JHF's Computer Reminiscences

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Calculation in the sense of tallying numbers- sheep in a flock, wives, slaves.... has been around with various notations such as notches on a stick for tens of thousands of years. The word is based on the Latin for a pebble. Nine pebbles might represent nine bushels of wheat.

Number notations were well in place by Roman times (MXMVIII) but positional 'Arab' notation was not developed until a millenium ago. The inventions of zero & multiplication were quite late.

Interest was mainly in the calendar & seasons, and Bronze & Iron age inhabitants lived on the dry wooded ridges & used the wetland pasture in summer- hence the County name.

Only nobles could read and figure in the time of King Arthur. Elsewhere in China & Egypt & the Middle East culture was advancing.

Taunton was a thriving small town from pre-Roman days. It was a centre of Norman control over the Saxons and a hotbead of rebellion for Monmouth & Judge Jeffreys. Richard Huish gave his name to a prominent Grammar School, & by 1847 an Independent School was struggling to life in the town.

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