmer News
Copyright © 2014 i-programmer.info. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.