Friday, October 21, 2011

Plan 28 - building the Analytical Engine

Part of the Analytical Engine
in the London Science Museum
Plan 28 - is an ambitious project to build Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine - the world's first mechanical computer. Babbage never built the Analytical Engine during his life and many doubted that it would work. However, since Doran Swade's successful project at the Science museum to build a replica of Babbage's Difference Engine No.2, which does work, many people believe Babbage's Analytical Engine would also work.
    The Analytical Engine would not be a giant mechanical calculator like the Difference Engine - it's a programmable computer. It has a mechanical memory, called the Store. a central processing unit, called the Mill, and can be programmed using punch cards for input and it can print out its results. It conceptual architecture is essentially the same as a modern digital computer. It would be the ultimate steam punk fantasy made real! For more information visit