Inventor, mathematician and mechanical engineer Charles Babbage
Babbage's Difference Engine was completed from original designs in 1991... the task of building the Analytical Engine is even more complex (Photo: Carsten Ullrich â€“ Creative Commons)
Charles Babbage was the quintessential "man ahead of his time". In the mid 19th century the English mathematician and inventor developed the concept of a programmable computer and designed complex, steam-powered calculating engines that were never completed during his lifetime. One of these machines – the Difference Engine – was successfully constructed using Babbage's original plans in 1991 and now programmer John Graham-Cumming is on a mission to build a working replica of a second, more complex computing machine known as the Analytical Engine.
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