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Babbage difference engine No. 2 now operational Answered

Moon-mad steampunk engineers have constructed Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2 from the master's original plans. It is now on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., after being completed last month.

"The first complete Babbage Engine was completed in London in 2002, 153 years after it was designed. Difference Engine No. 2, built faithfully to the original drawings, consists of 8,000 parts, weighs five tons, and measures 11 feet long. We invite you to learn more about this extraordinary object, its designer Charles Babbage and the team of people who undertook to build it. Discover the wonder of a future already passed. A sight no Victorian ever saw."

Online Exhibit

Discussions

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westfw

10 years ago

Does it use one of these?

babage-thumbdrive.jpg
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Goodhart

10 years ago

BTW: the link doesn't work, at least, not for me. I think this here link is the original article.

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kington99

10 years ago

very nice, I remember seeing no.1 nearing completion in the Science Museum

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Brennn10

10 years ago

Neat! It is truly amazing how far engines have progressed over the years.

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T3h_MuffinatorBrennn10

Reply 10 years ago

Hehe yes it is! This is what an engine of this type looks like now: (from wwu.edu)

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T3h_MuffinatorGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Yeah, I know. I figured it'd be appropriate though (I'm pretty sure Brennn over here thought it was an internal combustion engine).

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Brennn10T3h_Muffinator

Reply 10 years ago

Yea, I thought it was a combustion engine. Now, I have that thing in the front pocket of my backpack!

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GoodhartBrennn10

Reply 10 years ago

Well, where I work, they had punch cards up until about 12 years ago. You should have seen the inside of the card interpreter; resistors were made of carbon back when they were built, and were as thick as your little finger and nearly as long as your thumb. :-) The mechanism, physically sensed (with wire "brushes") the holes in the cards, and mechanically printed the letters/numbers across the top. Talk about a Rube-Goldburg machine LOL It was fascinating to watch operate though.

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Gjdj3T3h_Muffinator

Reply 10 years ago

So did I at first. Lol. Then I googled it. Thanks for the clarification though.

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Goodhart

10 years ago

Yeah, I saw this earlier on my news feed, very "retro" :-) But I bet a lot of fellows based solely in todays "technology" would have troubles building this "rube-goldberg" type machine.