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The Curious Mind of Ada Lovelace

Soulskill posted 1 year,6 days | from the best-and-brightest dept.

Programming 110

An anonymous reader writes "Going beyond the usual soundbites about Ada Lovelace, Amy Jollymore explores the life of the worlds first programmer: 'When I heard that Ada Lovelace Day was coming, I questioned myself, "What do I actually know about Ada Lovelace?" The sum total of my knowledge: Ada was the first woman programmer and the Department of Defense honored her contributions to computation in 1979 by naming its common programming language Ada.
A few Ada biographies later, I know Augusta Ada Lovelace to be an incredibly complex woman with a painful life story, one in which math, shame, and illness were continuously resurfacing themes. Despite all, Ada tirelessly pursued her passion for mathematics, making her contributions to computing undeniable and her genius all the more clear. Her accomplishments continue to serve as an inspiration to women throughout the world.'"

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She wasn't just the first woman programmer (5, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,6 days | (#45137855)

It's my understanding that she was the first programmer, period. Babbage was designing the machine, but Ada actually designed the first algorithms for it to run, when it was complete.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45137915)

For some reason I thought she was a porn star.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45137979)

No. That's Linda Lavin.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (-1, Offtopic)

themushroom (197365) | 1 year,6 days | (#45137981)

One of these days, Alice, POW, over the moon.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (-1, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45138005)

I always LOVED the Flintstones(tm) !

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45140251)

Linda Lovelace and split the difference?

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

Optali (809880) | 1 year,5 days | (#45140465)

There is indeed a coordination language called Linda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_%28coordination_language%29) honouring this later incarnation of a Ms Lovelace. BTW there's a biopic too, not about the language but about this woman of remarkable oral abilities.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45138051)

No, you're thinking of Grace Hopper.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45138147)

No, you're thinking of Grace Hopper.

Mindless repetition

No, you're thinking of Grace Hopper.

Mindless repetition

No, you're thinking of Grace Hopper.

Fo' shizzle.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (2)

sg_oneill (159032) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139285)

Er, Ada Lovelace was a century beforehand , give or take. Hopper invented Cobol, and arguably one of the first compilers.

Lovelace wrote the first computer program, for the Analytical engine, in the 1800s.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (4, Informative)

hutsell (1228828) | 1 year,6 days | (#45138185)

Linda Boreman, iirc, learned about Ada Lovelace in a computer class she was taking prior to becoming a porn star.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (5, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139405)

For some reason I thought she was a porn star.

I can give you one better than that, in the person of Hedy Lamarr [wikipedia.org] , the actress famous for her beauty and also an outstanding mathematician who co-invented an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping. Sadly, she now seems to be most remembered for the faked orgasm in her 1933 debut film Ecstasy.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (3, Insightful)

EuclideanSilence (1968630) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138277)

The first computers were humans. There was no first programmer.

In terms of being a pioneer of formalizing and proving a nontrivial algorithm from axioms, Euclid can't get enough credit for his work like computing greatest common divisor. He was like the Knuth of the ancient world.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138317)

If you want to go down that path, first computers were first DNA strands.

If that's too low level for you, then first nerve cells.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138817)

Aren't nerve cells a bit more like gates?

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (3, Funny)

haruchai (17472) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139125)

640k (neurons) ought to be enough for anybody

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139425)

640k (neurons) ought to be enough for anybody

So it would seem.

*ducks*

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139553)

Nerve sells are basically transistors but with far more options for where the signal will go than binary choice that transistor offers.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

flargleblarg (685368) | 1 year,5 days | (#45140823)

640k strands out to be enough for anybody.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | 1 year,5 days | (#45142385)

No, the first computers were RNA strands. DNA is the ROM.

Can I upgrade my OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139587)

Seriously, I've been using it for just over thirty years and I'm fairly certain that it's in dire need of some patches.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | 1 year,5 days | (#45141957)

The first computers were humans. There was no first programmer.

In terms of being a pioneer of formalizing and proving a nontrivial algorithm from axioms, Euclid can't get enough credit for his work like computing greatest common divisor. He was like the Knuth of the ancient world.

