Feeds

Boffins step closer to steam-powered Babbage computer

Analytical Engine designs digitised by Science Museum for steampunk project

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A project to build British mathematician Charles Babbage's mechanical computer has won assistance from the Science Museum in London.

The museum has begun digitising Babbage's plans and notebooks so that John Graham-Cumming, the programmer and computer historian behind the project, and his team can begin work.

Babbage first described the Analytical Engine in 1837, which he came up while working on a way to automatically produce mathematical tables - 100 years before the first modern computers were conceived and built.

Only parts of the machine were built during his lifetime, with some parts made by HP Babbage from his father's designs after his death. But the entire steam-powered, brass and iron contraption has never been built.

A year ago, Graham-Cumming started Plan 28, the project to get the whole Analytical Engine built in Britain.

"What a marvel it would be to stand before this giant metal machine, powered by a steam engine, and running programs fed to it on a reel of punched cards. And what a great educational resource so that people can understand how computers work," he said when launching the project on his blog.

The Science Museum started work on the digitisation of Babbage's notes on 12 September and the Plan 28 team expects to start studying them early in October.

"This great first step on Plan 28 is, finally, underway. We are very, very grateful to The Science Museum and all we have worked with there for their support and for having undertaken this vital work that will benefit not only Plan 28 but all those who wish to study Charles Babbage's work wherever they are," Graham-Cumming said on his blog yesterday.

The digital copies will be made publicly available for research purposes in 2012, at a time to be announced by the museum. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.