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Publisher: University of Warwick. Department of Computer Science
Languages: English
Types: Other
Subjects: QA76
It has become commonplace to apply the terms analogue and digital to various technologies. During the twentieth century, this classification was applied to computing technology and created two very separate technical cultures. From the perspective of twenty-first century technology, analogue computing is often assumed to be a technology with a continuous representation of state. However, analogue computers were originally so-called because they supported the construction of analogies. This paper reviews the history of analogue computing and presents the history as a three-stranded chronology, separating the ideas of analogue computer as a 'continuous' machine from the perspective of the analogue computer as an 'analogy' or 'modelling' machine. Around 1940, these two conceptual identities became entwined, creating the analogue/digital discourse familiar today.
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    • 28 lt r.'u,as during this project that hc tlrrously turned his attention to a ue\\'. r.nore genelal-pllrpose kincl ot'niachine. the 'analytical engine'. Those intclestecl in Babbage's rnachines are directecl to the oven,ieu'in Chaptcr 3 ot'CampbellKeliy ancl Aspray, "Contputer" op. cit.
    • 29 He.joined the University Collcgc School (ir.r Gower Street. London) at the age of 9 in January 1834. During this period he lived with hrs grandrnother at 5, Devonshire Street, Portlancl I'lace. -l-his education continuecl until the age of 16, atier lvhicl.r he rvas enrolled at the UCL (1840-1842). In his Merroirs he wrote that he 'did not accprire mucl.r learning there.' (p9) A f-ew pages later (pl1) he clescribes how his tather had asked him ""vhat I rvislied to do' to which Her.rry repliecl that he desilecl a military career in lndia. This resulted in Charles Babbage securrng u cacletship for Henry. Bourrcl lbr lndia. ilenry lefl England or.r Monday l0'r'April 1843. See H. P. Babbage fu|t'nroir'.s untl C.ot'respontlertce.s of Henr.t' Pt'at'ost l)obboge, London. I9I5.
    • 30 tlis obittrary itThe Tinta.s ret'ers to publiczitions ir.r subjects including occulting lights and calculating machines. topics tl.rat had been of great interest to liis tather. SeeAnon. "Obituary. Maior'-General H. P Babbage." Tltc Tintcs. Jan 31, 1918, page 9 lssue 4170 l. and Anon. "Special At.utouncetnents.'' nre lrnc.r. Tuesday. Mar 19, 1918. page 1.1 lssue 4174 l; and Anthony Hyman. "Cliarles Babbage: Science and relbrm." ln Peter Harman and Sirnon Mitton, eclitors. C'antbritlge St'iettti/it Mirrls. Clarnbridge University Press. 2002. pp 7() 94.
    • 3l 1-he'fiagment'of calculating rvheels given to Harvard would later provide an interestiug link between Babbage and HowardAiken'sHarvardMarkl.anearlyelectro-mechanical cornputerconstructedinthe l940s.TheHarvardMark I machine has been infbrmally clubbed 'Babbage's dream cornes tnre.'See l. Bernard Cohen. "Babbage ancl Aiken." IEEE Atrnak of-the Hi.stor-v ol Contputirtg, 10(3):171 -193, 1988.
    • 35 A. t-l. Pollen ancl Harold lslier-wood. "lmprovements in Rar.rge Clocks." UK Patent 191100360A, 1911; A. tt. Pollerrancl H. lslierwood,"lmprovernentsinNavalFireControl,"UKPatentl9ll003624.. 19ll; Minclell.Rctwttn Human attd Muchine. op. cit. pp. 38-39.
    • 36 Mindell. Bctn,etrt Huntun ttntl Macltine. op. cit. pp. 19'2 l.
    • 37 Minde ll. IJettt'een fluntutt untl Mttc'ltitta. op. cit.
    • 38 A. Ben Clyrner. "The Mechanical Analog Cornputcrs of Hannibal Forcl and Willian Nervell". IEEE ,,lnnals ol the I{i.stotl. ol Computittg, 15(2):19 34, 1993; .Mindell. Betv'et'n Humart utul X,lathitte.op. cit.
