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Author Topic: Arduino, 1949  (Read 535 times)
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Topsham, Vermont USA
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Hello Everyone. I was struck by how accurate this early perspective on computing machine is, defining Sensors with Analog-to-digital, mechanical Actuators, and Feedback of the actions of the machine:

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In these [applications] the ultra-rapid digital computing machines will be supplemented by pieces of apparatus which take the readings of gauges, of thermometers, or photo-electric cells, and translate them into the digital input of computing machines. The new assemblages will also contain effectors, by which the numerical output of the central machine will be converted into the rotation of shafts, or the admission of chemicals into a tank, or the heating of a boiler, or some other process of the kind.

Furthermore, the actual performance of these effector organs as well as their desired performance will be read by suitable gauges and taken back into the machine as part of the information on which it works.

The general outline of the processes to be carried out will be determined by what computation engineers call taping, which will state and determine the sequence of the processes to be performed. The possibility of learning may be built in by allowing the taping to be re-established in a new way by the performance of the machine and the external impulses coming into it, rather than having it determined by a closed and rigid setup, to be imposed on the apparatus from the beginning.

... Norbert Wiener, MIT, 1949

So here we are, doing Just That.
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Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

SE USA
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some places were doing that in the 60's as well, on mainframes
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Grand Blanc, MI, USA
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NIce find, Terry! Sometimes it seems that there's not a lot new under the sun.
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Sometimes it seems that there's not a lot new under the sun.

That's just what Solomon said,
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9
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Terry, this stuff actually goes back much further than 1949; quite a bit of it was anticipated by Westinghouse (the company) and their methods of remote control and remote telemetry for industrial and commercial purposes (using tone-activated mechanical relay and tuning fork systems over the early phone system!), and before that, one could even consider that Charles Babbage (via Ada Lovelace) or later, Herman Hollerith (and his tabulation machinery and later via IBM and their accounting systems) considered such thought.

Probably all of that is really stretching the possibility, though - it was many years prior to 1949 that Turing had led humanity out of the "dark ages" of computing into the realization of the machine as a symbol processor, rather than just a strictly numerical calculation device (that was a huge sea change of a conceptual idea). What I do find funny, though, is how long it took (relatively) for the idea of a neural network to gain traction, given Turing's work on the concept...

I often wonder just what ideas have been postulated today that have either not received any great exposure, or have been set aside for one reason or another - only to languish for years or decades until they'll get dusted off sometime in the future, only to find that the idea cures cancer or does something else "miraculous" that could have been done TODAY.
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or have been set aside for one reason or another
Such as a corporate or political vested interest.

______
Rob
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Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

Poole, Dorset, UK
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In the UK we where doing this in in 1942!. Google project ULTRA and the enigma codes.

Mark
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Topsham, Vermont USA
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Interesting stuff!

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quite a bit of it was anticipated by Westinghouse (the company) and their methods of remote control and remote telemetry for industrial and commercial purposes (using tone-activated mechanical relay and tuning fork systems over the early phone system!
Cool! I never heard of that before.  Somewhere around 1956 I tried making a "tuned reed" with a headphone magnet and a small piece of ground-down razor blade. Sorta almost worked.

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I often wonder just what ideas have been postulated today that have either not received any great exposure, or have been set aside for one reason or another - only to languish for years or decades until they'll get dusted off sometime in the future, only to find that the idea cures cancer or does something else "miraculous" that could have been done TODAY.
Sometimes I think that we passed the optimum human collaboration point a few years ago. We went from not knowing what much of the rest of the planet was thinking about to being totally overwhelmed with information today.

Amazing how much is information-handling now:

- My wife has a masters in Information Science and teaches high school kids how to do research that is way past a google search, into many databases and the 'invisible web'.
- One daughter is the editor of a worldwide Medical Review organization specializing in newborn humans and their possible problems.
- Another daughter is a Biochemistry Professor and researcher who depends on automated cell growers, DNA sequencers, and cells with genetic ID tags
- One son designs serial data links at IBM. They run at 10Ghz. Hundreds of them individually tune their receivers and transmitters in microseconds.
- One son designs data acquisition and logging systems that know which way the wind is blowing and how hard at thousands of points on the globe.
- One son decides how Information Technology will be used in some arcane Wall Street Thing.

This all made me realize how far this has come since I went to work at age 16 at a radio station transmitting one channel of audio to thousands of people using 100% vacuum tubes.

The Arduino has more capability but much the same hardware functions as the IBM 1800  (See WP) which was the first computer I actually wrote code for that could measure a few voltages and turn I/O bits and relays on and off. That was 1974 I think. It was two-refrigerators huge:   And had one A-D. But you could add a relay multiplexor. 

Best thing for me is that now I can develop code and build working hardware in the loft I am sitting in located in a log cabin In The Woods. 

And talk with people like you. Wherever you are.


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Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

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He didn't mention that the results could be on a webpage which can show up on a tablet  smiley-lol.

1949 was 64 years ago.
Let's write down how things will be 64 years from now in the future  smiley-eek.
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Topsham, Vermont USA
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In the UK we where doing this in in 1942!. Google project ULTRA and the enigma codes.
That was certainly the driving concept behind all this: code/data driven actions.  Did any of the Bletchley Park hardware connect to "real-world", "real time" devices?

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Let's write down how things will be 64 years from now in the future  smiley-eek .
Wow. Way, Way into the mists of the future for me.  The only things I am somewhat sure of are:

  • Humans and human nature will be much like they are now and were in 100BC
  • Human Curiosity will drive them to learn and communicate, and therefore design and build new things
  • Humans will do many stupid things and if we are lucky the results won't kill them all off

Sigh. 

As a human, I do that a lot.
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Regards, Terry King terry@yourduino.com  - Check great prices, devices and Arduino-related boards at http://YourDuino.com
HOW-TO: http://ArduinoInfo.Info

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