Charles Babbage Born This Day In 1791
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


Take VisionMobile's Gamified Developer Survey
16/11/2016

The bi-annual (twice a year) State of the Developer Nation Survey is fast becoming one of those regular events that serves to remind us just how quickly the years go by. So to overcome the "Not again! [ ... ]



Jay Forrester Dies Aged 98
18/11/2016

Jay Forrester. the computer pioneer who invented core memory while working on Project Whirlwind at MIT in the 1940s, and is even better known as the founder of the field of system dynamics modeling, d [ ... ]


More News

 

Banner


The Story Of The Apple Macintosh

If you think of Apple, you probably think of the iPhone or iPad and perhaps even the MacBook Air, but the name Mac was once much more important to Apple. The Mac was a groundbreaking computer that int [ ... ]



Margaret Hamilton Apollo and Beyond

Margaret Hamilton was lead developer for the team that wrote the programs that landed men on the moon and has devoted a career to error detection and recovery. She coined the term "software engin [ ... ]


Other Articles

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 December 2013 )
 
 

   
RSS feed of news items only
I Programmer News
Copyright © 2016 i-programmer.info. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.