Thursday, 14 August 2008
Man's knowledge is a wonderful thing! Man can invent computers so powerful they make mistakes faster than a thousand George Dubyah Bush speeches can ever dream of doing. However wise men also know why they go wrong. Dan at Oddness blog has shown that I was right in fearing there was a problem posting on Blogger. It is refreshing to find such helpful folk on the Blog Cosmos. I post this detritus in the happy knowledge that when I post I can expect it to end up more convoluted than it began.
At the top there is the latest 'IBM Electronic Calculator,' that is helping "...business, industry and the Armed Forces get the answers...fast." I would have thought business and industry were one and the same myself, but maybe not in the eyes of a New York marketing executive in July 1951. A very good month for the world I must humbly tell you as a whispered aside. The lady wearing enough skirt to supply several wardrobes to the youthful slappers filling the high street today does not convince me she actually knows how to work the lumbering machine, however I am sure her men were willing to keep her in chewing gum and stockings.
Computers, or in reality fancy calculating machines were first brought into action during the war. Tony Sale developed the Colossus machine to help break the German codes in 1943. The Yanks of course claimed they developed one first, don't they always, but their machine, also built in 1943 was primarily designed to aid artillery calculations. It was known as ENIAC. These two machines took up huge rooms and several members of staff to do their work, the IBM calculator of a few years later looks small in comparison. The things they can do nowadays!
The calculator I have, and use to do the simplest sums, is slightly larger than credit card size, costs almost nothing and are manufactured by the million for dumb folk like me. Man's knowledge is wonderful indeed. What will they think of next? A 'Biro' that does not leave blue ink stains in your pocket, a CD case that you can open, a remote control that does not disappear when you look for it perhaps. We can only live in hope.