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Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Charles Babbage is most often described as the father of the computer, inventing machines for calculating complex formulae which remain masterpieces of invention and technological genius. This autobiography presents a picture of Victorian England from one of her more brilliant sons.
Paperback, 375 pages
Published April 6th 1994 by Routledge (first published March 1st 1994)
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Gabriel
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The rambling autobiography of a fascinating man. Three parts hilarious anecdotes, two parts ranting, one part science, one part crusade against street music, and one bizarre chapter in which Babbage communes with a piece of cheese. Gloucester cheese, to be exact.
Alisha
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Charles Babbage seems like a pretty exciting guy. 19th century scientist, mathematician, inventor, and bitter enemy of street musicians.
I was drawn to this autobiography after reading the "comic book" (it's so much more than a comic book) "The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage." It's very satisfying to make the connections between Babbage's own account of himself and the beautifully imagined drawings of Sydney Padua, the comic illustrator.

Charles Babbage (and his friend Ada Lovelace)
...more
Douglas Summers-Stay
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, non-fiction
This is an autobiography of Charles Babbage, who invented the mechanical computer in the early 1800s. He writes amusing anecdotes from his life, He shared a lot of fascinations with modern geeks, like cryptography, lockpicking, railroads, long distance communication, mechanical toys, and so forth. He held the Lucasian chair and was acquainted with Lord Wellington. He found street musicians terribly annoying.
George Pollard
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Delightful chapters interspersed with some gnatterings about local body politics.
Richard Lin
Jul 10, 2008 is currently reading it
currently reading....on the 1st page :(
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Charles Babbage KH FRS (/ˈbæbɪdʒ/; 26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English polymath. A mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer, Babbage originated the concept of a digital programmable computer.
Considered by some to be a "father of the computer", Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex electronic designs,
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“Whenever a man can get hold of numbers, they are invaluable: if correct, they assist in informing his own mind, but they are still more useful in deluding the minds of others. Numbers are the masters of the weak, but the slaves of the strong.” 9 likes
“One of the most singular characteristics of the art of deciphering is the strong conviction possessed by every person, even moderately acquainted with it, that he is able to construct a cipher which nobody else can decipher. I have also observed that the cleverer the person, the more intimate is his conviction.” 1 likes
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