Things you probably didn't know about the methodical, maniacal and brilliant Charles Babbage, the father of modern computing (III)

We continue with the curiosities of Charles Babbage To talk about a particularly influential character in his life, Ada Byron, the first programmer in history.

  • And it is that Lord Byron's daughter had already worked with Charles Babbage and his Analytical Machine, writing the first computer algorithms (sets of defined and finite instructions to carry out an activity). But the technical knowledge of the time did not allow to carry out the theoretical approaches of these two advanced minds to their time.
  • On the centenary of Babbage's death, however, the London Science Museum built it following the plans of the Victorian scientist. The machine managed to give exact results with 33 digits in a matter of seconds. It is undoubtedly exciting to verify that someone's design could have revolutionized the world of being able to capture in his time. The reconstruction of Differential Machine No.2 has been operational since 1991.
  • As proof of how Babbage's mind worked, and the reason that pushed him to believe that a machine could encode the world, he considered that reality was composed of constants, and he collected them everywhere. Compiled a Table of Mammals Class Constants: To do this, he dedicated himself to measuring the frequency of breathing and the beats of pigs and cows.
He invented a statistical methodology with life expectancy tables for the otherwise sinister world of life insurance. He drew up a table of the weight in Troy grains per square meter of different fabrics: batista, calico, nanquin, muslin, silk gauze, and "caterpillar veils." Another table showed the relative frequency of all combinations of double letters in English, French, Italian, German, and Latin. He investigated, computed and published a Table of the Relative Frequency of the Causes of the Windows of Flat Glass being broken, listing four hundred sixty-four reasons, of which neither more nor less than in fourteen intervened "drunkards, women or children".
  • So, Babbage was able to conceive a computer at a time like his because his brain, in part, it worked like a computer.
  • In his house at number 1 on Dorset Street he celebrated a fixed evening every Saturday that attracted the brightest people of the time, such as Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday or Charles Lyell. Also attended Charles Dickens, who put some Babbage in the character of Daniel Doyce in Little Dorrit. His talks were a mixture of high mathematics and jokes, just as Lyell noted.
  • He published a treaty in which he applied probability theory to the theological question of miracles.

In the next and last delivery from this series of articles, more curiosities about Babbage's life.