Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

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Overview

Passages from the Life of a Philosopher is a series of snapshots from the life of Charles Babbage, dubbed the "father of the computer" for his invention of the Difference Engine, or the first mechanical computer. In this pseudo-biography (which Babbage declares in his Preface that it is not), he details life growing up, experimentation and discovery during his time at Cambridge, and experiences with and recollections of a variety of substances, people, and places. Chapters include "Difference Engine No. 1," ...
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Passages from the life of a philosopher

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Overview

Passages from the Life of a Philosopher is a series of snapshots from the life of Charles Babbage, dubbed the "father of the computer" for his invention of the Difference Engine, or the first mechanical computer. In this pseudo-biography (which Babbage declares in his Preface that it is not), he details life growing up, experimentation and discovery during his time at Cambridge, and experiences with and recollections of a variety of substances, people, and places. Chapters include "Difference Engine No. 1," "Recollections of the Duke of Wellington," "Experience by Fire," "Street Nuisances," "Religion," and "The Author's Contributions to Human Knowledge," among others.
CHARLES BABBAGE (1791-1871) was a British engineer, inventor, mathematician, and philosopher. He is considered the "father of the computer" for pioneering the concept of a programmable computer and his invention of the first mechanical computer, which he called the "difference engine." Babbage made noteworthy contributions to cryptography, engineering, economics, and the modern postal system in England.
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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. My ancestors; 2. Childhood; 3. Boyhood; 4. Cambridge; 5. Difference engine no. 1; 6. Statement relative to the difference engine, drawn up by the late Sir H. Nicolas from the author's papers; 7. Difference engine no. 2; 8. Of the analytical engine; 9. Of the mechanical notation; 10. The exhibition of 1862; 11. The late Prince Consort; 12. Recollections of the Duke of Wellington; 13. Recollections of Wollaston, Davy, and Rogers; 14. Recollections of Laplace, Biot, and Humboldt; 15. Experience by water; 16. Experience by fire; 17. Experience amongst workmen; 18. Picking locks and deciphering; 19. Experience in St. Giles's; 20. Theatrical experience; 21. Electioneering experience; 22. Scene from a new after-piece; 23. Experience at courts; 24. Experience at courts; 25. Railways; 26. Street nuisances; 27. Wit; 28. Hints for travellers; 29. Miracles; 30. Religion; 31. A vision; 32. Various reminiscences; 33. The author's contributions to human knowledge; 34. The author's further contributions to human knowledge; 35. Results of science; 36. Agreeable recollections; Appendix; List of Mr. Babbage's printed papers.

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