Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

2,100-Year-Old Antikythera Device Recreated In Working Form

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the probably-nothing-more-than-an-electrical-meter dept.

Technology 258

coondoggie writes "A new working model of the mysterious 2,100-year-old astronomical calculator, dubbed the Antikythera Device, has been unveiled, incorporating the most recent discoveries announced two years ago by an international team of researchers. The new model was demonstrated by its creator, former museum curator Michael Wright, who had created an earlier model based on decades of study."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Poor guy should have asked around (5, Funny)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 5 years ago | (#26151999)

I feel bad now, I could have saved him years of work -- I still have an original Antikythera 01 on my desk here at work.

I keep asking my boss for a new machine, but apparently the quad-core boxes are reserved for managers with important work to do like using Powerpoint and surfing for softcore pornography.

That's crazy talk! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152415)

I keep asking my boss for a new machine

That's crazy talk. [dilbert.com] If you keep that up you'll soon be in charge of legacy systems [dilbert.com] . No, this is not a troll! [dilbert.com]

Re:That's crazy talk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153769)

The article on one page [networkworld.com]

Download video (9.8meg). [keepvid.com]

Re:Poor guy should have asked around (5, Funny)

empesey (207806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152681)

You're wasting your time. I picked mine up at the Antik Road Show.

Re:Poor guy should have asked around (2, Funny)

The_Rook (136658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153213)

have you installed linux on it yet?

Really? (-1, Troll)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152035)

I can understand where it can be seen as an early engineering masterpiece, but honestly so was the wheel. Either this guy has way too much time on his hands, or he's a Mac user amazed by devices with 1 input (referencing the mice on macs and the single doorknob thing on this calculator).

Whats even more interesting is that this device seems to implement an early form of graycode, only so easy a caveman could do it.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

2short (466733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152171)

It's not that the mechanism is amazing by modern standards that is interesting. It's not not even that the mechanism must have been amazing by the standards of the time when it was manufatured. It's that the mechanism is amazing by the standards of at least 1000 years after it was apparently manufactured. Historians find stuff like that interesting; sorry you're not impressed.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152615)

Somebody... Please translate all these 'not amazing by that is interesting' phrases... they're alien to me! O_o

It's sad, not amazing (4, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152663)

It's that the mechanism is amazing by the standards of at least 1000 years after it was apparently manufactured

The Greeks and Romans had some clever inventions [wikipedia.org] . The sad part is that all the efforts they did at math and engineering came to a stop, and most of it got lost during the Middle Ages. If you travel through southern Europe, you'll see several engineering works, like the Pont du Gard, Coliseum, Arles amphitheatre, etc, which had no equal a thousand years after they were built.

It's a bit frightening that any intellectual progress was stopped for a thousand years, and I wonder could it happen again?

Re:It's sad, not amazing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152945)

Even 8 years of George W Bush was not enough to completely halt mankind's intellectual advancement; I think your concern is unwarranted.

Not so amazing inventions. (4, Interesting)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153055)

In 2000 years, our space faring decedents may say the same thing about space travel. "They put this space capsule on the moon and these robots on mars, it's too bad that all that intellectual progress was reversed in the 1000 years to follow".

But the technology we have today isn't really capable of space travel (look how expensive and impractical it is). These Greek and Roman inventions are the same. You can't really use that steam engine to do any work, and it is impractical to build those kind of structures with your hands or with animal power.

Today's steam engines, and internal combustion engines, on the other hand, can really make building those kind of structures possible on a large scale.

Re:Not so amazing inventions. (4, Insightful)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153775)

These Greek and Roman inventions are the same. You can't really use that steam engine to do any work, and it is impractical to build those kind of structures with your hands or with animal power.

That's true with respect to some of the more abstract tricks they discovered and couldn't find a use for -- the steam engine, as you mentioned, or parabolic mirrors -- but there are an awful lot of areas where the ancient Greeks and Romans did indeed make full practical use of technologies that were lost for more than a millennium afterwards. The GPP mentioned architecture and building technology, which is a biggie. There's also road layout, sewerage, military tactics, field medicine, firefighting technology, and a whole lot more. So it is reasonable to regard the Middle Ages as a reversal in many ways.

However, the rot set in earlier than most people think. A lot of it gets blamed on the rise of religious sects and the destruction of the library at Alexandria, but I see those as symptoms more than causes. A few centuries earlier there were lots of important libraries. If that had still been the case when the Alexandrian library was finally destroyed -- whenever that was -- its destruction wouldn't have mattered nearly as much.

