ada lovelace, worlds 1st programmer, happy 200th birthday!

ada Ada Lovelace was born 200 yrs ago yesterday. happy birthday! a celebrated, colorful, and also tragic figure. controversial! but one of the 1st geek women in history, one of the 1st geeks. she is not so well known outside of CS circles and even not all that well known within CS circles. one of the neat aspects of the long history of computation. this is a collection of the many great books[a] and some other highlights around the web. articles in Nature[a13], guardian newspaper[a14], wolfram blog[a15], make magazine[a17], even mtv![a18] a moment to celebrate the beautiful historical diversity of our field.

have been thinking of Babbage a lot last few years [b] as quantum computers are starting to take off, and read an excellent biography of him recently.[b2] there is some of his ~1½ century old story about a driven scientist against the extreme edges of technological limitations of the era. in many ways the ultimate “steampunk”.

Doron Swade[b2][b6] led an effort to build the real difference and analytical engines years ago, working at a computer history museum. his efforts reflect some of the original difficulty/ hardship of Babbage. one of the original “mad scientists”!

babbage was a theoretician, mathematician, and engineer of world class. anyone, any visionary who has dreamed of grandiose technology on the horizon must feel a affinity for this kindred spirit, a fellow saint/ scoundrel of the club of technologists.

hey, theres a movie about Turing, now how about one about Babbage and Lovelace? wouldnt that make a great story/ drama?


a. ada
b. babbage

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