The Difference Engine number 2, designed by Charles Babbage, is on its way to the United States. Babbage began building the calculator in 1821 but abandoned the effort in 1832. The Science Museum of London completed the job in 2002. An identical version of the design was commissioned and built for Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO of Microsoft, for display in his Seattle home.
The completion of this Engine closes an anguished chapter in the history of computing. It vindicates Babbage’s work and memorialises the remarkable achievements of the first computer pioneer. And when did the UK last export a supercomputer to the US?”, said Doron Swade, mastermind of the machine construction.
The machine is 11ft long, 7 ft wide and is made up of 8,000 parts. No different than a decent size supercomputer today.
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