Re:It's sad, not amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153771)

Whats amazing is that people still think there was no 'progress' in the so called middle ages. Europe went into the dark ages barely able to smelt iron, and come out of it as a world beating civilisation able to project its power across the globe. There was more 'progress' during that 1000 years than during the entirety of the Roman Empire.

Re:It's sad, not amazing (5, Informative)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153935)

Actually, much Greek and Roman knowledge was retained and built upon by the Islamic Empire during the Islamic Golden Age [wikipedia.org] , from the 8th to the 16th century.

,100-Year-Old Antikythera Device Recreated in Work (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152051)

I'm prokythera, you insensitive clod.

Why so down? (5, Insightful)

elysiuan (762931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152069)

Surprised with all the negativity. Studying cryptic machines that change the way we view technology's historical progression and after years of work crafting a working replica hardly seems worthy of scorn.

Re:Why so down? (0, Troll)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152141)

If it's not going to play some early and archaic version of an old video game we all cherish there's no point. They should have added two more knobs on that machine so we could control two space rockets around Earth and make them shoot at each other.

2,100 year old Spacewar! device recreated, now THAT would be newsworthy!

Re:Why so down? (3, Funny)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152535)

Don't worry, there'll be a quake or duke nukem port soon enough.

Re:Why so down? (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152235)

They are just down because they didn't come up with it first.

Plus people like to take pride that we are much more advanced then we were 2000 years ago.
However after the burning of the Library of Alexandra it sent man kind 1000 years back in progress. The thousands of years after have been in general very tough for human survival only for the past 500 years or so have we caught up, but before that the concept of playing with gears and realizing that if you have a small one and a large one they move at different speeds was to academic and in general worthless as it didn't put food on the table.

Re:Why so down? (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153375)

You mean tough for human survival in Europe, Africa and the middle east. The Library's loss certainly didn't affect the civilizations of the Indian subcontinent and the Americas. Like the Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen says, the philosophers of south-east Asia were asking questions the western world has only recently begun to ask itself while Europe was still in the dark ages.

Re:Why so down? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153731)

Like the Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen says, the philosophers of south-east Asia were asking questions the western world has only recently begun to ask itself while Europe was still in the dark ages.

Unfortunately for them, they were unable to come up with any answers, letting Europe catch up.

As for the Americas, they were largely stuck in the Stone Age.

Re:Why so down? (5, Funny)

kandela (835710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153803)

First uttered by the Librarian of Alexandra 1000 years ago, "I'll back it up tomorrow."

Re:Why so down? (4, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153941)

Plus people like to take pride that we are much more advanced then we were 2000 years ago.

Or rather, they get defensive, worrying that we AREN'T more advanced than we were 2,000 years ago. We're definitely more advanced if we get to pick the definition of "advanced", but that's not saying much. My definition of "advanced" would rest more on public morality and virtue than on technology; as would, incidentally, all the Greek philosophers' from Pythagoras to Aristotle. I see the era of this device, around 500 BC -- an era that included not only Plato and Socrates and their followers in the West, but Confucius and Lao-Tzu and their followers in the East -- a pinnacle of civilization that we have yet to again match.

Re:Why so down? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152531)

Surprised with all the negativity. Studying cryptic machines that change the way we view technology's historical progression and after years of work crafting a working replica hardly seems worthy of scorn.

Some of us graduated with Computer Science degrees and all we studied were cryptic machines, trying desperately to craft working replicas. Does that explain it?

Re:Why so down? (4, Funny)

devotedlhasa (1298843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153015)

...but enough about COBOL...

i am afraid (5, Funny)

sleepy_sanchez (1301981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152109)

and so starts the story of Sylar, the villain watchmaker.

Re:i am afraid (-1, Redundant)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152211)

a.k.a. Spock.

Re:i am afraid (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152493)

Why are you afraid? Do you have special powers? :P

Re:i am afraid (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152835)

Special Powers?
Why would i have special powers?
Of course not, you're crazy man!

*tingle tingle tingle*

Re:i am afraid (1)

bdcrazy (817679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153761)

I have no powers! I need no powers! I am RUNAWAYFROMDANGERMAN! If you see me running, try and keep up...

