Feeds

Babbage boffins build heavyweight printer

New device not ideal for mobile use

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

In a world fixated with time-to-market issues, it is refreshing to discover a newly launched printer that has been a mere 150 years in development. The London Science Museum has completed a mechanical printer originally designed by Charles Babbage as an output device for his Difference Engine, widely regarded to be the first computer. Although Babbage never completed the Difference Engine, largely due to the relatively unsophisticated engineering processes of the 19th Century, boffins at the museum successfully built one from his original drawings in 1991. Now the 2.5 ton monster printer is complete, navigation tables produced by the mechanical computer - no luggable itself, weighing in at 3 tons - can be automatically printed. And the printer is surprisingly advanced. It can text wrap and can be programmed for different column widths and line spacing. It can even produce printing plates for use in a conventional printing press. ® World's first erratumnotbug Science Museum technicians claim that they found a number of mistakes in the design of both the Difference Engine and the new printer, which they believe were deliberately included by Babbage in a bid to prevent industrial espionage. The same excuse is, of course, used today by leading chip makers to explain inadequacies in their products. Related story Byron's daughter was first programmer... NOT

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.