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From: Robin Vowels <>
Subject: Re: Not only a language...
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2022 13:06:15 -0800 (PST)	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 12:55:17 PM UTC+11, 25.BX943 wrote:
> On 2/27/22 2:55 AM, Robin Vowels wrote: 
> > On Sunday, February 27, 2022 at 5:24:01 PM UTC+11, 25.BX943 wrote: 
> >> On 2/25/22 11:42 AM, mockturtle wrote: 
> >>> Now also a GPU is named after Ada Lovelace 
> >>> 
> >> That's nice ... but does it have anything to do with 
> >> her thoughts on computing machines ? :-) 
> >> 
> >> Babbage knew how to build a computer - but he was fixated 
> >> on using them to create math tables for navigation and such. 
> > . 
> > That's how it started, but he progressed to develop 
> > an "analytical engine" -- a computer, for which Ada Lovelace 
> > wrote programs.
> Timeline ... she came in as he was trying to raise money 
> for the 'analytical engine'. I think he'd sold exactly two 
> of his 'difference engines' (to the Royal Navy I think) 
> but nobody else was interested. Those were VERY complicated 
> devices in and of themselves, very expensive to make. 
> Babbage dropped in on Ada's hubby with a sales pitch. She 
> sat in on his overly-tekkie description of the AE. The next 
> morning she'd written a small program for the hypothetical 
> device (it had one small bug). Her interest piqued, she 
> struck up a closer association with Babbage (as pen-pals 
> and 'biz partners' apparently, nothing naughtier was ever 
> mentioned). She wrote up what amounted to sales ads for 
> the thing - which tended to be half her own expositions 
> on the subject. 
> However Babbage never really did seem to see the wider 
> possibilities of his AE. He still saw the use as doing 
> practical math - just with more flexibility than the 
> old DE. 
That was important enough in itself, and anything more
would have been of no interest to those Babbage was trying to
interest as backers.
> Ada was the only one who seemed to grasp the 
> more exotic implication - anything that *could* be 
> represented as numbers could be manipulated/analyzed/ 
> transformed by such a machine. 
> So, while Babbage is the god of computers, Lovelace is 
> the goddess of modern "computing". Babbage's vision was 
> severely limited by the hardware of the era - gears and 
> cogs and cams. Lovelace's vision was not dependent on 
> the hardware, you can easily code her programming examples 
> into Python or Pascal, 'C' ... or Ada ... and they work. 
> Alas her life was rather short - some disease, maybe cancer - 
> and she spent her last couple of years totally doped-up and 
> unable to pursue her ideas. 
> In any case, they both had it right - but Babbage was the 
> one thwarted by the tech. A remarkable set of people, just 
> 100 years too early. The proto Woz and Jobs ??? 
> Oh, and let's not forget that Babbage got his idea for the AE 
> from the Jacquard loom when he visited Jacquard's factory - 
> another inspired bit of tech. And yes Jacquard had his own 
> 'systems programmer' in the back room, the only guy who knew 
> how the control cards should be punched - the machine was 
> probably HIS idea, but he gets no credit and nobody even 
> seems sure of his name ... the boss slapped HIS name on it 
> and that's all anyone remembers (sound familiar ? :-)

      reply	other threads:[~2022-03-09 21:06 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 5+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-02-25 16:42 Not only a language mockturtle
2022-02-27  6:23 ` 25.BX943
2022-02-27  7:55   ` Robin Vowels
2022-03-08  1:55     ` 25.BX943
2022-03-09 21:06       ` Robin Vowels [this message]
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