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Babbage Steam Computer To Be Built

A campaign to construct a steam powered computer envisioned by mathematician Charles Babbage is under way.

According to the BBC, more than 1,600 people have promised to offer money and support to build Babbage's steam powered Analytical Engine.

The campaign was thought-off by John Graham-Cumming, who wrote the Geek Atlas, and plans to get around 50,000 on board, in his plans of making this massive machine.

The Analytical Engine was designed on paper by Babbage, who had said that the machine would be built from iron and brass, and would be powered by steam. According to his papers, the machine could be as large as a steam locomotive.

Graham-Cumming said that there was sufficient evidence that Babbage's Analytical Engine was the first real computer. His designs suggests that the machine had "expandable memory, a CPU, microcode, a printer, a plotter and was programmable with punch cards".

He told the BBC: “It's an inspirational piece of equipment. A hundred years ago, before computers were available, [Babbage] had envisaged this machine.”