    • 4-5 William GryllsAclams. "l'he tlakerian Lecture: On the Forrns of E,cluipotential Cur.res and Surfaces and Lincs of E,lectric Force.", Tt'uttsuLtittrt.s ol the lloyal Sotiel.t'of Lctntktrt.24. 1876. pp I 32; z16 Adams rvas a f-ellow of the Royal Society (elected 1872) and a tbunding mernberof the Pliysical Society of L.ondon (now the lnstitute of Physics) fbr rvhich he acted as presiclent between 1878 and 1880. In 1888. Canrblidge University awardecl him DSc. Adams served on the council of the Royal Society during ltl9ti and r.vas president ol the Society of Telegraph [:ngineers ancl Electricians (later tlie lnstitution of Electrical E,ngir.reers) of in llJli'l. See Ar.ron."ThePhysical Societyof London." Science,6(I32):3-5,1. I897.July9. I897;Anon."Universify intelligence." The Tintes. (32565):6. December lOth 1888; Anon. "Death of Mr W. G. Adarns." Tlte'finrt',s. (40826): 10, April l2th l9l5:(i.C.F. "Obituary Notices of Fellor'vs Deceiised." Pror:eeding.s ol tht'Ro.tal Srriatt,of' London. Series '1,91(663):lxiii lxiv. Septernber 1915;Anon. Court circr:lar. The Titnes, (35353): 10, Noventber 5 I 897.
    • 55 ln 19211. the same year tbat Valerrsi used an e Iectrical analog to represent flow. sirnilar work was done by E. F Relf in the Aeronautics Division of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). Relf's work was extended by Taylor ancl Sharuranin1928. G. I.TayloranclC.F'.Sharrnan."Arnechanicalrnethocl fbrsolvingproblemsofflowin cornpressible fluids." Pt'oceedittg.s of tht'Ro.t'ul .\ocieh,ofLondon, Serie.s tl, l2l(71J7):194 211 ,1928.
    • 56 Joseph P6ris. "Les methodes cl'analogie en mecanique appliquee." ln Proc. Fifih lnternatioual Cougress tbrApplied Mechanics, Cambridge Massachusetts. l93fl; Pierre E,. Mounier-Kuhn. l'he lnstitut Blaise-Pascal (1946 1969). fionr CoLrttignal's machine to artitlcial intelligence." IEEE Annals of'the history of C'otnputing, ll(4):257 261. 1989
    • 57 DonalclW.Peaceman."Apersonal retrospectionofreservoirsimulation."lnStepher.rG.Nash.ed.AHistort,of Stiantifit Computing. pp 106-127. AC'M Press. New York, 1990; W. A. Bmce. .4ttal.tzer fbr strbtert'oneun fluid rcsertrtirs. US Patent 258993. 1947.
    • 5li Cl.rarles Care "Modelling Oil Reservoirs: Analog Cornputing at British Petroleum." Research Report 424. I)epartment of Computer Science. University of War-wick, Coverrtrl, UK. 2006.
    • 65 A. W. Phillips, "Mechanical Moclels in E,conomic Dynamics", reprintecl in Ilobert Leeson. ed. l.l,l/.H. Phillip.s: Collectetl l|brk"s in Conteilrpot'ut'\,Pet'.spective. Cambriclge University Press. Cambridge,2000. pp 68 lt8. Nlary S. Morgar.r and Marcel Bonmans. "Sccrets Hidden by Tlvo-Dirnensionality: The Econorny as a Hydraulic Machine", In Soraya de Chadarevian ancl Nick Hopwood. eds. Model.s: the thirLl ttimensiott of',science, Stanfbrd University Press. 2004. pp 369-401.
    • 66 Cornparethe recentpoptrlaracconnt in Mike Hally. Electronic Bt'Ltirt.s: Stnrie.s f)om the Dau'n of the ()otnputerlge. Granta books/BBC, London.2005. pp ltt5-205;and Doron Swade. "'l'hc Phillips machine ancl tl.re history of comptrting." ln Roberl Leeson. etl A.W.H. Phillip,s. Collet'tel Wbt hs. op. cit. pp 120 126.
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