Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Would you put a Difference Engine in your Living Room?
By now I'm sure you've all seen the articles on the arrival of the Difference Engine at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. What caught my eye, however, was this one bit:
The engine, built over a 3½-year period by engineers at London's Science Museum, will open May 10, and stay in the museum in Mountain View for one year -- after which it will take up residence in Myhrvold's living room.
Really? In his living room? I know Microsoft multimillionaires probably have very large living rooms, but I'm wondering exactly how you go about integrating a large, fragile computing machine into one. Make it a focal point instead of the fireplace? Use it as a room divider? Put cushions around it and make it a very large bench? I'm just a bit stymied. Perhaps when it moves to it's permanent home we'll be graced with a picture of it there as well.
However, if you'd like a bit of difference engine for your home, I recommend searching the Science and Society Picture Library for "Babbage" and they'd be happy to ship you a print or canvas of historical or modern aspects of Babbage's engine.