It was awesome seeing this machine in action (see videos below). We saw it crank out the results of a polynomial equation. This particular machine was the second one built by the London Science Museum 153 years after it was designed! Apparently there was some debate as to whether it could have been built using the methods and materials available in the 1800s and if it was built whether it would work. They stayed true to what was possible in that age and proved that it was possible and, in fact, works as Charles Babbage originally intended.

Nathan Myhrvold funded the completion of the first on the condition that they build a second one for him to keep. After spending a year at the Computer History Museum in Mountainview, CA it will be moved to Nathan’s living room. Now that’s cool.

the engine in action (rear-view)…

close-up…

Another video shows more parts of the engine at work.

What do you think?