Feeds

Babbage boffins build heavyweight printer

New device not ideal for mobile use

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.