Charles Babbage was an engineer, mathematician and inventor who designed the very first concept of a programmable computer back in 1837.
His Analytical Engine was a huge steam powered colossus which had a mechanical processor, memory, and it could be programmed using punch cards; if he’d actually managed to build it in his lifetime, that is.
However, it wasn’t until a hundred years later that the first recognised computer was actually produced. Although Babbage did manage to build bits of his creation in the nineteenth century.
But now a new project, entitled Plan 28, aims to build Babbage’s Analytical Engine today, even though it’s something like 13,000 times slower than a ZX81, and has 1.7Kb of memory.
John Graham-Cumming, programmer and author of the Geek Atlas, is behind the campaign, and is asking for donations to support the project.
He needs 50,000 people to pledge a tenner each, and currently some 3,000 folks have signed up. If you want to donate or look at the project in more detail, steam on over to the site here.