Monday, March 31, 2008

Jaquet-Droz Writing Automaton: First Computer?

Here is nice video of the internal mechanism of Pierre Jaquet-Droz's writing automaton.

The text to be written by the automaton could be programmed. By some people's definition, The Writer is an early -- perhaps the first -- version of the computer, having an input method, programmable instructions, and an output display.

Computer or no, this is a work of unparalleled craftsmanship. That it still works today, hundreds of years later is a testament to its excellent design and construction.

This and two other Jacquet-Droz automata are on display at the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland.

This video is from TIL Productions, by Director Philippe Sayous of

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