antikythera mechanism 87bc, difference engine 18th century ad.
1900 years to out engineer ancient greece, thanks religion i'd have a lightsaber now if it wasn't for you.
on a more serious thought, it makes me wonder how much else we had achieved and then forgot about...
Said to be one of the first analog computers ever. The antikythera mechanism is supposed to have been made about 2000 years ago.
The Antikythera mechanism, is an ancient mechanical calculator (also described as the first known mechanical computer) designed to calculate astronomical positions.
It's really cool how ancient technology is so wonderful and relevant to today's technology.
My theory is that it is comparable to technology a thousand years later is that it IS from a thousand years later. Some Victorian mad scientist discovered the secret to time travel and to 87 BC. He brought an example of technology from his time as a goodwill gift. Its instructions are in Greek because the people of antiquity would have a lot of trouble reading English. Really cool.
Mechanical computer for navigation, from 100 B.C. (Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until a thousand years later, so this defines vintage computing)
From the page: "Professor Michael Edmunds of Cardiff University who led the most recent study of the mechanism said: "This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this has done it extremely carefully...in terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa."
I want to know who made this thing! !!
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens has it on display in the Bronze Collection. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood.
Ancient Greek automaton, designed to calculate motion of the celestial bodies with amazing precision. Dated 100 BC, it is the oldest of it's kind.
this thing is cool. so strange that tech like this wasn't really around until over a thousand years later. I want to know who made this thing!
Very interesting article about a genuine historical enigma.
While the device is very impressive, it is not a 'computer' or 'calculator' in the same sense of those words today. It is closer to a very complicated clockwork watch.
That said, there are very interesting adding machines if that interests you, a modern example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcDshWmhF4A
Thus we keep reinventing the wheel?
From the page: "The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient artifact believed to be an early clockwork mechanism. It was discovered in a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, and has been dated to about 87 BC.
The wreck was discovered in 1900 at a depth of about 43 m (140 ft), and many statues and other works were retrieved from it by sponge divers. On May 17, 1902, archaeologist Spyridon Stais noticed that one of the pieces of rock had a gear wheel embedded in it."