Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal. © Benoît Labourdette.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), mainly known as a pious philosopher and theologian, was also a mathematician and physicist. In 1645, he invented the first mechanical calculating machine (the “Pascaline”). A machine capable of making additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions more reliably and faster than human beings...

In my opinion, this first “calculator” is really the origin of the “computer” (in English, we say “calculateur”, whereas in French, “ordinateur” means “organizer”, which is a more poetic but less accurate version of the thing, because in these machines, basically, everything is only calculation). I situate the Pascaline, more than three centuries ago, as the starting point of the future of computing.

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Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a philosopher, engineer and mathematician of genius. Among other major scientific and philosophical advances, he invented and built the first mechanical calculating machine in 1645, thus laying the concrete (...)

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