This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
it is what’s between the motors and the arm that makes the two-foot-high Maillardet automaton seem like more than a machine. A stack of rotating brass cams precisely control the arm movements. As steel levers follow hills and valleys cut into the edges of the rotating disks, the arm moves smoothly along three axes — side to side, to and fro, up and down.
In essence, the disks are its read-only memory, giving the automaton a repertory of three poems — two in French and one in English — and four drawings, including one of a Chinese temple.
“It’s amazing that it does it,” said Charles F. Penniman, a retired museum employee who gently tends to the automaton. “But it’s really amazing that it still does it after 200 years.”