I’m going to start something here which I haven’t seen many bloggers in our industry do before. I’m going to pay homage to people I think impacted and prepared us for where we are today. I feel our community is large and vast but if you asked most people “where did modern day computing all start” they have no clue. I don’t want this section to be a dull history lesson ( that’s what Wikipedia is for) but rather a short (snippet) insight to how it all happened. Some of it I know firsthand and some of it I will like you have to research.
My first post has to obviously go to Charles Babbage.
Charles Babbage is the person history sees as the inventor of computers. He was a mathematician and a mechanical engineer and lived in the London in the 1800s. At the time numerical tables were calculated by humans and were called “computers” (people who computed things). In an effort to reduce humans errors created by human computers Babbage started work on the first mechanical computer known as the difference engine. He never completed construction of it. He then set about designing a much more improved version called the “Difference Engine No 2”. He didn’t even start to build this machine before designing his next machine known as the “Analytical Engine”. He took work on this machine to his death bed before completing it, but the improvement with this design is the Analytical Engine could be programmed by punch cards.
In 1991 the London Science Museum built the Difference Engine No 2 from Babbage’s original plans to discover that it truly did work and had as equal power to modern day pocket calculators.
I found this quote I love from Babbage:
(Charles Babbage: At each increase of knowledge, as well as on the contrivance of every new tool, human labour becomes abridged)
And I think its apt to what we do today in the IT world. As we gain knowledge and make use of useful tools, manual work required decreases
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