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Answered 2009-02-12 16:18:26

Stepped Reckoner

In the 1670s, German Baron Gottfried von Leibniz took mechanical calculation a step beyond his predecessors. Leibniz, who entered university at fifteen years of age and received his bachelor's degree at seventeen, once said: "It is unworthy of excellent men to lose hours like slaves in the labor of calculation, which could be safely relegated to anyone else if machines were used."

Leibniz extended Blaise Pascal's ideas and, in 1671, introduced the Staffelwalze / Step Reckoner (aka the Stepped Reckoner), a device that, as well as performing additions and subtractions, could multiply, divide, and evaluate square roots by a series of stepped additions. Pascal's and Leibniz's devices were the forebears of today's desktop computers, and derivations of these machines, including the Curta calculator, continued to be produced until their electronic equivalents finally became readily available and affordable in the early 1970s.

In a letter of March 26, 1673 to Johann Friedrich, Leibniz described its purpose as making calculations "leicht, geschwind, gewiß" (sic), i.e. easy, fast, and reliable. Leibniz also added that theoretically the numbers calculated might be as large as desired, if the size of the machine was adjusted; quote: "eine zahl von einer ganzen Reihe Ziphern, sie sey so lang sie wolle (nach proportion der größe der Machine)" (sic). In English: "a number consisting of a series of figures, as long as it may be (in proportion to the size of the machine)".


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calculus and the stepped reckoner

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a rekoner is a machine

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A ready reckoner is a book in which money tables and arithmetic tables was printed. It was more used before the arrival of computers and cheaply available pocket calculators.

Operations such as addition and subtraction

A ready reckoner is a table that gives you the values of one variable for various values of another. It is used to look up a conversion in a table rather than calculate it.

His shoes were a mess after he stepped in the mud. She won the race after she stepped up her pace. He stepped up to the plate, swung the bat, and hit a home run. She stepped on the gas pedal and sped away. His parents were very proud of him after he stepped up to do the right thing by telling the truth.

you spell it like this Stepped. If you wanted to use it in a sentence then you could use it like this: I stepped up on the ladder.

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Stepped is a verb. It's the past tense of step.

Walked into. Went into. Walked in. Went in. Stepped into. Stepped in.

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Indeed, the word "stepped" is spelt correctly in the question.

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