The term "computer" used to refer to humans, We can thank Babbage and Lovelace (among others) for turning it into a word meaning "computing machine".

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (1)

OldCodger (2479044) | 1 year,5 days | (#45142375)

Babbage had nothing to do with computers, human or otherwise - n'or did Ada. Babbage invented the "diffrerencing engine". It was Alan Turing who coined the term computer, connecting it initially to a "person who computes" and later to a "machine that computes".

Not the first programmer. (5, Informative)

gumpish (682245) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138719)

This is an old canard that gets trotted out in an attempt to encourage more women to enter computer science and related fields. The ends may be noble but the means are fraudulent.

Babbage wrote the first programs for his engine, which is a point even Lovelace's defenders acknowledge. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not the first programmer. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139429)

From your link:

The exception was prepared by Babbage for her, although she did detect a "bug" in it.

So she filed the first ever bug report, which makes her an inspiration to QA engineers :-)

But seriously, the link from the article makes a better case...it's not that she wrote the first program, it's that she was the first to suggest that the analytical engine could act on symbols as well as numbers. Babbage may have been thinking the same thing, but absent anyone for him to tell about it, Lovelace is the first to suggest it.

Re:Not the first programmer. (1)

pz (113803) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139445)

Indeed, especially since the skills of programming a mechanical engine go many eons farther back with, I believe, the invention of the loom. The result was somewhat different (a woven pattern, rather than a scalar value), but the idea of a set of sequentially executed instructions with loops, counting variables, and exceptions, started a long time before Babbage. Knitting and crocheting is rather quite similar, and embodies similarily pre-existing art, as well.

Re:Not the first programmer. (1)

J05H (5625) | 1 year,5 days | (#45140409)

Almost all of that technical heritage in the logic of weaving was maintained by women across cultures. An example contemporary to the lovely Ms. Lovelace and Mr. Babbage would be the founding of the Rhode Island School of Design. That institution was funded by ship's captains to maintain their most talented daughters in programming Jacquard looms for the local textile industry and other arts. Today it is a eminent art and design school if not the best. If not the first programmer, Lovelace was the first non-inventor/nerd that programmed, ie. the first application programmer.

Re:Not the first programmer. (1)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139551)

All that shows is that there is some controversy about the claim about who was first. I'm in the Ada camp, personally, but I couldn't care less if the first programmer was a man or woman... what amazes me is that this happened over a hundred and fifty years ago!

Re:Not the first programmer. (4, Insightful)

harperska (1376103) | 1 year,5 days | (#45140005)

My understanding was that Babbage's own programs were more akin to today's Hello World in complexity, just as a proof of concept to show that his machine would work in the first place. Ada's program on the other hand was a complete implementation of an algorithm to compute a mathematical sequence (Bernoulli numbers) based on a mathematical formula provided by Babbage. So whether Babbage or Ada was the first programmer would depend on whether you consider Hello World to be a proper program or not.

Re:Not the first programmer. (2)

jonbryce (703250) | 1 year,5 days | (#45143481)

Babbage saw computers as just calculators. Lovelace saw that they could do a lot more than just add up numbers.

Re:Not the first programmer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45143643)

Babbage saw computers as just calculators. Lovelace saw that they could do a lot more than just add up numbers.

No.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytical_Engine

Re:Not the first programmer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45141953)

No, misogynistic douche, she WAS the first programmer. Some idiots try to say she wasn't because there were fundamental math errors in her algorithms, but what they fail to mention is the male math experts that reviewed her code, miss the errors, too.

Re:Not the first programmer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45142433)

Interesting take Rorshach.

Re:Not the first programmer. (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | 1 year,5 days | (#45143427)

Babbage wrote the first programs for his engine, which is a point even Lovelace's defenders acknowledge

Go back and read that link you provided again. It doesn't say what you think it says. The first half of the above sentence is a debatable opinion at best, and the second half is just flat out not true.

The one fact in there is that all the "programs" that were published were published under her name. Where there is dispute is that there are some folks who speculate that Babbage actually wrote all the algorithms and handed them to her to publish, and some other folks who say the first folks are full of shit.

