Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day

As an undergraduate in Computer Sciences, we studied several programming languages and focussed on their unique aspects. One of these was Ada, in which we learnt of the magical “rendezvous” for process synchronisation. A little later someone told me about how Ada was designed and the phrase “Ada is green!” on a postcard he had received. He had explained that there were several proposals for the language and that the Green proposal from CII Honeywell Bull was chosen. I did more research and came upon the fact that the language Ada was named after Ada Lovelace - perhaps the world’s first programmer. See her quotes and notes.

Do check out the Ada Lovelace Day, which being celebrated around the world on October 7th, at the Finding Ada website.

And on Twitter, keep a track on the #ALD11 hashtag.

Thanks Steve! Rest well.

The news of Steve Jobs’ death last night came as a shock to me - my sweetie mentioned that CNN was covering that, while I was making dinner. While en route to my business meeting today, I penned the following and sent it to rememberingsteve@apple.com.

My career in computing was accelerated by Apple products. It did not start there - no, it began with the Fujitsu FACOM U-200, a minicomputer replete with teletype terminals and paper tape. I learnt BASIC and wrote my first program, a solver for quadratic equations. And then I saw the Apple ][, a sleek beige box and it had BASIC as well. I was hooked.

I convinced my dad to get me an Apple ][ in 1979. Maybe it didn't have the speed of the TRS-80 but there was something different about the Apple ][. Might have been the big red book that came in the box - with full assembly listings of the 6502 firmware monitor routines, no one else had that. Might have been the elegance in the way in which the hard drive controller card had impossibly fewer chips than everyone else's. Could have been that you could do so much more with an Apple ][ - music, speech synthesis, even bar code reading. But no matter, it was different.

And I discovered community - Apple and Mac User Groups - you don't see quite the fervor and dedication to share and learn in any other computer / operating system user base. This lives on to this day, in podcasts, blogs, and other online social gathering places.

So thanks for getting me going, Steve. You showed me that there was more than building boxes and "just good enough" software - the importance in understanding your users' needs and delivering elegant solutions. Because of you new directions have been charted in human endeavor, and people have been inspired.

We'll miss you and continue to carry that brightly burning torch of innovation as your legacy. Peace and condolences to your family and friends. Rest well.