11/6/2013 7:37:04 AM
Think Your a Great Programmer Think Again.
App Developer Magazine

Think Your a Great Programmer Think Again.

Richard Harris Richard Harris in Mobile Tech Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We all have those moments of levity when we've created something so great, and so useful that it causes one to stand back and enjoy our own work, in a sort of "self-promotion" layer of advertising for all to see.

But what we create today, even with the most advanced smart phones (while still amazing) doesn't quite intrigue me as things that were created long ago using more primitive methods. 

In an effort to inspire you as a developer, I present to you an astonishing example of early programming that demonstrates what was possible before the smartphone, tablet, or even modern electricity.

This Automaton, known as the "Draughtsman-Writer" was built by Henri Maillardet, a Swiss mechanician of the 18th century who worked in London producing clocks and other mechanisms. It is  believed that Maillardet built this extraordinary Automaton around 1800 and has the largest "memory" of any such machine ever constructed—four drawings and three poems (two in French and one in English). And yes, it's programmable

Automata, such as Maillardet's Automaton, demonstrated mankind's efforts to imitate life by mechanical means—and are fascinating examples of the intersection of art and science.


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