Antikythera (5, Funny)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152123)

Thank goodness we're prepared for when the sinister Kythera device is unearthed.

Re:Antikythera (1, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152349)

Best. Antikythera. Post. Ever.

Re:Antikythera (2, Funny)

WoodenTable (1434059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153719)

Oh, I don't know. Some of the old Forum posts about it were pretty freaking hilarious.

Re:Antikythera (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152381)

If an Antikythera is a calender... well, basically it comes down to this: what's the opposite of a calender?

Re:Antikythera (2, Funny)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152989)

A Shrubbery?

Re:Antikythera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153125)

A nonlender?

Cheap sod.

Re:Antikythera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153159)

Project planning?

Re:Antikythera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153285)

A schedule?

Re:Antikythera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153515)

A goose!

How many .mp3s can it store? (0)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152165)

Very cool.

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. (5, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152913)

Lame.

Failed Order (5, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152191)

There's a good chance that it was a custom job made for Hipparchus, either for his lab or to impress the king.

"Hi, this is Hipparchus. I placed a custom order for an Antikythera about 8 months ago."

"Oh, we shipped that out. It looks like there was a problem with the delivery... Ah, here we go. The boat sank."

"What? I've got to present that next week!"

"I'm sorry, did you buy shipping insurance? It doesn't show here on the invoice that you paid for insurance."

Re:Failed Order (5, Funny)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152447)

I see you are a Dell customer...

Re:Failed Order (2, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153709)

That sounds a lot like my experience ordering from Dell actually. I'll never forget that "world shortage of glass" line they gave me as an excuse for my monitors being delayed. They were flatpanels.

11 year old slashdot saline scrotum device 4 SALE! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152209)

I buy my saline kits from Chase Union Ltd in Movi, Michigan. The cost of a 1000 cc bag of sterile saline, drip tubing, sterile wipes (to wipe down your sac and all around) and catheter needle is with shipping around $25.
You can call them at +01 (248) 348-8191 and ask for item "MF 100" a scrotal inflation kit.

To do the saline, take the bag of saline and put in a microwave for about 5.5 minutes at low heat to warm to a bit above body temperature;about 100 degrees or so. Unwrap the outer plastic packaging and put the saline bag aside. Unwrap the drip tubing which comes with the kit and move the clamping system down toward the end opposite the vial type thing and CLOSE IT SHUT. Take the larger end of the drip tubing and uncap the protective cap........open the warmed bag of saline and remove the clear cap. Insert the drip tubing nozzle into the saline bag opening. Find a curtain rod, pot rack (which i have and use in the kitchen) shower rod or something elevated above you. Hang the bag of saline with the tubing attached and shut off. THEN VERY IMPORTANT. SQUEEZE SOME OF THE SALINE INTO THE VIAL ABOUT HALF WAY -THEN OPEN THE CLAMPING DEVICE AND BLEED ALL AIR OUT OF THE TUBING. YEAH YOU LOOSE A LITTLE BIT OF SALINE BUT THIS IS A MUST. YOU DON'T WANT ANY AIR OR AIR BUBBLES IN THE DRIP TUBING! REPLACE THE CAP ON THE WORKING END OF THE TUBING.

Before hand, while the bag of saline is warming either take a hot shower, or fill a basin or kitchen sink with very warm water sit in it for 4-7 minutes. The idea is to warm your ballsac skin up and let it get loose and hang.

When you have finished warming your sac, and you have the bag of saline (BLED FROM AIR), you are ready to grow.

With your sac still very warm use the wipes provided with the kit to wipe down your cock and ballsac. By the way, you will want an adjustable leather cock ring , nylon rope, or other type of removable cock/ball ring to wrap around cock and ballsac after inserting the catheter needle.

With you sac still warm and wiped down with antiseptics, sit in a chair with a towel underneath. Open the catheter needle don't get pansy here but with one hand, take the catheter needle and the teflon sheath that covers it and WITH THE OTHER HAND TAKE YOUR BALLSAC MOVING YOUR COCK OUT OF THE WAY AND DECIDE ON THE LOCATION OF THE INTENDED CATHETER NEEDLE. YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON THE AREA EITHER TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR BALLSAC AND UP CLOSE TO WHERE THE COCK CONNECTS. YOU PLACE THE CATHETER NEEDLE RIGHT BELOW THE COCK OR A LITTLE LOWER BUT TO ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER OF THE DARKER SKIN DIVIDING SKIN WHICH IS IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR SAC.

