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From: "25.BX943" <>
Subject: Re: Not only a language...
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2022 20:55:08 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

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. 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:[~2022-03-08  1:55 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 5+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-02-25 16:42 mockturtle
2022-02-27  6:23 ` 25.BX943
2022-02-27  7:55   ` Robin Vowels
2022-03-08  1:55     ` 25.BX943 [this message]
2022-03-09 21:06       ` Robin Vowels
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