The Unexpected Fact about the First Computer Programmer

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by javawizard, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. javawizard

    krw Guest

    A little PKB there? Mr. Anonymous?
     
    krw, Aug 3, 2007
    #61
    1. Advertisements

  2. javawizard

    krw Guest

    Wrong. Either the person is the computer or the device is. In the
    case of the abacus, it's the person. The device is simply a memory
    aid.
    Effective? You're wrong again, but that wasn't the issue either.
    You are an idiot.
    An arrogant idiot, at that.
     
    krw, Aug 3, 2007
    #62
    1. Advertisements

  3. javawizard

    Klokmeester Guest

    Nope, the judges decision is final - and he found you guilty.
     
    Klokmeester, Aug 3, 2007
    #63
  4. javawizard

    Klokmeester Guest

    It's a memory aid in either case. Some maybe more advanced in others but the
    basic principles remain the same and at it's most fundamental level I'm 100%
    correct.
    Afraid not, no matter how desperately you are trying to squirm out of this
    your arguement is flawed at its most fundamental level and you can't wriggle
    out of it.
    Nope, ask any chemist.
    You're just a bad loser but that is your problem.
     
    Klokmeester, Aug 3, 2007
    #64
  5. javawizard

    Guest Guest

    I used VNC for the basement (server) system before I got the current
    KVM. It worked fine for most things. I could even reboot the server,
    if I needed to. But, I couldn't shutdown the server, and then restart
    it later, which I sometimes do in a heavy storm. Also, VNC doesn't
    work too well when the networking gets gorked, which sometimes happens
    when I nail the server from two workstations at the same time. That
    also required a trip to the basement. :)
    But not so good in the health department. :)
     
    Guest, Aug 3, 2007
    #65
  6. javawizard

    Kwyjibo Guest

    Where's the plus button on an abacus?
     
    Kwyjibo, Aug 3, 2007
    #66
  7. javawizard

    jmfbahciv Guest

    Design the keypad of the calculator better and, I would guess, that
    it would be a tie. RPN calculators would be a requirement.

    /BAH
     
    jmfbahciv, Aug 3, 2007
    #67
  8. javawizard

    Quadibloc Guest

    It's true that people in Japan - or China, or even Russia - use their
    sorobans, suan pans, and schotys with great effectiveness.

    However, every calculational step the abacus performs is done through
    the guidance and intervention of their fingers. An abacus is a device
    that assists people in calculating, like a slide rule. but it does not
    calculate _automatically_.

    Being able to calculate automatically, so that you can just throw a
    *really big and complicated* program at the gadget, and let _it_ do
    all the work, for hours on end, does make it possible to solve much
    more complicated problems than can be handled through human
    calculation alone - even assisted by abacus, slide rule, or mechanical
    calculator.

    Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine was the first attempt at such a
    thing; a failed attempt, true.

    Another failed attempt at a computer was made by Torres y Quevedo; he
    did make an electromagnetic special-purpose computing device (many
    years before Colossus) that did rook versus pawn chess endgames, but
    he was also planning to make an automatic electric calculator which
    never came to fruition.

    The Harvard Mark I calculator, built by Howard Aiken with the help of
    IBM, was broadly publicized as "Babbage's dream come true". It didn't
    become operational until 1944, by which time electronics was already
    an option. It's possible that some pre-war accounting machine would
    qualify as a computer but with a short program of a few steps in
    length.

    Note that a device does _not_ have to be a von Neumann machine to be a
    computer. Although it does have to operate automatically, the program
    doesn't have to be in a form that the computer itself can alter.

    John Savard
     
    Quadibloc, Aug 3, 2007
    #68
  9. javawizard

    Quadibloc Guest

    The abacus gets told to do every single step it does.

    The computer is given the sequence of steps, told to start, and then
    it carries out the steps, one after another, without further human
    intervention. That's the difference, and that's why the first
    computers, when they came along, were recognized as an important
    advance, even though mechanical calculators, slide rules, and abaci
    all existed previously for quite some time.