DON'T GET SQUEEMISH BECAUSE THIS DOES NOT HURT. BUT INSERT THE CATHETER STRAIGHT DOWN CAUTIOUSLY INTO YOUR SAC. MOVE YOUR TESTICLE ASIDE YOU ARE GOING TO GO INTO THE BALLSAC CAVITY NOT THE TESTICLE.

YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A PRICK SENSATION,THEN A POP SENSATION AS THE CATHETER NEEDLE PIERCES THE MUSCLE TISSUE OF THE SCROTUM.

KEEP PUSHING THE CATHETER NEEDLE IN. IF IT GOES IN AND YOU FEEL FROM THE OTHER/OPPOSITE SIDE OF YOUR BALLSAC THAT THE NEEDLE IS THERE, THEN STOP.

Pull out the needle itself leaving the teflon sheath inserted into you sac. Tie yourself (cock and balls) off with some sort of removable cock ring or rope or robe tie or whatever.

Sit down, don' t plan to move around too much for the next 30 minutes - hour. Have your beers/soft drinks or whatever already out of the fridge. You will want to stay idle and focused while you do this.

While sitting, and close to the hanging bag of saline and the drip tubing, remove the protective cover of the end of the drip tubing, connect the drip tubing to the catheter sheath in you sac. THEN START ADJUSTING THE CLAMPING DEVICE OPEN TO ALLOW SALINE DRIPPING TO APPEAR IN THE VIAL UP BY THE BAG OF SALINE. ADJUST FOR AN EVEN DRIP DRIP DRIP FLOW AND NOT A STEADY STREAM OF SALINE.

If the saline doesn't drip at first, try pulling the catheter sheath out a bit until you at first experience a small burning sensation;it goes away almost immediately.
Work on the sheath depth and the clamp until you get a good flow of saline going into your sac.

Don't move around too much......or be cognizant of how much you move around while the saline drips into and starts to bloat out your sac. You can always shut off the flow of saline with the clamp, disconnect and move around take a p, whatever......
If you disconnect, take the small stopper thing that is still attached to the needle and plug the teflon sheath to prevent leakage.

I like to use liquid vitamin E on my sac while it stretching and expanding;you should / can put oil or handcream on your sac while it is expanding. The sac is very stretchable but to expand up to 18-20 inches within an hour or so stresses the tissues,so things need to be lubricated somewhat..

GO SLOWLY.DON'T TRY TO REACH A MAX THE FIRST TIME. GO WITH WHAT YOUR BODY/SAC IS FEELING THEN STOP.

When you have finished doing the amount of saline you want to, feel comfortable with, can accept, close off the saline bag with the clamp, and disconnect.

Over filling/stress of the sac can cause osmosis leaking/sweating.. Do an amount of saline at first that is comfortable and not stressfull/hurting by all means. I have over done before and.you don't want to walk around with your sac dripping water out of it.and the after results cause chapping etc which takes a few days to peel and recover from.

Some of the saline is going to migrate into your cock. Your cock girth is going to become much larger than you have ever experienced.

AFTER YOU DISCONNECT FROM THE SALINE BAG, SIT AND WITH "SUPER GLUE", YES SUPER GLUE ON HAND, WITHDRAW THE CATHETER SHEATH.
AND WITH A TOWEL, PLACE SOME PRESSURE OVER THE HOLE THE NEEDLE CREATED......YOU MAY HAVE SOME BLOOD OR BLOOD MIXED WITH SALINE TRYING TO EXIT YOUR SAC! THEREFORE THE TOWELS

DON'T WORRY KEEP PRESSURE OVER AND DOWN ONTO THE HOLE FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO LET THINGS REST AND ANY BLOOD COAGULATE.

REMOVE THE "PRESSURE" TOWEL AND WITH SUPER GLUE, PLACE A FEW DROPS ON THE HOLE TO HOPEFULLY SEAL IT UP QUICKLY. KEEP THE COCK RING OR EQUIVALENT ON DURING THIS AND CONTINE TO LUBE YOUR SAC.

IF ALL IS GOING VERY WELL, IN A COUPLE OF MINUTES, YOUR SAC AND THE HOLE IS SEALED AND YOU ARE DONE.

IF ALL THINGS ARE NOT GOING WELL, YOU MIGHT NOT GET A GOOD SEAL THE FIRST TIME JUST PEAL OFF THE SUPER GLUE RESIDUE AND START OVER.

