What were some things that the analytical engine was able to do?


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Question

This exercise provided details about the analytical engine which was essentially an early version of the computer.

What were some things that the analytical engine was able to do?

Answer

Two of the most important things that the analytical engine could do was perform mathematical operations, and run conditional statements and loops.

The mathematical operations it was able to perform were the four basic operations of arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It could apply these operations on numbers by taking hole-punched cards that represented the operations or numbers, and would output the results in the form of hole-punched cards.

The analytical engine could also perform conditional statements and loops, as it could move backward and forward through the deck of hole-punched cards, while checking for conditions that would implement control flow.

Although the analytical engine was never physically created, its proposal and idea had an important impact on computing.