Cogwheel Brain by Doron Swade
Look inside with Google Book Preview
Cogwheel Brain
By Doron Swade

The Cogwheel Brain

By (author) See other recent books by Doron Swade
Format: Paperback

Normal Price: $32.99
Your Price: $29.69 AUD, inc. GST
Shipping: $7.95 per order
You Save: $3.30! (10% off normal price)
Plus...earn $1.48 in Boomerang Bucks
Availability: Available Available to Backorder, No Due Date for Supply

Cogwheel Brain by Doron Swade

Book Description

In 1821, 30-year-old inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage was poring over a set of printed mathematical tables with his friend, the astronomer John Herschel. Finding error after error in the manually evaluated results, Babbage made an exclamation, the consequences of which would not only dominate the remaining 50 years of his life, but also lay the foundations for the modern computer industry: 'I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam!' A few days later, he set down a plan to build a machine that would carry out complex mathematical calculations without human intervention and, at least in theory, without human errors. The only technology to which he had access for solving the problem was the cogwheel escapement found inside clocks. Babbage saw that a machine constructed out of hundreds of escapements, cunningly and precisely linked, might be able to handle calculations mechanically. The story of his lifelong bid to construct such a machine is a triumph of human ingenuity, will and imagination.

Buy Cogwheel Brain book by Doron Swade from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780349112398
ISBN-10: 0349112398
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 127mm x 23mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 2-Aug-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


UK Kirkus Review » Most of us have a love/hate relationship with computers. If you have one the learning curve seems endless: as the computer experts tend to say 'if your system works well, then it's obsolete'. We hang on the telephone interminably while a computer-generated voice fails to itemize the option we want, we watch our screens darken as something crashes and precious information is consigned to oblivion, and we wait, and wait, for the paperless office forecast so long ago to arrive. On the other hand, the computer brings great advantages. It is now ubiquitous and many people take it for granted. How did this computer age come about? This fascinating book takes us back to the beginning. Going back to 1821, it sets out the quest of the mathematician Charles Babbage to create an infallible 'calculating engine'. His approach was pragmatic. The world around him - from ships navigating by the stars to financiers in the City - suffered from the laborious process of calculating using voluminous tables. He aimed to make all this easier. Perhaps Dava Sobel's wonderful Longitude started a trend, but it also exposed an appetite for scientific history. This book weaves a spellbinding tale: of Babbage's life, of his work and of the times in which he lived. It will appeal to both those interested in history and those interested in science. The author, Assistant Director and Head of Collections at London's Science Museum, ends the book by linking to a modern tale. He describes the museum's project to create a full-sized Babbage Engine to coincide with the 200th anniversary of his birth. This completes a compelling, and well-told story and links back to the present day. And how would reviews like this have been produced if Babbage had not existed? (Kirkus UK)

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Cogwheel Brain book by Doron Swade and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write a book review

Author Biography - Doron Swade

Doron Swade is senior curator at the Science Museum in London, and the instigator of the construction of one of Babbage's Difference Engines, completed in 1991.

Boomerang Bucks close

For every $20 you spend on books, you will receive $1 in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars. You can use your Boomerang Bucks as a credit towards a future purchase from Boomerang Books. Note that you must be a Member (free to sign up) and that conditions do apply.

Recent books by Doron Swade close
» close