forwarded message from

From: John Conover <>
Subject: forwarded message from
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 1995 01:22:18 -0700

"BABBAGE COMPUTER ON THE BLOCK" is kind of neat. They are auctioning
off one of Babbage's machines. I would buy it. Be nice in the ante
room of a computer company. If you will remember, in Remington Rand,
vs. IBM, concerning the patent on the basic concept and architecture
of the electronic computer in the 60's, that RR lost because of the
Babbage computer, as presented in testimony by a friend of the court,
which had all of the functionality of the RR machine-only
relabeled. The "store" is what we call memory, and the "mill" is what
we call cpu, etc.

The Babbage machine was designed in 1832-1837 in England. It was the
first of Babbage's contributions. The other was Operations Research,
which he published in 1838-and is still the way we run a company. It
described the concept of the modern organization, run through P&L and
cost centers-he invented corporate P&L, and made a lot of jobs for
accountants. He was the world's first CFO.

Strangely, John Von Neuman's career paralleled Babbages. Von Neuman
reinvented the computer, based on Turing's theoretical work, and
implemented with electronics, instead of the mechanical version of
Babbage. He, and Morganstern, then wrote the book on modern economic
theory, which lended optimization, (game theoretic,) and utility
theory to Babbage's concepts.



John Conover,,

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