Electromechanical Pong

From: Tom Jennings <tomj_at_wps.com>
Date: Fri Sep 24 15:15:39 2004

On Fri, 2004-09-24 at 12:06, Vintage Computer Festival wrote:

> > http://www.fi.edu/pieces/knox/automaton
> Now THAT is amazingly cool.

Those things really are extraordinary. Even more amazing must be the
method of describing, in cams and levers, the motions necessary to carry
it out. It's "programmable".

I *never* hear any interest, discussion, or documentation of how the
process of 'programming' these machines (as well as music players and
related automata) was done. There's a transformation and abstraction of
thought, through arbitrary hardware constraints, into a desired end.
It's an algorithm, and (pun intended) if it walks like a duck, it's
probably a duck -- it's programming.

Same (and more) goes to jacquard loom programming. Clearly that's known,
because there are still such things in use, though I imagine techniques
have improved, but I bet textile historians would know where to look for
Received on Fri Sep 24 2004 - 15:15:39 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:37:31 BST