Computing devices

2400 BCE—1820 CE

Computing devices

The book of science

Tom Sharp


Jabir ibn Aflah, Al-Biruni, Ismail al-Jazari, Jamshīd al-Kāshī, Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm al-Zarqālī, Apollonius of Perga, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Liang Lingzan, Samuel Morland, John Napier, Willgodt Theophil Odhner, William Oughtred, Blaise Pascal, Giovanni Poleni, Yi Xing mechanics

Computing devices

Suanpan

Antikythera mechanism

Napier’s bones

Slide rule

Some tasks


Leibniz said, “it is beneath the dignity of excellent men to waste their time in calculation when any peasant could do the work just as accurately with the aid of a machine,” but, of course, as well as being a genius, he was a royal prig. It is beneath the dignity of any person to be forced to perform any kind of work that a machine may perform just as well or better. Fortunately, ingenious people, whether ranked high or low on the social scale, have worked hard to provide better and better machines for the betterment of humankind.

See also in The book of science:

Readings on wikipedia: