Saturday, July 11, 2009

When Comics, History, and Computer Science Combine!

I'm sure you are familiar with the fascinating story of Charles Babbage who, long before the invention of transistors or vacuum tubes, designed and attempted to construct a general purpose computer he called the Analytical Engine.

[cricket sounds...]

I'm sure you are also aware of the story of Ada Lovelace who was one of the very few contemporaries of Babbage who fully appreciated what he was trying to achieve with his Analytical Engine. She's credited with being the first programmer since she published notes describing how the Analytical Engine could be programmed. Sadly, she never had the opportunity to see her programs run on an actual machine.

[more cricket sounds...]

Well, if you've longed to read an appropriately appreciative comic treatment about these far seeing intellectual giants, you owe it to yourself to read this stunning work by Sydney Padua.

In the remote chance you are not familiar with this rich piece of history, Padua provides plenty of resources at the bottom of the comic. Additionally, for a brief look at her motivation for creating this comic, Padua provides a FAQ.

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