In 1837, the engineering genius and great-grand-father of the computer, Charles Babbage, laid down the details of a marvelous mechanical computer that would have revolutionized the world and ushered in the computer age 100 years before its time… had anyone bothered to finance the visionary endeavor. Sadly, no one did, and Babbage only managed to build a small part of his wondrous machine.
But take heart! There is a most extraordinary, to say nothing of ambitious, project in the works to bring Babbage’s magnum opus to life, called Plan 28. The master mind of this project, one John Graham-Cumming, boldly proclaims in his blog: “Am I mad? Would you donate to make the Analytical Engine an oily, steamy, brass and iron reality? Can we live up to Lovelace’s words when she wrote: “We may say most aptly, that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jacquard-loom weaves flowers and leaves. “”
Mad indeed! But I wish him well and hope he does succeed in building this marvel of engineering. Please visit the Plan28 website for more details.