|Allow me (again), please?|
Message #30 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 17 May 2010, 12:02 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Palmer O. Hanson, Jr.
Back in the 80īs, when I started dealing with computers, it took me a willing to know about the history of these tricky machines. I was just an electrical engineer student, and at that time, under military government (final years), Brazilian educational system was 'shacked' by new paradigms and engineers were not exactly encouraged to go beyond their own Cartesian thoughts. I failed to do so and went ahead studying whatever I could.
I clearly remember searching for computers' design timeline and reading about Blaise Pascal and his contributions in the field. Something in particular called my attention and I quote Wikipedia by helping me with the historical fact:
In 1642, in an effort to ease his father's endless, exhausting calculations, and recalculations, of taxes owed and paid, Pascal, not yet nineteen, constructed a mechanical calculator capable of addition and subtraction, called Pascal's calculator or the Pascaline.
In an effort of helping his father with taxes figures and calculations, Pascal constructed a mechanical addition/subtraction calculator. If I remember it well, I red that the Pascaline was the first desktop calculator ever, and it was designed and built for... financial calculations!
Cannot say anything about Pascaline precedence because it provided only addition and subtraction, but if the above mentioned facts are correct, businessmen may actually care less for precedence for their first calculator did not provide it.
What do we know...
Luiz (Brazil... and still without answers)
Edited: 17 May 2010, 10:57 a.m.