Difference engine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


“On Mr. Babbage’s new machine for calculating and printing mathematical and astronomical tables…”

On this day in 1822, Charles Babbage proposed the use of a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society.

Difference Engine - Caledon Highlands

Some 186 years later and a replica of one of Babbage’s machines can be found in a Virtual World:


Second Life Difference Engine created by Independent State of Caledon resident Paul Churchill

see also: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/On_Mr._Babbage%27s_new_machine_for_calculating_and_printing_mathematical_and_astronomical_tables


Note how this satirical version is so much like the original which I scanned…

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Many thanks though to Mrs Trellis, of North Wales, who pointed out this obvious blunder … the date (1974) is 3 years after decimalisation, so the price tag of 2/6 is fake – shame.

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…and here is the original.

Discovery relief mission is go • The Register


From the page:

“For those of you not up to speed on space toilets, the ASU failed on 21 May following a “loud noise” – apparently the failure of the air/water separator pump. Despite the ISS crew’s best attempts at DIY, they were obliged to request an emergency plumbing space-lift to tackle the problem.”

Well I never, good excuse for a nice pic though…