Short Stories for Kids – Appu Meets Charles Babbage

Short Stories for Kids – Appu Meets Charles Babbage


Hey Appu, I am just finishing with my Maths lessons. Do you need anything? Is this your special friend that solves your Math problems? Oh yes…that is a very special friend. Although, it cannot play catch the ball with Neena like I do. Ha ha, yes. this is a computer. It helps me learn my lessons. A computer…wow! Yes, look! It can process any amount of data or solve Math equations within seconds. Do you see that book shelf? This computer can store all those books here in its memory! But where does all the data go? How does it calculate so quickly? A computer is like having a super smart friend with a mind that works ten times faster than a human brain. Hey Appu! You know dogs think faster than computers. Let me prove it to you. I already know what you are thinking! What am I thinking Tiger? You are thinking who made this magical device? Indeed I am! Neena! Who made this magical device? This is Charles Babbage, he played a key role in the invention of computers. Neena, can we make a visit to Mr. Babbage. Of course! Let’s go! This is the largest brain I have ever seen. Wow! this is amazing! Sir! I am sorry but you are trespassing on my property. Appu! What a pleasant surprise! Are you here to see my new engine? Yes Mr. Babbage! Appu was curious to know how this smart machine calculates and stores data. I only have a blueprint. You will have to wait to see the complete engine. I am going to call it the Analytical Engine! How about we make an Analytical Engine now? This is absolutely incredible! Thank you Appu! Shall we now proceed with our class? Yes! You see Appu, an Analytical Engine works just like a human brain, only faster. But how does it store so much data. It is stored here in the memory. Imagine that the memory of this machine is like a massive library , only here it is compressed in this machine. Wow! Mr. Babbage, what inspired you to make this machine? Look there, a mechanical loom, joining threads to make cloth. When I saw machines like these dominating varied industries, I said to myself, if only there was a machine that could join numbers together! Imagine this machine is like your friend at school who is really good at Maths. Say I am Neena’s friend at school. You give me the problem to solve, which is the Input. Then I store it in my memory here which is storing the information. Then this is the key stage that sets it apart from other machines. This is processing. I process the information which means I solve the problem for you and then return the paper back to you with an answer. The answer is shown here as an Output. Hello Friends! What a pleasant surprise! Hello Ada. Friends, Ada Lovelace is a fantastic Programmer. In fact, she is the first person to ever Master programming! But you invented this fantastic processing machine. one day this machine will be running households and companies! Mrs. Lovelace, I hope your predictions come true. Imagine, huge data can be computed quickly and efficiently. This will help measure distances, complex equations and play a key role in varied fields like astronomy, administration and much more! You are right Mrs Lovelace. This is the smartest friend a human can have! Hmm..if only I could save time on typing this data. It takes me more than 2 mins to write notes on data that is processed within 2 seconds! I think I have just the solution for the output problem! Wait! You don’t need to do that! Here, just press this button. If the Analytical Engine can solve equations so quickly, It can also be an automated typewriter! Wow Appu! Thank you so much! Now we won’t waste time on handwritten data! Hmm..i wonder what they do with all this “so called time” saved. Create and innovate more magical things I guess!

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