I find this whole argument uncomfortablly reminiscent of the guys who use to show up at Heart concerts in the 70's and ask Nancy Wilson where they hid the guy who played lead guitar while she stood on stage pretending to play.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45142587)

Are you stating that Babbage could not program and did not know about his own designs to be able to program them?
If he designed them, he could program them. Charles Babbage was the first programmer, he simply exchanged letters with Ada, and was obviously in love with her, projecting upon her the what he wished to see. She contributed nothing.

Re:She wasn't just the first woman programmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45144475)

Babbage had two machines, the Difference Engine (funded and half-built) and the Analytical Engine (sketches only, never funded) and Ada wrote the explanation of how the Analytical Engine would work. Her notes (one of them) were what is now considered the "First Program." HER notes. It's pretty clear that Ada alone envisioned how the AE would work (again, it was never built) and it was her VISION that was key. Babbage had to have some sense of how AE would work (I don't think we're saying he didn't have a clue), but that it was Ada who actually wrote up the description, and instructions, and that's why she was credited with the "first program" -- she wrote it (and her vision exceeded Babbage's). I'm pretty sure that Babbage never envisioned that symbols could be used instead of just numbers, as an example of how her vision exceeded his. They both brought something to it. (Interesting drama not mentioned -- Ada and Babbage had a falling out because Babbage tried to publish Ada's paper as his own. Um, what?!)

Ok (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,6 days | (#45137881)

"with a painful life story, one in which math [and] shame...were continuously resurfacing themes."

Sounds about right for a programmer.

Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45137911)

...for someone to get her name correct.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45137973)

Lady Augusta Ada Lovelace, nee Byron?

Re:Still waiting... (3, Interesting)

Xtifr (1323) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138479)

Nope, Lovelace was her title.King was her married name. And, because of the peculiarities of these things, "Lady" would be properly attached to "Lovelace" in this case, but not to "Ada" (or "Augusta"). So, Ada, Lady Lovelace would be one correct rendering, as would Ada, Countess Lovelace, or Augusta, Countess Lovelace (though she seemed to prefer Ada) or Augusta Ada King, (with or without added titles afterwards), but not Lady Ada or Lady Augusta, and not Ada Lovelace.

At least, as far as I've been able to figure out. People more adept at the nuances of British nobility may be able to provide a more accurate assessment.

Re:Still waiting... (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138945)

As far as that goes? "Byron" was not the surname of the family. It was the name of the "house" that was attached to the Barony, with Estate property at Newstead Abbey, in Nottingham. George Gordon, 6th Baron Byron was her father. He was the nephew of the 5th Baron, "Mad" Jack Byron.

Properly, according to baptism, Ada and George were Gordon - of lowland Scots ancestry.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139561)

Titles of nobility, how quaint.

Re:Still waiting... (1)

Xtifr (1323) | 1 year,5 days | (#45140805)

You do realize we're talking about a woman who's been dead for over a century and a half, yes? One who died while Queen Vicky was still middle-aged?

(Not that I disagree with you....)

Re:Still waiting... (1)

Optali (809880) | 1 year,5 days | (#45140473)

Well, it could have been worse, she could have been called Python or Javascript :P

 

Re:Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45142347)

Oh, look, a pedantic douche bag on Slashot. That's new.

Re: Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45138633)

Precisely!

Born Augusta Ada Byron, called Ada, then married to become Ada Lovelace when her husband William King became Earl of Lovelace

Byron's Abandoned Daughter (5, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,6 days | (#45137919)

That's enough pain for any woman to bear, in the height of Victorian prudery. Her mother, Anne Isabella Milbanke, was spurned scandalously by Byron at the time - it is said for the affections of his own half-sister, Augusta. That Ada's actual first name was also Augusta, as christened by Byron, only additionally confirms some of the difficulty. Isabella was also an avid mathematical amateur. Byron dismissively abused her as "the princess of parallelograms" in correspondence with friends and colleagues, after the estrangement. When he embarked for the continent, to escape the scandal, he never saw the infant Ada again...

