[squeak-dev] The Old Man

Rob Rothwell r.j.rothwell at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 20:18:34 UTC 2008

I have, in the past several years, sort of moved from a Myers-Briggs ENFP,
which likes to start things but gets bored and does not finish, to an ENFJ,
which says "let's make a decision and do it!"

So my question is, what is the problem that you think should be worked on
that prompted you to send this?  Or, rather, what are the unfinished
machines you refer to?

Thanks...they will like this at work (Six Sigma...process
improvement...focus on a well defined problem...scope creep...etc...)


On Sun, Mar 30, 2008 at 4:09 PM, Marcus Denker <denker at iam.unibe.ch> wrote:

> "One of the sad memories of my life is a visit to the celebrated
> mathematician and inventor, Mr Babbage. He was far advanced in age,
> but his mind was still as vigorous as ever. He took me through his
> work-rooms. In the first room I saw parts of the original Calculating
> Machine, which had been shown in an incomplete state many years before
> and had even been put to some use. I asked him about its present form.
> 'I have not finished it because in working at it I came on the idea of
> my Analytical Machine, which would do all that it was capable of doing
> and much more. Indeed, the idea was so much simpler that it would have
> taken more work to complete the Calculating Machine than to design and
> construct the other in its entirety, so I turned my attention to the
> Analytical Machine.'"
> "After a few minutes' talk, we went into the next work-room, where he
> showed and explained to me the working of the elements of the
> Analytical Machine. I asked if I could see it. 'I have never completed
> it,' he said, 'because I hit upon an idea of doing the same thing by a
> different and far more effective method, and this rendered it useless
> to proceed on the old lines.' Then we went into the third room. There
> lay scattered bits of mechanism, but I saw no trace of any working
> machine. Very cautiously I approached the subject, and received the
> dreaded answer, 'It is not constructed yet, but I am working on it,
> and it will take less time to construct it altogether than it would
> have token to complete the Analytical Machine from the stage in which
> I left it.' I took leave of the old man with a heavy heart."
>                                                              --      Lord
> Moulton
> --
> Marcus Denker  --  denker at iam.unibe.ch
> http://www.iam.unibe.ch/~denker
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