By Stan Augarten
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Extra info for Bit by Bit: An Illustrated History of Computers
Multiplication table shown above was laid out on each of the calculator's six cylinders. of Schickard's family, no one was left to me- morialize his achievements. Aside from an occasional reference in obscure sources, the Calculating Clock was forgotten. But, against some were preserved in the Stuttgart Landesbibliothek and the two letters quoted above wound up in collections of the astronomer's works. The first letter was included in a collection of Kepler's papers that came to rest in the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory outside Leningrad, while the second was published in a volume of Kepler's works entitled Litall odds, of Schickard's papers Working from Schickard's letters and drawings, Dr.
German Research Union and In the early 1930s, the varian Academy of Sciences tion of Kepler's works. Max the Ba- decided to publish a complete ediCaspar, Kepler's noted biographer, and Franz Hammer, another Kepler expert, were the co-editors of the series. One day in 1935 Hammer was sifting through copies of the astronomer's papers at the Pulkovo Observatory when he came across a curious slip of paper about the size of a postcard. The paper contained a rough drawing of a gadget of some sort. In the letter to Kepler published in Litterae ad KeppJerum, Schick- ard describes his invention in detail and refers to an enclosed had been lost.
The job wasn't done, and Leibniz's pride and joy wound up in the attic of the University of Gottingen, where a leaky roof led to its rediscovery in 1879. Fourteen years machine to the later, the university gave the Arthur Burkhardt Company, the country's leading calculator manufacturer, for repair and analysis. Burkhardt re- ported that, while the gadget worked in general, when tens the multiplier was it a two- or three-digit failed to carry number. The mechanism had been improperly designed. It's unknown whether Leibniz, who worked on the Reckoner off and on for twenty years, built more than one calculator one that was flawed and one (or more) that worked.
Bit by Bit: An Illustrated History of Computers by Stan Augarten