It may seem an anachronism in the era of the ever-shrinking digital gadget, but Charles Babbage's locomotive-size "Analytical Engine" remains one of the greatest inventions that never was.
Babbage's brainchild, first conceived in 1837, never wound into life. But now John Graham-Cumming, an influential programmer and science blogger, is leading a quest to build the Analytical Engine in all its 19th-century glory. He plans to use detailed blueprints which Babbage laid down in a series of notebooks held in the archives of London's Science Museum.
But the real surprise was that they decided to talk about the Engine in a Leader titled Start the engine:
John Graham-Cumming led the successful campaign last year to secure a pardon for Alan Turing. Now the science blogger intends to deliver a posthumous honour for another of the fathers of computing: Charles Babbage. Mr Graham-Cumming's latest project is to build Babbage's "Analytical Engine" – essentially a great steam-powered computer – based on the 19th-century inventor's designs held by the Science Museum.
PS Amusingly, The Daily Mail has picked up the story here without speaking to me at all.