Tide computers - analogue futurology

There are some great photos in this (German language) blog post from HNF (“yesterday’s news in computer history”):
Ebbe und Flut (Ebb and Flow)

See also



I do hope one day to visit the HNF in Paderborn (“Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum is the world’s biggest computer museum”)

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I just found this:
Predicting the tide with an analog computer made from Lego

Inspired by a great video by Veritasium about analog computers and Andrew Carol’s Lego Antikythera mechanism I decided to try to build Sir William Thomson’s tide predicting machine out of Lego. Before I get into the details, here is a video of it running.

(Retro credentials: Lego Technic is from 1977… simulated annealing, used here to find a practical gear set, is a term coined in 1983, although the technique might be somewhat older.)

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Deutsches Museum in Munich has a pretty huge tide calculator in working condition. During pandemic, they did a 9min video on this thing: Der Gezeitenrechner - YouTube

The video has English subtitles, which unfortunately are horrendously out of sync shortly after start in being some 30+ seconds ahead of voice :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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