Most people are familiar with punched cards and their use as a means of inputing data and instructions to the modern digital computer. What is perhaps less well known is that the idea is by no means a modern one. In 1812 Charles Babbage, an English mathematician, began working on a machine designed to calculate and print mathematical tables, using punch cards to input data. In fact, Babbage had to abandon his work after ten years of experimentation and instead turned his attention to an even more ambitious device, his ‘analytical engine’. This device was also a failure simply because the engineering knowledge required to build so complex a machine was lacking and did not come along until the twentieth century.
KeywordsHigh Level Language Machine Code System Analyst Punch Card English Mathematician
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Bond, Derek, Dataweek, 29 Jan., 1975.Google Scholar