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View Diary: Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Oldest possibly habitable planet) (18 comments)

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  •  The story of the oldest computer is still baffling (8+ / 0-)

    Arthur C Clarke - who endorsed this book before he died - was an early victim of the Antikythera bug. Clarke bemoaned the fact that its secrets had been lost. If only they hadn't, he said, the Industrial Revolution might have started more than 1000 years ago. By now, he said, "We would not merely be pottering around on the Moon. We would have reached the nearer stars."
    Archimedes and the 2000-year-old computer
    One of Archimedes's creations was saved, though. The general took back to Rome a mechanical bronze sphere that showed the motions of the sun, moon and planets as seen from Earth.
    Antikythera mechanism
    The Antikythera mechanism (ˌæntɨkɨˈθɪərə ant-i-ki-theer-ə or ˌæntɨˈkɪθərə ant-i-kith-ə-rə) is an ancient analog computer[1][2][3][4] designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. It was recovered in 1900–01 from the Antikythera wreck, a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera.[5] The computer's construction has been attributed to the Greeks and dated to the early 1st century BC. Technological artifacts approaching its complexity and workmanship did not appear again until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks began to be built in Western Europe.[6]

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    by Shockwave on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:25:57 PM PDT

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