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The greatest (math) machine that never was

By Murray Bourne, 27 Jul 2012

Programmer John Graham-Cumming gives us a brief history of what was arguably the very first computer, designed by Charles Babbage in the 1830s. He never built it and nobody has since.

It was a computer (not just a mechanical calculator) because it was programmable.

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  1. Use simple calculator-like input in the following format (surround your math in backticks, or qq on tablet or phone):
    `a^2 = sqrt(b^2 + c^2)`
    (See more on ASCIIMath syntax); or
  2. Use simple LaTeX in the following format. Surround your math with \( and \).
    \( \int g dx = \sqrt{\frac{a}{b}} \)
    (This is standard simple LaTeX.)

NOTE: You can mix both types of math entry in your comment.


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