Product Idea

History of Computers

This project is a timeline of the history of Computers from Babbage's 'Difference Engine' to the latest 'ipad'. The timeline is split into three sections:

1. The Pioneers - Charles Babbage's 'Difference Engine' and Alan Turing's Enigma code busting 'Bombe'.

2. Corporate Computer Era - IBM mainframe and a Cray Supercomputer.

3. Personal Computers - IBM desktop, Multimedia flat screen, laptop, Virtual Reality headset and Tablets.

The sections can be displayed individually or lined up to show how computing has changed as technology moved forward. The mechanical, hand cranked 'Difference Engine', the valve driven 'Bombe', magnetic tape storage in the IBM with a teletype, the Cray Supercomputer with a terminal, IBM PC, a multimedia PC and VR headset, portable computing power with the laptop and tablets.

The'Difference Engine' is built using Technics parts and each of the columns of gold 'number wheels' is linked in a gear train; gently turning the large wheel on the right will cause all of the columns to rotate in alternating directions (as close to the complexity of the real machine as I could manage at this scale)

Some printed parts would be needed to complete the model, nameplates on the black strip in front of the exhibits and printed displays.

As well as building instructions I propose that the accompanying booklet contains factual information about each of the computers, this would be a similar format to the booklets in the current Architecture range - sneaking in a little education never hurts.

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