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    Cambridge Cybernetic Society Mascot:

    Our Machine
    The Eureka Pocket Calculator

    Figure 1: "Our machine, the Eureka, supplied also with Corinthian and Ionic supporting pillars. If dismantled by removing all thumbscrews (a) fits easily into pockets. Compass (b) as required for navigation. Keyboard (c) for numbers (0 to 9) and operations (+ - * /). Useful display of results (d). Electric motor to aid manual crank-action (e) with starting capacitor. Advanced design reflected in auxiliary solid-state display (f) and integral random number generator (g) may be scrutinized through inspection port (h). Weather vane atop the equipment provides further and independent source of random numbers."

    (c) Gordon Pask1980
    [Comment: The notion of a Pocket Calculator of such size and style sets the tone of Pask's conceit, but the Eureka is more than a simple satire on calculators. It is a jab at all digital computing engines of the current era, whether or not they provide a compass "as required for navigation." For example, Eureka's Classical accoutrement imply that despite the wonderous capabilities of plus, minus, times and go-into, today's calculating engines retain more in common with vintage furniture than cognitive processing --- just as early radios appeared more like diningroom sideboards than electronic hardware. Even the "advanced" features of solid-state display are merely "auxiliary." Eureka's multiple-sources of truly-random random-numbers point up the deterministic constraint of digitial engines: of themselves computers can only generate pseudo-random numbers. Hence, try as they might to innovate, they can only compute the expectable. Eureka's random number sources are thus, at minimum, an advance. And, although difficult to see clearly in this low-resolution rendering, a component of myth in Our Eureka may be witnessed in the inspection port, labelled (h). If your browser makes it hard to see, it might be a little clearer here. (100K)]

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