By Brian Randell
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Extra resources for The Origins of Digital Computers: Selected Papers
As the result of a multiplication of a number containing forty digits by another of equal extent is a product containing eighty digits, and as this product can be conveyed into the store on two sets of figure wheels, a provision has been made for bringing such numbers back into the mill when they are to become dividends, so that the result of the division of a number containing eighty by one of forty digits, shall have the forty figures of its quotient true to the last figure. In deciding on the number of the first figures of the dividend to be compared with those on the table, it was considered that the infrequency of the running up when two only are used, was such that the resulting loss of time would be more than counterbalanced by the mechanism required in case three figures should be compared.
Of the Reducing Apparatus Behind each barrel is placed a reducing apparatus. It consists of six or eight sectors which can be made to act upon the barrel and give it a rotatory movement so as to make it pass over 1, 2, 3 or any required number of verticals previously to its next advance. The levers which put these sectors into action are acted upon by:a) The studs on their own barrel b) The studs on any other barrel c) The Operation cards d) The Running up levers. The first and third of these sources of action occur most frequently.
If a number of twenty figures only is multiplied by another factor containing an equal number of digits, as the product will not exceed forty digits it will be contained on the first axis. But if both factors contain forty digits then the head or first forty digits of the product will be formed on the axis A and the tailor second forty digits of the product will be formed upon I A. The signs which entered with the original factors, having been added together on the sign wheels, will give the resulting sign of the product.
The Origins of Digital Computers: Selected Papers by Brian Randell