How a 1950s ballistic computer worked

July 26, 2010

Here's a series of 1950s-vintage videos illustrating the workings of mechanical Navy ballistics computers — enormous arrays of switches and gears that are used to quickly and reliably do complex mathematics in response to changing wind, targets and other factors. It's a really good, easy-to-follow guide to the underlying logic in a computer, and it's excitingly mechanical.

Absolutely incredible.

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