**Operation**

The difference engine consists of a number of columns, numbered from **1** to * N*. The machine is able to store one decimal number in each column. The machine can only add the value of a column

*n*+ 1 to column

*n*to produce the new value of

*n*. Column

*N*can only store a constant, column 1 displays (and possibly prints) the value of the calculation on the current iteration.

The engine is programmed by setting initial values to the columns. Column 1 is set to the value of the polynomial at the start of computation. Column 2 is set to a value derived from the first and higher derivatives of the polynomial at the same value of * X*. Each of the columns from 3 to

*N*is set to a value derived from the first and higher derivatives of the polynomial.

Read more about this topic: Difference Engine

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“It requires a surgical *operation* to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding. The only idea of wit, or rather that inferior variety of the electric talent which prevails occasionally in the North, and which, under the name of “Wut,” is so infinitely distressing to people of good taste, is laughing immoderately at stated intervals.”

—Sydney Smith (1771–1845)

“Waiting for the race to become official, he began to feel as if he had as much effect on the final outcome of the *operation* as a single piece of a jumbo jigsaw puzzle has to its predetermined final design. Only the addition of the missing fragments of the puzzle would reveal if the picture was as he guessed it would be.”

—Stanley Kubrick (b. 1928)

“Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in *operation* as the rule.”

—Francis Bacon (1560–1626)