At first your sac will be very tight,but over the next few hours or over night, keeping the cock ring on less tightly or without a cock ring your sac will relax and begin to stretch.

The saline will take a couple of days or more to absorb into you body. That is okay,Saline is sterile water adjusted to normal body PH.

Enjoy it, flaunt it if you are inclined, watch the perm stretch and sac tissue growth that happens over time.

You will need to p a little more often than regular as the saline absorbs into your body, but just enjoy the weight and feel of what is between your legs.

I hope this helps....If your nuts and sac are normally pretty big or even small and you want more, this will blow you away with the results.

Take care
Read the rest of this comment...

Judging by the above coments... (5, Insightful)

nitsnipe (1332543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152263)

It looks like Digg has invaded slashdot. Anyways, The fact that 2 millennia ago some were able to make a calculator to predict eclipses is astounding, taking into consideration the religious beliefs and the gullibility of the masses on those times.

Re:Judging by the above coments... (4, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152341)

"...taking into consideration the religious beliefs and the gullibility of the masses on those times."

And scientists today are still struggling up this same mountain.

Re:Judging by the above coments... (2)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153115)

All in all, we're not. There are still a few problems. (Obviously!) However, the climate in Ancient Greece, Arabia, hell, even apparently Ancient Egypt wasn't so ridiculous as during the European Dark Ages, which is what I think you are generally referring to. This is probably the best time for Science in the history of Humanity. (IANA Historian.)

Re:Judging by the above coments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153491)

Amen.

Re:Judging by the above coments... (5, Insightful)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152465)

Yes, especially as it was those religious beliefs that allowed this device to be created in the first place, or did you miss the part about the Babylonian priests? Good God, can't you people get off your Anti-Religion Flaming Horse for one thread a day?

Re:Judging by the above coments... (1)

textstring (924171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152819)

What's more interesting is that the religious beliefs of the Greeks changed the design some. Greeks believed it was blasphemous to suggest that the moon rotated the earth in anything but a perfect circle. So to account for the change in brightness that happens in a 9 year cycle because of the elliptical orbit there are gears stacked on top of one another with a pin slightly off center.

Re:Judging by the above coments... (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152825)

Yes, especially as it was those religious beliefs that allowed this device to be created in the first place, or did you miss the part about the Babylonian priests? Good God, can't you people get off your Anti-Religion Flaming Horse for one thread a day?

Tell me more about the horse. That sounds awesome.

Re:Judging by the above coments... (-1, Flamebait)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153095)

Good God, can't you people get off your Anti-Religion Flaming Horse for one thread a day?

Well, since you asked, no. Religion needs to be scorned and ridiculed at every possible opportunity. It's the only way.

RELIGON KILLS THE MOST PEOPLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153175)

Directly and indirectly, religon has been responsible for more people dying than any other cause EVER.

It was true 5000 years ago. And it's still true today.

So no. We can't get off our anti-religon kick until the problem is solved. If only we could kill all the religous nuts. But then we're part of the problem too.

Re:Judging by the above coments... (3, Insightful)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153235)

People seem to forget a lot that a lot of the most brilliant science developments for a long time was due mainly to religion. Go no far than all that astronomy, mathematics, physiology, trigonometry have to thanks the Arab Sufis and scientists of old. And all their motivation were base on spreading and understanding Islam.

If you go further back you see for example the Maya Calendar, was that an Atheistic scientist who devised and created? No, it was probably a bunch of priest working with the paradigms of their religion.

Today religion (mainly fundamentalist Catholicism and Islam) is one of the forces that drives us back in therms of knowledge. But that was not always true

Re:Judging by the above coments... (1)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153283)

Damn clicked on post instead of edit by accident. Just some example of this, check the Entry on on wikipedia Abu Rahan Biruni [wikipedia.org] , specially the part about astronomy. And I post an excerpt below

In his Exhaustive Treatise on Shadows, he explained the calculation of Salah prayer times according to the shadow cast by the gnomon of a sundial.[29]

Re:Judging by the above coments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153497)

Yeah, like how they discovered the earth is flat, and the world is only 3000 years old! Religion has been contributing to science since god made us! /sarcasm off

They weren't gullible THEN (3, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152813)

taking into consideration the religious beliefs and the gullibility of the masses on those times

No, that gullibility part only came into effect some 500 years later, when someone [wikipedia.org] convinced people that a woman could remain a virgin after giving birth to a child [wikipedia.org] . This belief was formally adopted into Christian doctrine [wikipedia.org] in the year 431 AD, which more or less marks the start of a thousand years when all intellectual progress in Europe stood still.

