Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lord Byron's daughter first computer programmer

Feeling misunderstood and blue?

Would you like to be important, honored, high above player hate and troller flames?

What if you were so smart, you invented the first computer? In 1843?

Or maybe you'd consider exchanging places with the pretty literary lady who wrote the first computer program, and first envisioned computer music?

The fate of genius visionaries and hardcore dream fulfillers is often cheerless, rocky, and draining. Cruelly and jealously mocked, under-funded and mistaken for loonies, the brainy imaginative types often cannot "fit in" anywhere.

People will hate what they talk about, pick apart what they construct, and try to force them to quit and return to the Normal Mediocre World, the soft safe oasis of underachievers and butt kissers, inept managers and sandbaggers.

But the seers are special. They move in their own dream. They communicate with unknown forces and splatter innovation on the walls of "wait and see" ROI idiots.

They see what no one else can even dream, and they struggle to Make It Happen. Their projects often fail, rot, evaporate from memory. Then 10 or 100 or 1,000 or 1,000,000 years later, the core idea changes the entire world, almost overnight (in terms of human history).

Today's celebrity is doomed to be tomorrow's nobody, while a living non-entity may be the future's guiding illuminary.

Reconsider and closely examine those who are universally despised for following vain illusions and radical utopian implausibilities. Those who say a nation can turn the other cheek, a teen boy does not need cocaine type buzz drugs to pay attention in class, and personal blog exhibitionism is an incurable psychosis caused by parental pampering and auto-affection.

Some men will not accept women into the hot dog jamboree of internet professions. Some men think women are for babymaking, slasher filming, and supper cooking only. They will violently oppose any credit accruing to a lady computer tech. Especially if said she-webby won't give him the time of day, or her phone number.

You will also see racism, good enough-ism, and rancid traditionalism and other social woes get in there and twist history, betraying their bias and seething prejudiced hate.


Bruce Collier in The Difference Engine, Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer by Doron Swade.

It is no exaggeration to say that she was a manic depressive with the most amazing delusions about her own talents, and a rather shallow understanding of both Charles Babbage and the Analytical Engine...

To me, this familiar material [Ada's correspondence with Babbage] seems to make obvious once again that Ada was as mad as a hatter, and contributed little more to the "Notes" than trouble...

I will retain an open mind on whether Ada was crazy because of her substance abuse... or despite it.

I hope nobody feels compelled to write another book on the subject.


Vaspers the Grate continues to be plagued by how uncanny and bizarre it is that humans walked or rode animals, for thousands and thousands of years, untold aeons. Then suddenly we jump from uber skateboard to bicycle to motorcyle to automobile (horsless carriage) to space shuttle to telepresencing.

What caused the abrupt quantum leap into technological miracle, vastly outdoing the superstitious fairy tales of occult silliness and magic pseudo powers?

Witches dreamed of riding brooms in the sky, but astronauts and space probes, not to mention web browsers and multi hyper media bloggers, go so much further.

In the textbook Computer Confluence, Business Edition, byBeeekman, Brent and Rathswohl (Addison Wesley Longman, 1997) p. 2-5, the countess Ada Byron Lovelace appears in a more favorable and appreciative light...


Ada Lovelace, the mathematically gifted daughter of poet Lord Byron, visited [Charles] Babbage and became fascinated by the Analytical Engine. Lovelace corresponded regularly with Babbage and published a paper on the Analytical Engine that included the first computer program.

She became Babbage's partner, expanding his vision and correcting errors in his work.

Babbage and Lovelace became obsessed with completing the Analytical Engine. Eventually the government withdrew financial support; there simply wasn't enough public demand to justify the ever-increasing cost. Babbage and Lovelace gambled on horses and pawned jewels to raise money for the project, but to no avail.

The technology of the time was not sufficient to turn their ideas into reality. The world wasn't ready for computers, and it wouldn't be for another hundred years.


The Analytical Engine had no impact on the development of calculating tools until a century after its invention, when it served as a blueprint for the first real programmable computer.

Virtually every computer in use today follows the basic plan laid out by Babbage and Lovelace.


Although Ada Lovelace predicted that the Analytical Engine might someday compose music, the scientists and mathematicians who designed and built the first working computers a century later had more modest goals: to create machines capable of doing repetitive mathematical operations.

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