Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ada part two

So it came to pass that Ada Lovelace became the first computer programmer, according to computer historians.

Ada was born in 1815 and died in 1852, living to the ripe old age of almost 37. Ada was the only legitimate child of George Gordon, Lord Byron. Byron divorced Ada's mum. Ada's Mum hated Byron. Byron spoiled Ada's mum for poets in general. Ada's mum had custody. Ada's mum steered Ada towards mathematics (as you do in 1820 with girl children) so that Ada wouldn't become a poet and slip into insanity. Like her pa.

And it came to pass that Ada had a friend named Charles Babbage who invented a marvelous calculator thing he called the "analytical engine" that was, they say, the precursor of the modern computer. It was never built (except much later as an experiment in the 21st century) but Ada wrote a program for it. Actually she conceived an algorithm which would theoretically work, and, since she documented it step by step in writing, she was technically a programmer. She did a lot of things. Babbage didn't have the vision to fully realize what he had invented, but Ada did. She knew the thing could, sometime in the far future, do much more than simply crunch numbers.

8 comments:

  1. Adulation for Ada, adept at advanced addition and adjudged admirable

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    1. Ada allegedly adored alliterated algorithms.

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  2. I thought you were going to say Babbage invented the cabbage!

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    1. Did you know nothing (else) rhymes with cabbage? There is a whole page of words which allegedly rhyme with cabbage if you google, but none really do. Like "adage". I would love for someone to find a real word that rhymes with cabbage. I wanted to write a poem and I'd hate to go free verse with cabbage stories.

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  3. Was Linda Lovelace related to Ada?

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