Nor did he have further contact with the unfortunate Medora, his sister Augusta's daughter, who was evidently sired by Byron, roughly contemporary to the marriage with Isabella.

Re:Byron's Abandoned Daughter (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45138327)

Sounds like Lord Byron was the equivalent of modern day trailer trash. Abandoning kids, cheating, incest, emotional child abuse.

Probably could have appeared on Victorian Springer.

Re:Byron's Abandoned Daughter (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138949)

No. That is par for Aristocrats. ;-)

Re:Byron's Abandoned Daughter (3, Funny)

Pseudonym (62607) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139029)

We call our act... the Byrons!

Re:Byron's Abandoned Daughter (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139105)

Excellent!

Poor Byron. A genius. And also as tortured...

Re:Byron's Abandoned Daughter (1)

haruchai (17472) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139143)

Well played, sir.

Re:Byron's Abandoned Daughter (1)

QQBoss (2527196) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138861)

Hmmm, I never thought of comparing Bryon to Eminem (with better rap, admittedly) before.

I didn't need that image. Thanks!

Re:Byron's Abandoned Daughter (5, Funny)

Pseudonym (62607) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139325)

To children: Do you treasure discontent?
With Nine Inch Nails should I impale my eyes?
And should you copy me and my demise?
My brain is limp, my mind to untorment
I strive, however Girls of Spice present:
With which to procreate my choice should be
eludes me, and Physician Dre to me,
believes my face effects of stimulant
reveals. Since age of twelve, myself I did
not feel, my humor hanged. Enraged, I tore
the bust from Pamela, and smacking, skid
her clothing rearward. Soft, come hither, whore!
But no, dear Shady, please that phrase forbid,
for she is mine, and I the world abhor.

Re:Byron's Abandoned Daughter (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45143391)

A million mod points arent enough. I will be laughing probably into the weekend. Good job.

Just women? What? (4, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | 1 year,6 days | (#45138037)

"Her accomplishments continue to serve as an inspiration to women throughout the world."

Not to women, but to people of both sorts throughout the world.

Who wrote this tripe? Oh, right, an AC.

Re:Just women? What? (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138269)

Not to women, but to people of both sorts throughout the world.

The statement that you're responding to is accurate, even if it's not the whole story.

Similarly, it is 100% accurate that he is an inspiration to geeky gay men. That many geeky non-gay-men find a lot that they recognise in his life is also accurate.

Re:Just women? What? (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138289)

Bleah, editing. By "he", I meant Alan Turing.

Re:Just women? What? (3, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138405)

You're missing my point.

I dont have to be gay to be inspired by Alan Turing. And I dont have to be female to be inspired by Ada Lovelace either.

Re:Just women? What? (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138655)

No, I got your point and I agree with it.

Nonetheless, the statement you replied to is not "tripe". It is completely accurate. It's not the complete picture, but no single sentence ever is.

Re:Just women? What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45142671)

It does not, however, make you any less of a jackass.

Re:Just women? What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139463)

Not to women, but to people of both sorts throughout the world.

People of both sorts? Both sorts? Hey Arker, do you ever get a chance to have conversations with actual people, or do you just peck away behind your computer screen?

- different AC

Re:Just women? What? (2)

flimflammer (956759) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139991)

... people of both sorts ...

Only..?

Inspiration just to women??? (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,6 days | (#45138071)

That is incredible sexist. Mathematicians (and Computer Scientists) honor their great ones equally, gender does not play a role. A bit of digging finds a few female mathematicians that are in all respects treated as Mathematicians and honored for their discoveries, not for being (or not being) women.

Maybe one reason why the gender-nonsense falls so obviously short here is that there is absolutely no gender component to the discoveries of these great people.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45138141)

there is absolutely no gender component to the discoveries of these great people.

Not a problem. If we pretend everything is about gender long enough it'll be indistinguishable from the truth.

Sufficiently advanced propaganda (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45138681)

there is absolutely no gender component to the discoveries of these great people.

Not a problem. If we pretend everything is about gender long enough it'll be indistinguishable from the truth.

