Sunday, October 17, 2010

Plan 28: the first 10 days

So, it's been 10 days since I posted the Analytical Engine PledgeBank and the total number of signatories stands at over 2,700 with many people pledging £50, €100 or even $1,000. The PledgeBank estimator reckons I'll hit 42,435 pledges (84.9% of target) by the target date. Given how much more than $10/£10/€10 many people are pledging I'd imagine that my goal isn't unrealistic, but please keep spreading the news.

As well as pledges of money I've received pledges of professional design and manufacturing help, document digitizing, CAD software and more. These are super-helpful.

In addition there's been a lot of media interest. The best articles are the BBC's Campaign builds to construct Babbage Analytical Engine and The Independent's One of the great inventions that never was – until now?. If podcasts are your sort of thing then you can listen to the excellent session about Plan 28 on TWiT #269.

There's also been some nice tweet-support from BBC broadcaster Maggie Philbin and author William Gibson.

And behind the scenes I've received hundreds of emails of support or with questions. To help field some of the questions I did a reddit AMA and posted a FAQ.

Also behind the scenes there's a proper design well underway for the Plan 28 web site which will transform it from my awful design skills to something respectable.

And, finally, I'll be meeting with the folks at the Science Museum early in November to talk more about Plan 28.

Above all: thanks to everyone who's written about Plan 28 in the media, on Twitter or on a blog, thanks for all the pledges of money or services, and all your kinds emails.

PS Forgot to add that descendants of Charles Babbage have been in contact to express their support for the project.

3 comments:

henrycasson said...

I think this is a fairly obvious thought. The majority of the intellectual satisfaction would be achieved by a solid model. Making the machine in this age of rapid prototyping in metal is a smaller step. Once the drawings are available, this cries out for a massive parallel approach like SETI.
People using software such as Solidworks could fill an idle moment by modeling a part and sending to a central repository in an agreed format. Assemblies or sub-assemblies could then be made and tested.

henrycasson said...

I think this is a fairly obvious thought. The majority of the intellectual satisfaction would be achieved by a solid model. Making the machine in this age of rapid prototyping in metal is a smaller step. Once the drawings are available, this cries out for a massive parallel approach like SETI.
People using software such as Solidworks could fill an idle moment by modeling a part and sending to a central repository in an agreed format. Assemblies or sub-assemblies could then be made and tested.

Rob:-] said...

Have you considered building a virtual version of the engine? This could then be easily shared with the whole world.

In fact if a program were designed that contained all the basic parts plus a way to mesh them together then we could all experiment with the concepts and you could try things out before committing to physical parts.

Just a thought.

Peace,

Rob:-]