Jul 10, 2022
What is a computer? A miserable pile of electrons!
But... not necessarily. I have yet to find a fully satisfying definition for "computer" that encompasses the full grandeur of calculating machines. This episode we are further complicating that quest by adding fluid based computers to the mix. We will be looking at 3 machines that crunched numbers using nothing but fluids and tubes. There's actually a rich tradition of fluidics to talk about.
https://archive.org/details/electronicbrains0000hall/page/186/mode/2up - Electronic Brains chapter on MONIAC
https://archive.org/details/ACFELANALYTICALSTUDIESOFFREEZINGANDTHAWINGSOILS1953/LUKYANOV%20-%20Hydraulic%20Apparatus%20for%20Engineering%20Computations%20%281955%29/ - Translated paper on the water integrator
https://www.gwern.net/docs/cs/computable/1964-gluskin.pdf - FLODAC!