Sam wrote on the fascinating quipu:
> It also shows that a computer does not have to be electrical based
i cannot make sense of this comment.
i saw some nice examples of quipu at an exhibit this winter:
from what i could tell there and have read since then, the quipu was a
quite elaborate "coded spreadsheet", but i havent heard anything
calculational about it yet.
but perhaps there is something about the construction of the knot
system that aids in calculating sums??? i would like to hear more
about the quipu's construction before considering this more than what
the Independent article called a "textile abacus".
some links i collected after i saw the exhibit at Yale:
the ninth and tenth links calls the Quipu an Incan data structure. i
like that characterization. and the parallel "threads" of the quipu
reminded me a lot of modern spreadsheets. link 13 also refers to
quipu as an early computer, but also discusses briefly the training of
Incan mathematicians. link 15 shows how a modern day electromagnetic
spectrum could be displayed using quipu knots. link 16 uses ideas of
quipu as a modern PIM (Personal Information Manager).