Posts tagged ‘history’

Happy Birthday Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace Honored by Google December 10, 2012

Ada Lovelace Honored by Google December 10, 2012 – Happy Birthday – Born 197 Years ago!

Happy Birthday Ada Lovelace! You would have been 197 years old today!

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace

For women in Tech, Ada Lovelace shows that even back in the 1800s, women could do some amazing things!

Ada Lovelace: ‘The Enchantress of Numbers’ (+video) – CS Monitor

Ada Lovelace was the visionary half of the team that helped create the modern computer. Lovelace is honored by Google as the ‘first computer programmer.’

That’s quite an accomplishment for a woman who was born 197 years ago – born today (December 10th) but back in 1815! From Ada Lovelace’s Wikipedia entry:

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852), born Augusta Ada Byron and now commonly known asAda Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage‘s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often considered the world’s first computer programmer.[1][2][3]

Ada was the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron and his wife Anne Isabella Byron. She had no relationship with her father, who separated from her mother just a month after Ada was born; four months later Byron left England forever and died in Greece when Ada was eight. As a young adult, she took an interest in mathematics, and in particular Babbage’s work on the analytical engine. Between 1842 and 1843, she translated an article by Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea on the engine, which she supplemented with aset of notes of her own. These notes contain what is considered the first computer program – that is, an algorithm encoded for processing by a machine. Ada’s notes are important in the earlyhistory of computers. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities.[4]

Amazing!

The inventor, Charles Babbage, had the following to say about Ada Lovelace as quoted from her Wikipedia article,

Ada Lovelace met and corresponded with Charles Babbage on many occasions, including socially and in relation to Babbage’s Difference Engine and Analytical Engine. They first met through their mutual friend Mary Somerville; Ada became fascinated with his Difference Engine and used her relationship with Somerville to visit him as often as she could. In later years, she became acquainted with Babbage’s Italian friend Fortunato Prandi, an associate of revolutionaries.

Babbage was impressed by Ada’s intellect and writing skills. He called her “The Enchantress of Numbers”. In 1843 he wrote of her:

Forget this world and all its troubles and if
possible its multitudinous Charlatans – every thing
in short but the Enchantress of Numbers.[42]

Here are a few more links about Ada Lovelace:

Ada, The Enchantress of Numbers: Poetical Science – eBook by Betty Alexandra Toole, Ed.D.

Ada Lovelace – The Babbage Engine – Key People – Computer History Museum

Secret Ada by Panopy for iPhone / iPod Touch

Secret Ada is on sale today for $2.99 (40% off for a limited time) in the iTunes Store.

On the Panopy Blog:

I have a meta-entry for Ada Lovelace Day. Instead of writing about a particular women (I’ve already written about 45 of them so far in my iPhone app, Secret Ada), the topic is “Women in Technology: Why Care About Gender?

I snagged Secret Ada today and have been having a blast with it. Deciphering text to read about the 45 women!

I hope Panopy makes Secret Ada for the Android soon too!

Underground Atlanta

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Mid 70s Postcard of Underground Atlanta Entrance - courtesy of Wikimedia

Mid 70s Postcard of Underground Atlanta Entrance - courtesy of Wikimedia

My friend, Eric, posted about the London Underground Railroad today, and it got me thinking about underground places in cities…

Back in 1973, I visited Atlanta, and while I was there, I had the pleasure of visiting Underground Atlanta. I was saddened to hear that in 1980 they closed it down during the construction of the MARTA rapid transit line and “other factors” which, at that time, I had heard had to do with safety of visitors. I was worried they would never open it again.

Mid 70s Postcard of Underground Atlanta showing drinking patrons at the Front Page courtesy of Wikimedia

Mid 70s Postcard of Underground Atlanta showing drinking patrons at the Front Page courtesy of Wikimedia


Other factors noted in the wikipedia posting about it under the Decline and second era section:

The heyday of Underground Atlanta lasted for only half a decade. When neighboring DeKalb County relaxed their restrictions on alcohol consumption in the early 1970s, new bars sprouted up in other parts of the city, generating competition. The dress code restrictions were dropped and fights began to break out. The construction of the MARTA East Line beginning in 1975 tore out several blocks of clubs and eliminated parking. Crime became uncontrollable and the area was considered dangerous. In 1980, Underground Atlanta was closed. A few businesses struggled to stay open but by 1982 they left and the area was once again abandoned.

But I was happy to hear that they did re-open it in 1989, see History of Underground Atlanta here:

Underground Atlanta was reopened in 1989, at a cost of $142 million, through a joint venture between the City of Atlanta and private industry. It was redesigned to be one of the major projects aimed at preserving and revitalizing the center of Atlanta as the focal point of community life. Today, Underground offers a complete family experience, with retail shops, specialty and gift shops, fast food in the Old Alabama Eatery, unique features and entertainment, special events and fine restaurants.

It was a wonderful place to visit, so I was happy to hear that they have re-opened it and revitalized it and most importantly tried to recapture the historical significance of Underground Atlanta!

It is so cool to visit old historic places like this.

At some point I will post about the Endless Caverns that we visited on one of our camping treks that was a wonderful place to visit that is also underground! Love caverns!

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