Any sufficiently advanced propaganda is indistinguishable from magic.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139367)

Bitch, please.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45138723)

You added the 'just'. I suppose it's sexist in so far as reality is. The truth is that STEM fields are dominated by men and while that's changing, the women in those fields, especially the early ones are considered inspirational to women in the sense that they show that women too can make strides in these fields. Heck, in this case, she started the field. Nonetheless, she, like Madam Curie and others are considered role models to young women. It applies to race too. Regardless of policy, the fact that Barack Obama is president is inspirational to black people who now see that a black person can become president. Had Hilary won, the same would be true for women. As a white male, I find it odd, that other white males have such a hard time seeing things through other's eyes. I guess it's easy not to understand the lives of others when the world is run by others like yourself.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139383)

Come on, the average woman or a black is more like you than the "people who run the world". And the average black has more in common with a yeti than with Obama.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139583)

Race is just another way to keep we, the proles divided.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139593)

Come on, the average woman or a black is more like you than the "people who run the world". And the average black has more in common with a yeti than with Obama.

I thought Mrs. Obama was a yeti?

"[Barry], she's a sasquatch. Your kids are sasquatches. Dem girls looked at me and said 'guny goo goo'."

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45142421)

Ok, I understand 'equality' sounds good to you, but it's got nothing to do with a lack of empathy from white males. It's closer to the truth to say that some white males have bought the puritanical self hating propaganda that males and females are identical except for discrimination.

Males and females have only similar brains, and use them differently. We process thought differently, males tend to systemic thought, females to emotive thought, with autism as extreme male/systemising.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_gender_differences

With /equal/ opportunity we would see /unequal/ representation in STEM fields, as STEM subjects tend to systemic thought. We see /equal/ opportunity but /unequal/ representation in other fields, nurses are most often female.

Combine this with that females tend to not choose fast moving specialisms, tend to choose jobs close to home, tend to choose part time work and tend to do less overtime.

Go check out open source contributions by gender, and ask yourself where discrimination could exist (getting a text editor and github account?). Also why the sudden interest in computer science for females at the same time as computer science becomes associated with status and money.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45142593)

Same AC.

"Using data from over 200,000 participants from 53 nations, I examined the cross-cultural consistency of sex differences for four traits: extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and male-versus-female-typical occupational preferences." ...
"These results suggest that biological factors may contribute to sex differences in personality and that culture plays a negligible to small role in moderating sex differences in personality."

Lippa, R. A. (2009). "Sex differences in personality traits and gender-related occupational preferences across 53 nations: Testing evolutionary and social-environmental theories." Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 38, 631-651

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18712468

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45144369)

Nothing in the link you provided offers any support to your claim that the reason women aren't found in STEM fields is biological in origin.

But riddle me this: assuming you're correct, why aren't there more programmers in America who are people of color? Are their brains just hardwired differently than white folk?

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45140033)

No one said it was only inspirational to women. You're trying to read too far between the lines and seeing what you want. All it looks like is karma whoring to me.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45140243)

It probably has more to do with the reality that there are fewer supra-genius women with Aspergers than 50/50 percentages would otherwise suggest. To be a brilliant mathematician, you almost HAVE to be BOTH supra-genius AND aspie.

Some women take that as a sexist argument that women are less intelligent than men, which is about as far from the truth as you can get. Female aspie supra-geniuses are rare, but when they happen... good god... they usually end up humbling everyone within a 5,000 mile and 50-year radius, male AND female. It's the other 99.99998% of women who are just average, and pull out the pitchforks when somebody points out that they aren't even close to being in the same category as Ada Lovelace or Marie Curie.

Women DO have one particularly cruel strike against them, though, which probably drags down the female stats as well. Aspie supra-genius women almost always end up mating with aspie supra-genius men (if they ever mate at all), because they're the only guys who are interesting for more than 5 minutes. And as is common knowledge by now, when two aspie supra-geniuses make babies, they've got almost dead-even 50/50 odds of a child with outright old-school textbook autism. Guess which one is likely to have her career go up in smoke when she's forced to spend the rest of her life keeping an autistic child from self-destructing instead of researching quantum physics or molecular biology? Oh, right... I gave it away. The mother.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (4, Insightful)

blancolioni (147353) | 1 year,5 days | (#45141089)

Are you feeling bad because your gender was ignored? That's ... adorable.

