Computer in 1900
RodSmallwood at mail.ediconsulting.co.uk
Fri Feb 15 10:02:33 CST 2008
Where was all the technology in 1900?
Railways - Signaling systems, Switches(Points) control.
Warships - Gun control and ranging. Navigation.
There must have been something computer like in that lot somewhere.
From: cctech-bounces at classiccmp.org
[mailto:cctech-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of woodelf
Sent: 15 February 2008 14:54
To: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Computer in 1900
Brent Hilpert wrote:
> To be realisitic about what might have been accomplished in 1900 the
> whole issue of building a large system of hundreds/thousands of
> components needs to be looked at more seriously. Will raised the issue
> for tubes, but it applies to all the other components as well,
> regarding reliability, uniformity and stability of characteristics.
> The idea of building such large systems was considered daunting or
> simply implausible even in the 1940's, after decades of development of
components - even regarding something as seemingly simple as resistors.
I think at one time you could get resistors with a 50% range of
tolarance when they first came out, say around the 1900's.
> Or, for example, solid-state diodes: the discovery may have been made
> in 1874, but in the early 1900s the only thing actually available
> (TMK) was the cat's whisker (a tad finicky) - forget about building
> anything utilising more than a couple of them.
And you piss off the cat making your diode.
> Then there's achieving a stable power supply.
Well you would have your own power plant -- coal, gas ( as in gas lamps)
> ..so, depends on where you want to draw the line between concept and
> The principles/theory of digital systems implementation may be
> straighforward, the practical reality when dealing with
> unreliable/variable components isn't so (including tubes); in
> particular if you don't have some heavily-non-linear device to base
> your basic gate design around. In 1900 there was very little in the
> electrical domain that was reliable or consistent for the purposes
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