Re:They weren't gullible THEN (1)

z-j-y (1056250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153281)

ancient Greeks had much weirder stories.

Re:They weren't gullible THEN (2, Insightful)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153465)

ancient Greeks had much weirder stories.

But none of it stopped them doing science.

Look, I know you're trolling but... (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153531)

Unfortunately, enough people are gullible enough to believe you that I feel compelled to respond...

So really quick, during those thousand years when "all intellectual progress in Europe stood still..."

  • Europe in general was in a period of declining agricultural output, and not surprisingly, was concerned primarily with feeding themselves first.
  • It withstood repeated invasions by Muslim conquerors on two fronts.
  • Not to mention a few bouts with the Plague which killed about 1/3 of Europe.
  • And in spite of the above, the Catholic Church started the University system.

Prior to the Catholic Church establishing the university system, the only way to become educated was to hire a private tutor. Without it, the common man had no possible means of becoming educated without becoming nobility. Interestingly enough, it was the university system which laid the foundation for the Renaissance.

Re:They weren't gullible THEN (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153599)

Ah yes - like believing in a god who polymorph at will into multiple animal forms (Zeus) didn't require gullibility? Not to mention the things gods of other contemporary religions got up. Despite what your nakedly displayed bias and ignorance would have you believe, all religions require gullibility.

Re:They weren't gullible THEN (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153801)

It's not about how crazy the story is, it's about whether or not Joe Peasant thinks the story is literally true.

Re:Judging by the above coments... (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152995)

I told a friend about the Antikythera mechanism a few years back when I first heard about it on the History Channel. His response? "Impossible. People hadn't evolved enough back then to have built something like that".

Re:Judging by the above coments... (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153129)

Actually it was probably created to predict religious holidays... just as the Catholic Church funded many of the works that would later threaten them.

How come... (-1, Troll)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152269)

...when I go to Slashdot.org, I get Wired.com?

Re:How come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152459)

Because you have a small penis.

Re:How come... (2, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152561)

...when I go to Slashdot.org, I get Wired.com?

Actually, worse. You get NetworkWorld... AGAIN.

NetworkWorld's sock puppets are working overtime for Christmas. This is at least the 3rd story in 24 hours or so to make slashdot. Sad, desperate, or what? Mind you, if you've read any of their site you'll understand why they need to spam to get readers.

This story was on the BBC months ago by the way.

And where I can I place an order? (1)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152277)

It's not going to be long before this is THE thing to have on a desk or shelf.

I want to be the first in line to purchase one.

The reason it took so long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152281)

They had to wait for the Antikytheran 2099 year copyright to expire.

The new model was demonstrated by its creator? (1, Funny)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152303)

The new model was demonstrated by its creator

Wow, a 2,100 guy demonstrating it? I'd pay to see that!

What putz tagged his !tech? (5, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152313)

You do realize that technology existed prior to computers, do you not? How the heck is this not technology?

        Brett

Sadly, that little device never had the chance.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152383)

..to run Linux.

oblig. (0, Offtopic)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152445)

Can it run linux?
Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these
Can it run vista?
Less space that a (real live) nomad -- lame.

[+1 Funny] (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153157)

I woulda modded you funny. Somebody had to do it might as wella been you!

Re:[+1 Funny] (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153867)

Right....but it was done earlier in the thread anyhow.

Something of note (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26152555)

Kythera was the name of the island it was found near, thus anti-kythera means it was found off the coast of the island.

It's what we call it, we have no idea what they would have called it.

Is it on ThinkGeek yet? (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152559)

I'd love to get one of these for my shelf or desk somewhere. I wonder if someone would make these and sell them on ThinkGeek.com? Another good question might be whether or not someone has modelled the device in OpenGL? It would make a really cool screensaver!

Re:Is it on ThinkGeek yet? (1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152639)

No, but it reminds me of the lockward screensaver in gnome/ubuntu. Its been my screensaver for years, and although its technically more greycode emulating than this, it looks like the back of the device in the demonstration video, and usually memorizes anyone who happens to see it.

