people talk about early computers Babbage's Analytical Engine is
bound to come up. Designed back in the 1830's it's definitely older
than any other example of the art. But it also has a lot of strikes
against it. The machine was purely mechanical. It only really did
math. It stored numbers in decimal instead of binary. Worst of all,
it only ever existed as designs on paper. So should we call this
beast a computer? Or is it something else entirely?