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 Forum index » Discussion » Schmooze » Miscellaneous Photo Gallery
Babbages Difference Engine #2
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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 11:18 pm    Post subject: Babbages Difference Engine #2 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

After an interesting presentation on Babbages Difference Engine at the Computer History Museum, I took some pictures of Engine #2.
There are only 2 of these known in existence. This one was recently completed and took many years to finish.



I was hoping to find a link to the audio from the presentation I saw on the Difference Engine, but you'' have to settle for this video ;(

GEAR PORN ALERT
Here's a link to a small video of it actually moving.
http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/
Jeez- look at those cams moving in sequence. Just amazing!


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The number wheels
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This is the part of printer mechanism
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Last edited by cappy2112 on Tue May 13, 2008 12:42 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, beautiful computer ... I thought none of these were ever built, apparently wrong Very Happy
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My God!
That takes my breath away.
Absolute beauty, delicate and exacting.
These are the reasons I would one day travel the world.

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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
Wow, beautiful computer ... I thought none of these were ever built, apparently wrong Very Happy


These pictures really don't do it justice.
The difference engine is capable of working with 7th order polynomials!
It's intriguing that anyone would conceive that capability at the time it was designed.

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
These are the reasons I would one day travel the world.


I've already been to Oz- so it's your turn now Wink

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A stunning piece of engineering! And the next must-have device for steam punks Very Happy

Do they do demonstration runs of the machine, or is it only a static exhibit?

DJ
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wikipedia wrote:
* Babbages's distaste for commoners ("the Mob") included writing "Observations of Street Nuisances" in 1864, as well as tallying up 165 "nuisances" over a period of 80 days; he especially hated street music, and in particular the music of organ grinders, against whom he railed in various venues. The following quotation is typical:

It is difficult to estimate the misery inflicted upon thousands of persons, and the absolute pecuniary penalty imposed upon multitudes of intellectual workers by the loss of their time, destroyed by organ-grinders and other similar nuisances.


Very Happy

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Stanley Pain



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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

one of my favourite novels is "The Difference Engine" by William Gibson (and someone else) and it imagines a world where steam and not electricity had driven the information age's genesis. it's very interesting and a must for all you steam punk fans.
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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DrJustice wrote:
A stunning piece of engineering! And the next must-have device for steam punks Very Happy

Do they do demonstration runs of the machine, or is it only a static exhibit?

DJ
--


I think they have limited demonstrations, but I haven't seen any myself.

There are very strong forces in action when it is running, as a result it can easily break. With 8000+ parts you can imagine what troubleshooting a problem would be like. Fortunately Babbage, designed in "mechanical fuses" to help force failures to a known location.

Whatever happened to inventors of this caliber (Marconi, Tesla, etc)???

They just don't seem to "make them liked they used to" ;(

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What an absolutely beautiful thing!

Thanks very much for posting these pix Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wasn't it true that Alan Turing's computer built to crack the Nazi Enigma machine was an electronic version of difference engine no. 2?
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IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Engine No 2 was commissioned by Nathan Myhrvold (of Microsoft fame). The "original" reproduction sits in the London Museum of Science, along with half of Babbage's pickled brain in a jar. Babbage did not have the machining technology or the money to complete one on his own, he was a rather cantankerous old coot who, although he had his followers, had many more enemies than friends. His biography is a good read.

I recently saw some pictures and a story about Engine No 2, and how it's being lent to the museum in California for exhibit.

There have been numerous other realizations using various mechanical toy parts.

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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex wrote:
Museum of Science[/url], along with half of Babbage's pickled brain in a jar.


Flashbacks to Young Frankenstein (abby-normal) ...


Quote:

I recently saw some pictures and a story about Engine No 2, and how it's being lent to the museum in California for exhibit.


The post and the pictures (and later, a link to a video showing the thing running) which started this thread are from the Computer History Museum, where #2 is on display.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

cappy2112 wrote:
DrJustice wrote:
A stunning piece of engineering! And the next must-have device for steam punks Very Happy

Do they do demonstration runs of the machine, or is it only a static exhibit?

DJ
--


I think they have limited demonstrations, but I haven't seen any myself.

There are very strong forces in action when it is running, as a result it can easily break. With 8000+ parts you can imagine what troubleshooting a problem would be like. Fortunately Babbage, designed in "mechanical fuses" to help force failures to a known location.

Whatever happened to inventors of this caliber (Marconi, Tesla, etc)???

They just don't seem to "make them liked they used to" ;(


thats cause they are spending their time texting, emailing, twittering, facebooking, WoW-ing...etc..
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