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Charles Babbage Short History of.

I choose to research the man who originated the idea of a programmable computer. His name is Charles Babbage. This may sound boring as most of you might be expecting names like Mr. Jobs or Mr. Gates. But without Sir Charles, you will never be reading this paper today as personal computers may never exist at all. Here are some important facts that I have compiled about the man: Charles Babbage (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, and mechanical engineer.

He was known to some as the “Father of Computing” for his contributions to the basic design of the computer through his Analytical machine ( replica shown in the picture below). His previous Difference Engine was a special purpose device intended for the production of tables. Babbage originated the modern analytic computer. By 1834 he invented the principle of the analytical engine, the forerunner of the modern electronic computer. Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum.

In 1991 a perfectly functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage’s original plans. Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage’s machine would have worked. Nine years later, the Science Museum completed the printer Babbage had designed for the difference engine, an astonishingly complex device for the 19th century. Babbage has been commemorated by a number of references, as shown on this list.

In particular, Babbage crater, on the Moon and the Charles Babbage Institute, an information technology archive and research center, were named after him. The large Babbage lecture theatre at Cambridge University, used for undergraduate science lectures, commemorates his time at the school. Other inventions: The cowcatcher, dynamometer, standard railroad gauge, uniform postal rates, occulting lights for lighthouses, Greenwich time signals, heliograph opthalmoscope.

He also had an interest in cyphers and lock-picking, but abhorred street musicians. Quotes: “Another Age must be the Judge” Webliography http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Charles_Babbage Very useful site for general history and overview on a subject. http://www. computerhistory. org/babbage/ Detailed information about Babbage his inventions, how they work and his legacy. Highly interesting material. http://www. ideafinder. com/history/inventors/babbage. htm Good information about Babbage and his ideas.

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