Antikythera: 2000 year old computer reconstructed

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Nixels, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. Surfer

    Surfer Barley Adventurer

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    I think I'm getting wound around the axle because I view a computer and a calculator as identical computing devices. They just have different I/O methods. Either can be used interchangeably to resolve different problems. It just takes a longer time, the the I/O methods are different.

    The only devices I'd view as programmable are FPGAs. They can have their function changed. Program it to have a 32 bit adder. Then reprogram it to have a 64 bit adder. This is changed, programmable, functionality.

    If you have a pentium IV or a cheap casio calculator, you can't program it to be a 64 bit adder. They just add the lower 32 bits and spit out the result, add the upper 32 bits (and the carry) and spit out the result. You didn't change the computer to have a 64 bit adder.

    Just because the pentium makes it easier to keep track of the carry doesn't mean it is different.



    I just hate to see a lovely 400 year old profession (computer) redefined to mean a beige box.:lol3
    #81
  2. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Ipso facto. If you want to lead, you have to get out in front of the people.:1drink
    #82
  3. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    Well, you kids seem to have settled down with the computer argument, so I guess it's safe to return to this fascinating subject.

    Researchers built a model and new research suggests that it was primarily for demonstration purposes and not a daily timekeeping device. :deal
    #83
  4. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    #84
  5. Surfer

    Surfer Barley Adventurer

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    [​IMG]

    :eyes
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  6. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    That's not true, the firmware can readily be changed.
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  7. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    think

    Sorry for the error.
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  8. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Pencil & Paper = Printer.

    The writer's mind is the computer.
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  9. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    :ddog Klay, are you bored? :scratch Editing a post that's almost 2 years old? :patch

    :becca

    :poser

    Glad you caught yourself out. How many other typos have you found now that your spellcheck program has gone through all your old posts? :dunno

    :evil

    :poser
    #89
  10. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    My job is never done, therefore I am relentless.
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  11. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    Incalculable effort = relentless perfection. :clap

    :D
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  12. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    No just computational capacity. Programability actually came later. Mechanical Computers were just voltage divider networks using TX/TR/TDRs and whatnot. Fixed for a single purpose, but still a computer.

    I have seen an analogue programmable computer....lets just say I never want to meet its programers.
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  13. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    :fpalm
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  14. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    Sorry programmability, let's, programmers. Better :lol3
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  15. Putts

    Putts Gettin' there.

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    Mechanical gun fire control computer.

    [​IMG]

    Differentials, disk/ball integrators, ballistics cams, that thing is chock-o-block full of widgets and gizmos. Only programmable in the sense of replacing the cams for various caliber guns, but it is responsive to a vast number of variable inputs.
    #95
  16. Beemer Bob

    Beemer Bob Long timer

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    The bombing computer on the B-47's was manufactured by NCR and was analog. Many many gears and cams.....all to unload a Nuke.........
    #96
  17. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    :scratch It must be winter in the rest of the country. :dunno

    :zilla














    :hide

    :poser
    #97
  18. jazzmans

    jazzmans fickt euch

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    No. It's ability to execute program(s) is, because it can automate many tasks, doing repetitive calculations, (always of 1 or 0) over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and

    Calculator



    1. One that calculates, as:a. An electronic or mechanical device for the performance of mathematical computations.
    b. A person who operates such a machine or otherwise makes calculations.

    2. A set of mathematical tables used to aid in calculating.


    A Calculator is a Computer. Albeit a very much simpler one, with fewer instructions per cycle...


    1. A device that computes, especially a programmable electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information.
    2. One who computes.
    <hr>
    :p




    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="600"><tbody><tr><td valign="bottom" width="500"><table border="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td valign="top">[FONT=ARIAL,HELVETICA]Computer derives directly from the Latin computus and computare. Both Latin words mean the same as the English verb compute: to determine by mathematical means. Putare means to reckon, and com is an intensifying prefix. An intensifying prefix heightens or stresses, but does not change the meaning of the word it modifies; for example, in the word inflammable, in is an intensifier, and inflammable means easily inflamed.[/FONT]
    [FONT=ARIAL,HELVETICA]The use of computer to refer to a person who does mathematical calculations dates to at least 1646. The verb form to compute dates from about the same time, with the first recorded usage in 1631.[/FONT]
    [FONT=ARIAL,HELVETICA]The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition (OED2) dates use of the word to refer to a mechanical calculating device as 1897, in the January 22 issue of the journal Engineering. The earliest reference in the OED2 to electronic computer is in 1946. However, from the context of the citation, it is obvious that the term was in use prior to 1946.[/FONT]
    [FONT=ARIAL,HELVETICA]Citations for the term digital computer are somewhat older than 1946. The OED2 lists one citation, referring to ENIAC, from a 1945 Applied Mathematics Panel Report, 171.2R, by J. Eckert, et al. From the context, it is clear that the term was in general use among engineers already. The retronym analog computer arose around the same time, with the earliest citation in the OED2 as 1946. (A retronym is a term that previously did not need to exist, but is coined because of changes in technology or culture.) Prior to the digital age, no one referred to analog computers because all computers were analog.[/FONT]
    [FONT=ARIAL,HELVETICA]In his 1945 paper on the EDVAC, John von Neumann used the term automatic computing system, which he italicized as a definition.[/FONT]
    [FONT=ARIAL,HELVETICA]Eventually, the descriptive adjective in front of computer was dropped as digital computers became more and more common, driving out the other usages of the language.[/FONT]
    [FONT=ARIAL,HELVETICA]You can find other discussions of the etymology of words at David Wilton's Etymology Page.

    [/FONT]
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> <td valign="top" width="10">[​IMG]</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <table border="0" width="600"> <tbody><tr> <td align="right" valign="top" width="600">[​IMG]</td></tr></tbody></table>
    #98
  19. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    A modern computer can't possibly have a Latin definition. The meaning of words surrounding computer or calculators has been changing rapidly in the last generation. I reject that definition.^
    #99
  20. jazzmans

    jazzmans fickt euch

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    The fact is english is a dynamic and ever-changing language, Certainly that is one of its benefits.


    in modern, common, discourse, a computer is a calculating device that is relatively easy to vary the instructions. (but that's too technical for most folk)

    Realistically that defines a Digital Computer, not a Computer.
    And all Digital Computers weren't that easy to vary their input/instructions. I remember punch cards, they were much more intensive then modern keyboards. Those were still Computers, however.

    It's just a matter of how many COMPUTATION cycles modern machines can process with little to no physical input that makes the difference.

    MIPS, buddy,