Re:Is it on ThinkGeek yet? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153295)

...and usually memorizes anyone who happens to see it.

cool - my screensaver keeps forgetting all the people who see it.

Whoa (0, Redundant)

Keanu Reeves (1418607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152597)

Want

Tag: Stargate? (2, Insightful)

pcardno (450934) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152659)

How did someone miss that opportunity? :-(

Origins and uses (4, Insightful)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152693)

There was an article a few months ago about this that stated [cnet.com] that the mechanism was used to calculate Olympiads.
That was the first interpretation of the mechanism. Now the model shows that it was much more than that as it can predict eclipses and planetary positions.

As for it not being a 'computer' I disagree. There are two forms of computers, analog and digital. An analog computer is basically a measuring device like a ruler or slide rule, thermometer and so on.
The mechanism is definitely an analog computer.
The Greeks were very good at building gadgets and even extremely large hydro-mechanical machines. Most of these constructions were used in temples to simulate thunder, automatic opening and closing doors, automated movement of objects (think Temple of Doom).
Their skill was renown in the ancient world and the mechanism is a tribute to their ingenuity.
 

Re:Origins and uses (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152821)

Computers are programmable, this only solves the problems it was designed to solve.

Re:Origins and uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153325)

That just means it's programmed at time of construction. Very much like ROM in more modern computers. You can probably flash this machine's ROM by altering gears.

Re:Origins and uses (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153487)

Computers are programmable, this only solves the problems it was designed to solve.

Did it? Bloody hell! Perhaps, one day, the modern computing industry will catch up with ancient Greece. So much has been lost... :-)

PS: It sure ain't Turing complete but neither is any other analogue computer. Not sure about the people who did calculations for a living and used to be called "computers": people can be pretty hard to reprogram (especially without making a mess).

Re:Origins and uses (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153895)

An analog computer could be programmed...think of a line-following robot implemented with analog components. The line is the program, and output is varied by the "program" being input to the machine.

Re:Origins and uses (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26154019)

Computers are programmable, this only solves the problems it was designed to solve.

It is programmable... it's just not re-programmable. It solves the problems it was programmed to solve. The programming language comprises gears, pins, and slots. The computers that control and monitor modern appliances and cars are still called "computers" even though the program is burned into the chip, and they cannot be re-programmed.

Re:Not Turing Complete (1)

critical_point (1430417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152881)

I don't think the analog/digital distinction is what makes this feel like a complex toy rather than a computer, but rather it is the lack of Turing completeness, the fact that it is only capable of a specific limited instruction set.

3D lighting pictures of the Device (4, Interesting)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152723)

This page is kind of fun [hp.com] , showing HP's technology where they light the mechanism from lots of angles and photograph them. (Needs Java).

It's not a computer... (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152885)

Some (admittedly vague) requirements for something to be a computer are allowing variable inputs that produce variable outputs based on a programmable function. If there were only one function it would be a (primitive) calculator. This is not even a calculator. It's a clock. As one would expect there is natural evolution here from less complex to more complex.

As an aside I'm not sure why everyone wants to find examples of our ancestors having super advanced technology that was lost in the mists of time. Obviously it does happen (e.g. steam power, firearms in Japan, etc), but it's the exception not the norm. I guess it's just more sexy and attention grabbing to have some kind of mystery around it.

Re:It's not a computer... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153147)

It's an analog computer.

So is a clock.

Re:It's not a computer... (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153239)

No. It's not. Try again. A computer allows for variable input. Some things that are called clocks are computers, but this isn't one of them.

Re:It's not a computer... (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26153311)

Actually I'm wrong. It may be a calculator and a clock might be a calculator, but it's not a computer. Computers require programmable functions.

Seriously pro-click (1)

pnevin (168332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26152957)

Check out the article for the video of the model in operation. It's amazing to watch - the indicator for the Sun, Moon and planets move forwards and backwards to accurately replicate their movement, while a little ball turns to shows the phase of the Moon.

It's a fascinating device. I've got Decoding the Heavens [decodingtheheavens.com] on order from Amazon in the UK, and can't wait to get it.

Allan Bromley Smiles Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26153029)

For those of you who do not get this, Bromley [wikipedia.org] was Wrights' collaborator. He died in 2002 of Hodgkin's disease. RIP.

Beowulf Cluster. (1)

GeekDork (194851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26154009)

'nuff said.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?