Digital calculator 1200 years old!


North East to New Guinea there is an island named Apraphul. There have been found many pieces from an applicator with ropes and pulleys that didn't seem to help anything obvious. After a more careful analysis it proved to be part of the more ancient digital calculator known until that time. The construction dates close to 850 A.C.

The people of the Apraphul were capable sailors and had built very well made ships. It seems that for a strange reason they were using binary counting system, same with what modern computers are using. In the construction that was found there were been used boxes with holes from where some ropes were passing through; according to their length were representing 0 or 1. As many of you probably know with only three boxes (representing digits) they could represent the first eight digits of our decade system.

binary 000 001 010 011 100 101 110 111
decimal 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Using ten boxes they could represent 1024 numbers.
Continuing this the next logical step is boxes that were operating as gates of special purposes, like the modern AND, OR, and inverters. Anyone familiar with basic digital electronics should be knows them. Multiplexers and flip flop were used as memory devises combining simpler types of gates.

There were found in an area some rows of 8 boxes of flip-flop type gates. This was their 8-bit memory! Next to these flip-flop gate boxes other boxes type AND and OR gates found in register operation! It is believed that this computer could be programmed, with bits and bytes of course.
To have always good accuracy the ropes were kept tight with special mechanisms. As you understand there were too many ropes to move whenever a calculation was required and the human power was not enough, so there were using elephants! A lot of elephant bones in the same area prove this!

Who made this digital calculator and what was calculated remains a mystery, especially for this area of the planet that didn't gave us similar surprises, at least not in the history that I know so far!

The previous story was an April's fool joke of the Scientific American magazine (v. 258 Apr. 1988 p118-121) to it's readers as an opportunity for bad spirit strating them the Boolean logic of binaries calculations with mechanical way.

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