> Another fun project would be that nowawadays with
modern materials and
> computer controlled machining, it is now possible to make parts to the
> tolerances necessary to build a functional Analytical Engine. Anybody
> know where I can get a good copy of Babbage's designs?
It's been done. I read an article in the
Scientific American a few
years back, where some guys from the British Museum, I think, built
the Analytical Engine according to Babbages design.
They corrected a couple of minor design flaws (some speculate that
Babbage put them there on purpose to discourage Industrial
Espionage), and fabricated the whole thing from several tons of
Iron, brass, and bronze parts.
They didn't have funding to build the whole machine (the printer
alone is an engineering marvel), but the machine worked! They
succeeded where Babbage had failed.
What I saw demonstrated at the Science Museum (part of the British
Museum) 5 years ago was a working _difference_ engine. This had a
couple of design bugs fixed (one in the ripple carry mechanism IIRC) and
I don't recall anything about an analytical engine being built at this
time. Has it been done since? Do tell!