Carlos Moreno


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What is an abacus?
The earliest Chinese counting beads which had been discovered are the pottery beads made in the Western Zhou Dynasty more than 3000 years ago. According to the historical materials at hand, the book that records the earliest calculation with an abacus named Arithmetic Chronicle written by Xu Yue in the Eastern Han Dynasty, more than 2000 years ago. It says that an abacus had one upper bead and the four lower bead stands for one. It can be taken as an embryonic form of modern abacus.

Abacuses in modern shape existed in Song Dynasty, which can be proved by some material evidence. For instance Julu (big deer) counting beads, picture of counting beads in the painting of Scenes of the Social Lives at the Banks of Bian River on Pure Brightness Day, especially Wang Xhenpeng's painting of the Picture of the Universe in a Load. This is the evidence that abacuses were widely used among the people in the Southern Song Dynasty.

From Yuan Dynasty onward, abacuses have been gradually popularized in the whole country. By middle period of the Ming Dynasty (in about the late 15th century), calculation with an abacus had replaced the calculation with counters completely and formed a set of complete algorithmic system. There are two representative works on abacus calculation in Ming Dynasty. One was Wang Wensu's Mathematics Principles (A.D.1524), the other is Cheng Dawei's General Rules of Counting method (A.D. 1592), which plated a greater role in spreading the use of abacuses. During the period of Ming Dynasty, Chinese abacuses has spread into Korea, Japan as well as South East Asia areas and began to prevail throughout the world.

During Ming Dynasty, there was a kind of rhomboid beaded abacus in China, with one upper bead and five lower beads. It was found in the tomb of Lu Weizhen (A.D. 1543 - A.D. 1610). After Qing Dynasty, the round beaded abacus with two upper beads and five lower beads had been widely used. Some people suggested to improve the abacus, but their achievements have not been carried used in practice. Although the Western calculation methods such as written calculation, calculation with counters, calculation by rulers were still the principal calculating instruments.

After the Bead-calculation Association of China was organized, the Calculating Instrument Reformation Committee was also established, which carries out the study on the calculation tools. At present, a mid-sized abacus with a restorer and one upper bead and four lower beads had gradually popularized in the country and has been merely welcomed by the public.

Why a Digital Abacus?

"The machine age tool took a step backward yesterday at the Emie Pyle Theater as the abacus, centuries old, dealt defeat to the most up-to-date electric machine now being used by the United States Government... The abacus victory was decisive." - Tokyo, November 12, 1946

The abacus is often seen as the first step on the path of the human ambition to increase the ease, availability and efficiency of calculation. Indeed, from the observation that abacuses are still used today, one can argue that it is one of the most important inventions of this continuing process. As the Information Age begins to reach its maturity, companies need to be able to weave online resources into everyday business operation. The abacus is a symbol for this in that mind and machine work together to make calculation easier.
On the Internet, a company must use its collective, "mind" and online tools such as websites, email, intra- and extranets to make the business process easier.

Digital Abacus helps companies along with this realization. We don't just build websites. By forming a partnership with each of our clients, we help administrators change the everyday tasks of business and evolve in such a way that company goals are achieved quickly and efficiently.