Re:Inspiration just to women??? (2)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,5 days | (#45141263)

Are you felling good because you managed to be condescending? That's pathetic.

shi7? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45138095)

#irc.trollXtalk.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#45138193)

A 7act: FrreBSD [goat.cx]

Inspiration to women? (1)

buttfuckinpimpnugget (662332) | 1 year,5 days | (#45138359)

She's been an inspiration to me (male) since I first read about her. Sheesh.

Re:Inspiration to women? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139315)

You've been an inspiration to me (male) since I first read about your comment. Let's kiss; my girlfriend likes to watch.

Re:Inspiration to women? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45142791)

You've been an inspiration to trolls since you first crawled out of goatse's ass.

Charles Babbage was the first programmer. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139145)

Are you proposing that the creator of the difference engine, Charles Babbage, could not program and did not know how to program his own invention?

Ada did not contribute anything, Charles exchanged letters with her, was most likely in love with her secretely, and as any man in love, gave her too much credit and projected the attributes he admires upon her, even though she had none.

Re:Charles Babbage was the first programmer. (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | 1 year,5 days | (#45139993)

Babbage never completed the analytical engine which Lovelace's programs were written for, and the difference engine that was built isn't considered a proper computer in the same programming sense. The most accurate thing to say would be that Babbage and Lovelace collaborated on the first computer programs, but neither of them ever ran any of the programs since they didn't have a computer. If there are no computers to run your program, are you a computer programmer?

Re:Charles Babbage was the first programmer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45140273)

Well then she wasn't the first programmer now was she?

Nevertheless, given that he was the inventor and designer of his mechnical computers, whether realized in his lifetime or not (since they have bbeen demonstrated to work), it can not be denied that he knew his own work well enough to be able to program them. So if anyone is to be considered the first programmer, it's still him.

Re:Charles Babbage was the first programmer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45142869)

[citation needed]

Well, maybe somebody doesn't know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139221)

So, here it goes

Ada's Origin [sydneypadua.com]

Sophie Germain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139385)

I think it's fair to say that Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie have not been under-publicized. But it's time to hear more about the mathematician Sophie Germain. [britannica.com]

Re: Sophie Germain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45139563)

Wait...wha...that's not the obligatory wiki link.

The First Slash/dotter. (1)

taikedz (2782065) | 1 year,5 days | (#45140819)

It is accepted that she never actually wrote the programs under discussion - the OP was Babbage, though she was certainly highly enthusiastic about the workings of his contraptions and their implications for the world, and studied the topics sufficiently to write insightful and interesting commentary to high degree.

Of all that is published though, only a selection is ever read by the masses.

BBC (2008) "in our time" covered her life nicely (1)

mcmf (3134063) | 1 year,5 days | (#45140923)

It appears to be still available as a podcast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0092j0x [bbc.co.uk] At the time I remember being struck by the possibly of her being influenced by Arkwright's 'programmable' spinning machines

Re:BBC (2008) "in our time" covered her life nicel (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45144365)

Awesome

Film: Conceiving Ada (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | 1 year,5 days | (#45141379)

Rabid fans and the curious may enjoy this (very fictional) film about Ada's life: Conceiving Ada [imdb.com] (1997)

What Books? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | 1 year,5 days | (#45142411)

Soulskill, what biographies did you read and which ones would you recomend?

Also a coke fiend (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45143269)

Ada was also pretty good with the nose candy, but a lot of intellectuals were then. Freud, for instance.

I suppose Jolt Cola will approve of this.

Seriously, just "women" in computing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#45144315)

If a woman like Ada Lovelace isn't inspiring men, those men might want to widen their self-concept.

Why the concern that an article celebrating a woman/women in computing is exclusive to the female gender? I don't see that intention in the second paragraph. Was there a note from the editor somewhere that it was meant to be gender-exclusive -- 'please, men, don't accidentally get inspired by this woman'?

Please.

 

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