Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Re: The Shelley poem is genuine
From: jbuck@janus.Berkeley.EDU (Joe Buck)
Date: 1991-04-12, 12:09

In article <70572@eerie.acsu.Buffalo.EDU> writes:
> >In article <>, (Laura E. Floom) writes...
>> >> 
>> >>BTW, for the computer programmers out there. Lord Byrons daughter was Ada, the
>> >>women who the language was named after. I know this has nothing to do with TP,
>> >>but what the hell.
> >
> >And, I seem to vaguely remember something about how she was
> >quite the mathematical whiz.  Didn't she also have some kind
> >of relationship with Turing (of Turing test fame)?

Certainly not.  Turing wasn't born yet.  Charles Babbage is who you're
thinking of.  He designed (but never completed) something called the
"Analytical Engine", essentially the first computer.  Ada Lovelace wrote
programs for it, thereby becoming the world's first computer programmer.

Turing quotes her in his proposal for the Turing test, quoting (and
debating with) her most famous line: "The Analytical Engine has no
pretentions to *originate* anything.  It only does what *we know how
to order it* to do." (Turing was arguing for the possibility of artificial

> >  Don't some
> >claim she is responsible for the birth of the computer, something
> >about binary, or hex or something?  A women back then just simply
> >wasn't taken seriously.

She was software, not hardware.

Evidently Babbage and Turing took Ada Lovelace seriously.

Joe Buck	 {uunet,ucbvax}!!jbuck