Thursday, December 09, 2010

Babbage books as stocking stuffers

If you're following along with Plan 28 (the project to build Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine) then you might like to do some background reading. Here are four suggestions for stocking stuffers for the coming holiday:

1. Doron Swade's The Difference Engine (also published with the title The Cogwheel Brain).

This is Doron's account of the Difference Engine No. 2 as envisaged by Babbage and as built by the Science Museum in London.

2. William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's The Difference Engine.

A fancy based that imagines what would have happened if the Analytical Engine had been built in Babbage's time.

3. Cultural Babbage

A set of essays inspired by the Difference Engine No. 2 that discuss the cultural significance of Babbage and his life.

4. Charles Babbage's Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

Babbage's autobiography.

More background reading here.

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