is an abacus?
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.
a Digital Abacus?
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.
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.