Some time in 1821, the young english mathematician Charles Babbage (biography), checking calculations for improving tables for a navigational book, and disappointed by numerous errors in these calculations, shared with a friend—”I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam!”. It is quite possible, remarked his friend.
It was during the course of this activity that Charles Babbage began to seriously consider how such routine calculations could be performed mechanically. This preoccupation will prolong half a century, until his death. There is no doubt, that Babbage was an outstanding genius and he is the only man (if any!), who deserves the title Father of the Computer. His Differential Engine was a sophisticated specialized calculating machine, which was a huge step forward in the construction of calculating devices. But Differential Engine was nothing, compared with Analytical Engine. Babbage dared to design entirely mechanical digital programmable computer more than 100 years, before such a machine to be produced. It is simply astonishing that the designs for the Analytical Engine embodied in their mechanical and logical details just about every major principle of the modern digital computer.
This section of the site will follow the steps of the great man, as well as of his followers.