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2020-02-12 11:29:25
Babbage, Charles
On a method of expressing by signs the action of machinery. Offprint
London: W. Nicol, 1826. Babbage, Charles (1791-1871). On a method of expressing by signs the action of machinery. Offprint from Philosophical Transactions 116, pt. 3 (1826). [2], 16pp. 4 plates. 298 x 229 mm. Original plain blue wrappers, spine split, a few chips; preserved in a quarter morocco drop-back box. Edges a bit frayed, minor spotting and staining, one folding plate backed with linen, but very good. Stamp of the Detroit Public Library, dated 1892, on title and plate; small date-stamp on title verso. First Edition, Offprint Issue, published prior to the journal version, of Babbage's first publication of his system of mechanical notation that enabled him to describe the logic and operation of his Difference and Analytical Engines on paper as they would be fabricated in metal. Babbage's system was an entirely new formal engineering tool, akin to a programming language-"a language of signs meant to represent not just the physical form of a machine but its more elusive properties: its timing and its logic" (Gleick, The Information, p. 102). Babbage later stated that "Without the aid of this language I could not have invented the Analytical Engine; nor do I believe that any machinery of equal complexity can ever be contrived without the assistance of that or of some other equivalent language. The Difference Engine No. 2 . . . is entirely described by its aid" (Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher [1864], p. 104). Babbage considered his mechanical notation system to be one of his finest inventions and thought it should be widely implemented. It was a sou … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Jeremy Norman & Co., Inc. [United States]

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