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|I have discovered a truly marvelous proof|
Would you mind naming the inventors of penicillin or the computer off the top of your head?
|Posted On: 12/14/2009 5:24PM||View Duncecap's Profile | #|
Off the top of my head, Alexander Fleming and Charles Babbage.
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Although I’m not certain about Babbage. I know he was important in the early days of computing, don’t know if he was the first though.
|Posted On: 12/14/2009 6:22PM||View man-man's Profile | #|
That’s actually pretty good.
Babbage is not quite an acceptable answer. He did create the analytical machine, (in theory), and a machine to write his sermons for him, (did build it, but someone ordered it destroyed and he blew it up trying to get at least one sermon out of it). He is sometimes credited as the father of the mechanical computer, but if we accept the mechanical computer, he wasn’t the first to come up with gear-powered calculating device, nor did he come up with any sort of general memory for such a device, which is desired to call something a computer as according to computer science.
More to the point, his machine WOULD have been turing complete, IF he had finished the designs and intended functions. He did not do so before his death.
(Nevertheless, in nanocomputing, his work is arising once again to give rise to extremely small mechanical logic circuits, and we now know much more about circuits, such that we can complete the machine)
|Posted On: 12/15/2009 10:08AM||View Duncecap's Profile | #|
So… who did invent computers then?
Alan Turing and the rest of them at Bletchley Bark were in on the early stuff… but computing was already sort of underway by that point wasn’t it? I have no clue who built ENIAC, which was more or less the same time… maybe a little earlier. Not sure when now I think about it.
Von Neumann gets his name attached to the architecture, but I don’t know that he was involved in actually building the things… and that’s about all the names I can come up with.
|Posted On: 12/15/2009 7:26PM||View man-man's Profile | #|
It’s a tricky question, because many people were involved in many aspects of the computer.
It wasn’t a one-man job, just like Oppenheimer didn’t invent the atomic bomb.
Some people argue that some guy called . .. Zuse, Conrad? Maybe? Was the creator of the first working computer, which is about as close you can get to a single answer as to who invented the computer. (Different from created)
His computer, the Z4, was the first commercial computer, before UNIVAC even, but even before that, the Z3 was the the first fully functional, turing complete, programmable machine. He lost most of his work on it during the bombing of Berlin.
The Z2 and Z1 can also be considered computers, but they required programming outside of internal memory, something which we rejected in Babbages machine.
|Posted On: 12/15/2009 7:35PM||View Duncecap's Profile | #|