Pascaline



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A Pascaline, signed by Pascal in 1652


Blaise Pascal invented the second mechanical calculator, called alternatively the Pascalina or the Arithmetique, in 1645, the first being that of Wilhelm Schickard in 1623.

Pascal began work on his calculator in 1642, when he was only 19 years old. He had been assisting his father, who worked as a tax commissioner, and sought to produce a device which could reduce some of his workload. Pascal received a Royal Privilege in 1649 that granted him exclusive rights to make and sell calculating machines in France. By 1652 Pascal claimed to have produced some fifty prototypes and sold just over a dozen machines, but the cost and complexity of the Pascaline—combined with the fact that it could only add and subtract, and the latter with difficulty—was a barrier to further sales, and production ceased in that year. By that time Pascal had moved on to other pursuits, initially the study of atmospheric pressure, and later philosophy.

Pascalines came in both decimal and non-decimal varieties, both of which exist in museums today. The contemporary French currency system was similar to the Imperial pounds ("livres"), shillings ("sols") and pence ("deniers") in use in Britain until the 1970s.

In 1799 France changed to a metric system, by which time Pascal's basic design had inspired other craftsmen, although with a similar lack of commercial success. Child prodigy Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz devised a competing design, the Stepped Reckoner, in 1672 which could perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; Leibniz struggled for forty years to perfect his design and produce sufficiently reliable machines. Calculating machines did not become commercially viable until the early 19th century, when Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar's Arithmometer, itself using the key break through of Leibniz's design, was commercially successful [1].

The initial prototype of the Pascaline had only a few dials, whilst later production variants had eight dials, the latter being able to deal with numbers up to 9,999,999.

The calculator had spoked metal wheel dials, with the digit 0 through 9 displayed around the circumference of each wheel. To input a digit, the user placed a stylus in the corresponding space between the spokes, and turned the dial until a metal stop at the bottom was reached, similar to the way a rotary telephone dial is used. This would display the number in the boxes at the top of the calculator. Then, one would simply redial the second number to be added, causing the sum of both numbers to appear in boxes at the top. Since the gears of the calculator only rotated in one direction, negative numbers could not be directly summed. To subtract one number from another, the method of nines' complements was used. To help the user, when a number was entered its nines' complement appeared in a box above the box containing the original value entered.



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Blaise Pascal (pronounced [blɛːz paskal]), (June 19 1623 – August 19 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father.
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Computing hardware has been an important component of the process of calculation and computer data storage since it became useful for numerical values to be processed and shared.
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Wilhelm Schickard (April 22 1592 – October 23 1635) was a German polymath who built one of the first automatic calculators in 1623.

Schickard was born in Herrenberg and educated at the University of Tübingen, receiving his first degree, B.A. in 1609 and M.A. in 1611.
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Atmospheric pressure is the pressure at any point in the Earth's atmosphere. In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point.
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Philosophy is the discipline concerned with questions of how one should live (ethics); what sorts of things exist and what are their essential natures (metaphysics); what counts as genuine knowledge (epistemology); and what are the correct principles of reasoning (logic).
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decimal (base ten or occasionally denary) numeral system has ten as its base. It is the most widely used numeral system, perhaps because humans have four fingers and a thumb on each hand, giving a total of ten digits over both hands.
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Motto
"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
Anthem
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Born July 1 (June 21 Old Style) 1646
Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony
Died November 14 1716
Hannover, Hanover
Nationality German
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Staffelwalze / Step Reckoner (aka the Stepped Reckoner), a device that, as well as performing additions and subtractions, could multiply, divide, and evaluate square roots by a series of stepped additions.
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The 19th Century (also written XIX century) lasted from 1801 through 1900 in the Gregorian calendar. It is often referred to as the "1800s.
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Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar (1785-1870) designed and patented the Arithmometer, in 1820. It was the first successful mechanical calculator that could add, subtract, and multiply. It could also divide with some user intervention.
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Computing hardware has been an important component of the process of calculation and computer data storage since it became useful for numerical values to be processed and shared.
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rotary dial is a device mounted on or in a telephone or switchboard that is designed to send interrupted electrical pulses, known as pulse dialing, corresponding to the number dialed. The early form of the rotary dial used lugs on a finger plate instead of holes.
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