The Abacus is the world's first computing system. It probably first
appeared in Central Asia, from where it spread west
to Europe, east to China and its neighboring Oriental countries. It
can be fast: late in the 1940s, a friendly race was organized between a
Japanese abacist and an American at the panel of an electric computer
was held. Both were given fifty problems in addition, subtraction
multiplication and division.
The abacist won all the events except the multiplication.
For more information, see the booklet "the abacus", by Jesse Dilson,
St. Martin's Press, New Yortk or - visit
the Abacus page .