"Some of my critics have amused their readers with the wildness of the schemes
I have occasionally thrown out; and I myself have sometimes smiled along
with them. Perhaps it were wiser for present reputation to offer nothing but
profoundly meditated plans, but I do not think knowledge will be most advanced by
that course; such sparks may kindle the energies of other minds more favorably circumstanced
for pursuing the enquiries."
Charles Babbage, 1832, in "On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures"
Charles Babbage was born December 26, 1791 and famously invented and designed the "Difference
Engine", a vast mechanical computation device which, if completed, would have undoubtedly
led to the earlier evolution of general-purpose computers. However, the 3 ton, 8ft x 7ft x 3ft
device required some 25,000 precision-machined parts to complete, and ultimately neither the money,
machining capability nor time were available, so unfortunately the part-completed machine was
melted down and sold for scrap before ever being completed.
This section of vbAccelerator follows Babbage's lead and provides
code which is currently being worked on but not yet finished, was started with high
hopes but now will probably never get finished and stuff that's just old and finished with.
Download at your own risk; it may be fun, it might even work....
Incidentally, in 1991 the Science Museum in London
constructed a complete working version of the device from Babbage's original drawings.
They found only two major errors which were easy to rectify. It is now on permanent
display there, and looks somewhat better than a modded PC with a blue neon light...