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Early Russian Hydraulic Computer
Makezine ^ | 1-24-2012 | Makezine

Posted on 01/25/2012 7:50:42 AM PST by fishtank

In the heyday of analog computing, Vladimir Lukyanov designed an advanced computer that used water as the storage media. Various tubes, tanks, valves, pumps and sluices churned out solutions for the user based on variables such as changing tax rates or increasing money supply. From the Russian magazine Science and Life:

Built in 1936, this machine was “the world’s first computer for solving [partial] differential equations,” which “for half a century has been the only means of calculations of a wide range of problems in mathematical physics.” Absolutely its most amazing aspect is that solving such complex mathematical equations meant playing around with a series of interconnected, water-filled glass tubes. You “calculated” with plumbing.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: computer

1 posted on 01/25/2012 7:50:45 AM PST by fishtank
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To: fishtank
http://www.nkj.ru/archive/articles/7033/

ВОДЯНЫЕ ВЫЧИСЛИТЕЛЬНЫЕ МАШИНЫ

2 posted on 01/25/2012 7:51:32 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank

http://pruned.blogspot.com/2012/01/gardens-as-crypto-water-computers.html


3 posted on 01/25/2012 7:51:56 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank

http://www.nkj.ru/archive/articles/7033/


4 posted on 01/25/2012 7:52:31 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank

“To operate it, you will have to consult an unpublished edition of Solomon de Caus’s Les raisons des forces mouvantes, avec diverses machines tant utiles que plaisantes, auxquelles sont adjoints plusieurs dessings de grotes & fontaines, from which the following may have been excerpted:

Embedded in the earth is a Rube Goldberg collection of tubes, tanks, valves, pumps and sluices. You could think of it as a hydraulic computer. Water flows through a series of clear pipes, mimicking the way that money flows through the empire. It lets you see (literally) what would happen if you lower the price of bread or increase the construction of palaces or whatever; just open a valve here or pull a lever there and the machine in the garden sloshes away, showing in real time how the water levels rise and fall in various tanks representing colonial trade supplies, food riots, and so on.

Attached to the measuring tube is a series of fountains that gurgles the solution to the equation.

Jean-Baptiste Martin
(Jean-Baptiste Martin, Vue du château de Versailles depuis le Bassin du Dragon et de Neptune, 1700. Source.)

Gardeners and their patrons would then walk around marking the fluctuating levels of these fountains on graphic paper. From fountain to fountain, they follow a set of programmed perambulations, gathering data at relevant nodal points, along the way not just picking up the solutions to the problem being computed but also gaining a greater understanding of the complexities of the natural and social worlds.

With these gardens as crypto-water-computers, they were taking measurements of the universe.”


5 posted on 01/25/2012 7:53:39 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank
You “calculated” with plumbing.

Sounds like someone with the stomach flu

6 posted on 01/25/2012 7:54:11 AM PST by Cowman (How can the IRS seize property without a warrant if the 4th amendment still stands?)
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To: fishtank

Early FReepers used those. Had 300 baud modems.


7 posted on 01/25/2012 7:54:36 AM PST by Larry Lucido (Six months ago I was all "Go away Newt." Now I'm "Eh, he's the best we got, so 'Go Newt.'")
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To: fishtank

(Jean-Baptiste Martin, Vue du château de Versailles depuis le Bassin du Dragon et de Neptune, 1700. Source.)

"Gardeners and their patrons would then walk around marking the fluctuating levels of these fountains on graphic paper. From fountain to fountain, they follow a set of programmed perambulations, gathering data at relevant nodal points, along the way not just picking up the solutions to the problem being computed but also gaining a greater understanding of the complexities of the natural and social worlds.

With these gardens as crypto-water-computers, they were taking measurements of the universe."

8 posted on 01/25/2012 7:54:55 AM PST by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: fishtank

Gives a whole new meaning to “I’m afraid your solution to this problem doesn’t hold water”.


9 posted on 01/25/2012 7:57:11 AM PST by Stosh
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To: fishtank

Could you run the computer on vodka as well?


10 posted on 01/25/2012 7:57:25 AM PST by ThirdMate
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To: fishtank

Interesting stuff.


11 posted on 01/25/2012 7:59:01 AM PST by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

Appaerntly there is a hole in the Feds Computer.


12 posted on 01/25/2012 8:04:25 AM PST by dblshot (Insanity: electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
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To: Stosh

Yeah, or possibly “My computer froze up.”


13 posted on 01/25/2012 8:04:28 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: fishtank

These sort of devices would have helped make wonderful fighter-jet targeting computers. Of course, they wouldn’t work as well when inverted.


14 posted on 01/25/2012 8:04:40 AM PST by Lazamataz (Norm Lenhart knows nothing about reloading.)
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To: SpaceBar
Apparently there is a hole in the Feds Computer.
15 posted on 01/25/2012 8:04:59 AM PST by dblshot (Insanity: electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
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To: fishtank

check out the recreation of the Digicomp II mechanical computer there too


16 posted on 01/25/2012 8:05:22 AM PST by bigbob
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To: fishtank

Pretty danged interesting!

“fishtank”, eh? Hmmmm.


17 posted on 01/25/2012 8:08:37 AM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (The only economic certainty: When it all blows up, Krugman will say we didn't spend enough.)
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To: fishtank

Steampunk.


18 posted on 01/25/2012 8:09:05 AM PST by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: Larry Lucido
Only during the summer. The system locked up from December to March.

By the way, Google "fluidics" for further information. I recall reading Popular Science, back in the '60's, when this technology was right up there with flying cars...

It seems to have dropped into the bottomless pit of "Almost..."

19 posted on 01/25/2012 8:12:34 AM PST by jonascord (Ask any Democrat. He's brighter than you.)
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To: fishtank
My guess is they just guessed on problems in the winter when the contraption was frozen as stiff as a carp.
20 posted on 01/25/2012 8:21:16 AM PST by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: fishtank

so, instead of running defrag I suppose you flush it?


21 posted on 01/25/2012 8:30:53 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: jonascord

***Only during the summer. The system locked up from December to March.***

In the winter they would just replace the water with Vodka. Then throw a party when the weather warmed up again! ;-)


22 posted on 01/25/2012 8:39:35 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: All
I like the early mechanical ones better...:^)

This is the 1924 one in Bidston (near Liverpool) that did the tidal charts for the English Admiralty until the 60’s.

I like the walnut, glass and brass look.


23 posted on 01/25/2012 9:18:31 AM PST by az_gila
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To: Buckeye McFrog
"so, instead of running defrag I suppose you flush it? "

Yeah! An for the multiplication function, it releases Guppies into a tank!

24 posted on 01/25/2012 10:38:57 AM PST by FW190 (ISLAM SPREAD! MMMMMUM! Good with a sprinkling of 308 cal, on a claymore cracker!)
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To: FW190
"Yeah! An for the multiplication function, it releases Guppies into a tank!"

And for Subtraction, you add an Angelfish?

25 posted on 01/25/2012 3:25:44 PM PST by jonascord (Ask any Democrat. He's brighter than you.)
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To: az_gila

That is really cool. I’d love to see it in action.


26 posted on 01/27/2012 11:01:23 AM PST by Yardstick
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