Join Charles Petzold for a fascinating glimpse into the early history of computers, a glimpse he calls “Computer of the Tides: Lord Kelvin’s Machine to Disprove Evolution.” Charles is speaking at the wonderful Ada’s Technical Books in Seattle on Tuesday, October 30, at 6:30pm . Here’s an overview of the talk from Charles: “In the late 1860s and early 1870s, British scientist William Thomson—later known as Lord Kelvin—developed a technique based on Fourier analysis to mathematically predict the pattern of tides for particular seaports. Never just a theoretical physicist, Thomson then designed a machine to carry out these calculations.  One of these tide-predicting machines is on view in the Science Museum in London. Today we categorize this machine as a special-purpose analog computer. ...read more