Slashdot reader RockDoctor writes: The project to actually construct Babbage's Analytical Engine, the first design for a general purpose computing machine, continues with the documentation phase of the programme. Since Babbage continued to refine his design almost until the day of his death, working out what he actually wanted to build is quite a task. The last year's work is reported to includes work on a batch of previously unknown and uncatalogued materials discovered since the project's inception in 2011. These decades, people don't think much of producing a new programming language to suit particular tasks — to "scratch an itch" in the vernacular. As with so many things, Babbage was a pioneer, according to the Plan 28 blog: : There have already been significant finds. The Notations for Difference Engine 1, dating from 1834, thought to exist, had never come to light. These have now been found and represent a crucial piece in the puzzle of the developmental trajectory of the symbolic language Babbage developed as a design aid, to describe and specify his engine, and used extensively in the development of the Analytical Engine. RockDoctor adds, "Anyone who has been tasked with taking over a project from someone else (retired, sacked, beheaded, whatever) will recognise this feeling..." The survey so far has identified mis-titled drawings, single drawings that have two unrelated catalogue entries, and drawings known to exist from earlier scholarly work but not located. "The hope of the project is to have a working machine in time for Babbages sesquicentenary in 2021."

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