    John Savard
     
    Quadibloc, Aug 3, 2007
    #69
  10. javawizard

    Quadibloc Guest

    Yes, an abacus _is_ a computing device. It helps people compute.

    A computer actually does the computing, once presented with the
    algorithm at the beginning. The term "computer" wasn't used at the
    beginning of the computer era; the first computers were called
    "automatic calculators". An abacus is a _manual_ calculator.

    John Savard
     
    Quadibloc, Aug 3, 2007
    #70
  11. javawizard

    Peter Flass Guest


    Wrong. Either the person is the computer or the device is. In the
    case of the abacus, it's the person. The device is simply a memory
    aid.[/QUOTE]

    Maybe more than that, but certainly less than a computer. It's about
    the level of a pocket calculator. In fact, I believe a test was done of
    skilled people using acaci (abacuses?) vs. people using calculators, and
    the abacus people were significantly faster, but both have to have each
    piece of data and operation entered one at a time by a person.
     
    Peter Flass, Aug 3, 2007
    #71
  12. "It will certainly be louder."
     
    Roland Hutchinson, Aug 3, 2007
    #72
  13. javawizard

    Klokmeester Guest

    Yes, an abacus _is_ a computing device. It helps people compute.

    A computer actually does the computing, once presented with the
    algorithm at the beginning. The term "computer" wasn't used at the
    beginning of the computer era; the first computers were called
    "automatic calculators". An abacus is a _manual_ calculator.


    The word computer was borrowed from "human computer" which was just a person
    who did calculating using aids to help in the process.
    Old English aye!
     
    Klokmeester, Aug 3, 2007
    #73
  14. javawizard

    krw Guest

    It is *NOT* a computer. An abacus is a computing device just as a
    pencil is a writing device.
    It's not even that. A Marchand is a manual calculator. An abacus is
    temporary storage, fundamentally no different than fingers (a few
    more places).
    You keep repeating yourself. That was not in question.
     
    krw, Aug 3, 2007
    #74
  15. javawizard

    Joe Pfeiffer Guest

    You know, he's not going to go away until people stop responding to
    him.
     
    Joe Pfeiffer, Aug 3, 2007
    #75
  16. javawizard

    krw Guest

    How does your KVM handle the server in the basement?
    You can't do a SHUTDOWN -NOW (or whatever it is). An X10 Apliance
    module should do the rest. I've been thinking about doing that too
    (for several years ;-).
    Sometimes you just have to reach out and kick someone.
    Lazy doesn't hurt. Some lazy people work pretty hard. ;-)
     
    krw, Aug 4, 2007
    #76
  17. javawizard

    krw Guest

    If the program wasn't (easily/user) alterable I wouldn't call it a
    computer. IMO, it would fit better in the "calculator" column.
     
    krw, Aug 4, 2007
    #77
  18. Hmmm. How do you classify the various and sundry automatic calculators that
    came before Mark-I?

    I'm thinking of entire classes of machine like electronic and mechanical
    analog computers (esp. machines like Bush's Differential Analyzer),
    race-track totalisators, artillery predictors and controllers.

    Even if the machines weren't programmable in any conventional manner, they
    did succeed in automating some very complex calculations. I wouldn't call
    these machines "general purpose computers," but they certainly need to be
    considered "automatic."

    --
    Micheal H. McCabe




    How about the Bell Relay Calculators? The certainly beat Mark-I to the
    punch.
     
    Paleoferrosaurus, Aug 4, 2007
    #78
  19. javawizard

    John Varela Guest

    Analog computers are computers. You configure the elements to match the
    differential equations, set the parameters, and can even include actual
    hardware from the aircraft control system or whatever, then turn it on and
    let it run. Hands off, unlike a calculator or abacus.

    They are not *stored program* computers.
     
    John Varela, Aug 4, 2007
    #79
  20. javawizard

    Klokmeester Guest

    The Greeks might have something to say about that...
     
    Klokmeester, Aug 4, 2007
    #80
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.