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View Diary: The Higgs boson and the purpose of a republic (82 comments)

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  •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

    there were computers before the silicon variety, What do you think an abacus is? Also there is a variety of carbon based computers as well.

    com·pute [kuhm-pyoot] verb (used with object), com·put·ed, com·put·ing.
    1. to determine by calculation; reckon; calculate: to compute the period of Jupiter's revolution.

    computer com·put·er [kuhm-pyoo-ter]
    1. Also called processor. an electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations.
    2. a person who computes; computist.

    "There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare." ~ Sun Tsu

    by coyote66 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 04:15:40 AM PDT

    •  An abacus is great, but is not a computer. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      techno, dewtx

      By reckoning since, oh, the 1950s, a computer is programmable. Period. No exceptions. And an abacus is in no way programmable via instructions of any kind. QED

      Out of date semantics are merely misleading, here.

      •  So humans aren't programmable? (0+ / 0-)

        What do you think school is? It's programming, perhaps not in the way that you program a silicon based computer; yet the process of teaching is a kind of programming. Isn't that one of the oft repeated memes about modern American schools: they're programming our kids to be good little unquestioning serfs?

        Sure, some people giggle when they see or hear the phrase "I'm so happy and gay!" given the more modern use of gay. Yet they still understand the original meaning. Assuming that people will only understand a more modern use of a word leads to confusion, confusion leads to misunderstandings, misunderstandings leads to anger, anger leads to the Dark Side! ;)

        "There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare." ~ Sun Tsu

        by coyote66 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 11:22:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fire control system on Iowa Class Battleships (0+ / 0-)

        3 tube computers made those 16 inch guns one shot one hit at 15 miles range.

        They were ordered in 1939.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 12:53:18 PM PDT

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    •  Jacquard weaving looms (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pat bunny, dewtx, blueoasis, mkor7

      invented in 1801, were the first computers, in a sense. You could 'reprogram' them by installing a different card. The cards were something like the original punch-cards used in early computers. Later they used a series of cards, like paper tape.  Charles Babbage learned from this technology, speaking of standing on shoulders.

      I saw this mentioned on a great PBS program long ago but don't remember which one. Anyway, there's a great Wikipedia page about these looms and their connection to early computers.

      Where in the Constitution does it say: "...on behalf of corporate interests" ???

      by sillia on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 08:04:33 AM PDT

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