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Doron Swade: "Charles Babbage and Difference Enginge No. 2" | Talks at Google

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Uploaded on May 12, 2008

In 1821, Charles Babbage was reviewing a set of mathematical tables with a colleague in preparation for a scientific presentation when, after finding a wealth of errors, he exclaimed in frustration, "I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam!" With this outburst, Babbage began to envision an end to human errors in the numerical tables upon which finance, trade, science, and navigation relied. The Difference Engine is the fascinating story of his heroic quest, against all odds, to build the first computing machine more than one hundred years before the modern computer we use today was invented.

Doron Swade, an engineer, technology historian, and leading authority on Charles Babbage, was previously the assistant director and head of collections at London's Science Museum and is now Director of the Babbage project. He is also the mastermind of a seventeen-year project to construct a Babbage calculating engine from original nineteenth century designs.

This talk took place on May 8, 2008 at Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters as part of the Authors@Google program.

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