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Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer

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This book discusses the career of Charles Babbage (1791-1871), British advocate of the systematic use of science in industry and creator of machines that were precursors of the modern computer. Babbage used his immense personal charm and vitality in an attempt to change the thinking of contemporary industrialists who had little use for the higher reaches of science. Shifti This book discusses the career of Charles Babbage (1791-1871), British advocate of the systematic use of science in industry and creator of machines that were precursors of the modern computer. Babbage used his immense personal charm and vitality in an attempt to change the thinking of contemporary industrialists who had little use for the higher reaches of science. Shifting his own energies from pure mathematics, he planned engines that would "calculate by steam": the Difference Engines, designed to compute tables according to the method of finite differences, and the more complex Analytical Engines, forerunners of the modern computer. Almost forgotten and then rediscovered in the middle of the twentieth century, the Analytical Engines are among the great intellectual achievements of humankind. This biography of their polymathic inventor gives a convincing account of his tragic personal life and his important place in the history of science.


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This book discusses the career of Charles Babbage (1791-1871), British advocate of the systematic use of science in industry and creator of machines that were precursors of the modern computer. Babbage used his immense personal charm and vitality in an attempt to change the thinking of contemporary industrialists who had little use for the higher reaches of science. Shifti This book discusses the career of Charles Babbage (1791-1871), British advocate of the systematic use of science in industry and creator of machines that were precursors of the modern computer. Babbage used his immense personal charm and vitality in an attempt to change the thinking of contemporary industrialists who had little use for the higher reaches of science. Shifting his own energies from pure mathematics, he planned engines that would "calculate by steam": the Difference Engines, designed to compute tables according to the method of finite differences, and the more complex Analytical Engines, forerunners of the modern computer. Almost forgotten and then rediscovered in the middle of the twentieth century, the Analytical Engines are among the great intellectual achievements of humankind. This biography of their polymathic inventor gives a convincing account of his tragic personal life and his important place in the history of science.

35 review for Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Neil Aitken

    The most thorough and compelling biography on Charles Babbage to date. Hyman provides considerable insight not only into Babbage's work on the calculating engines, but also glimpses into Babbage's personal and family life, his political aspirations, his disappointment with the state of scientific study in England, and his contributions to natural philosophy and theology, as well as economics, the railway, and the creation of a networked systems of factories and trades.

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    Ayush Mhetre

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