High Tech—Regency Style

Difference-close-upCara/Andrea here, I’ve recently been doing some research into scientific history, and among the many fascinating facts I’ve discovered is one that may surprise many Regency aficionados. We all know the era was a time of fancy balls, elegant soirees and country house parties . . . but did you know that it also saw the invention of the first computer!

Charles-babbageAs a young child, scientist/inventor Charles Babbage was constantly taking apart his toys, wanting to know exactly how they worked. When he was ten years old, his mother took him to an exhibit of complex mechanical figures, known as automata. Fascinated, he asked so many questions about what made them tick that the inventor invited Babbage up to his private workshop, where he kept his special creations. The inventor’s name was Merlin, which was very fitting! As the young boy watched a miniature silver dancer twirl through series of graceful spins while the bird she was holding flapped its wings and moved its beak, he was completely enchanted by the moving gears and the magic of what they could do. It was a spell that lasted a lifetime.

Trinity CollegeBabbage went on to attend Cambridge University, where he studied math. Unhappy with how the subject was being taught, he and some friends soon formed a student club called Analytical Society to protest the old-fashioned symbols used for writing IsaacNewtoncalculus problems. They wanted the more modern system, which was popular throughout the rest of Europe, instead of the one invented by Sir Isaac Newton (don’t ask.) The protest didn’t succeed, but it was a harbinger of how Babbage would remain stubbornly sure of his ideas, even when they went against the grain, for the rest of his life. He continued to look at the world around him and try to see how things could be done better.

Book of math tablesThe new ideas and new technology of the Industrial Revolution were turning the early 19th century world upside down. It was an exciting time for someone with imagination, and Babbage was one of the new breed of scientists leading the charge. His mind was constantly spinning with ideas on how to improve the ways things were done, and he used his practical skills to achieve many great accomplishments, from pioneering technical advances for lighthouse signaling to fine-tuning track designs for the first railroads. But it was in working on a way to create accurate mathematical tables that his genius really kicked into high gear.

Close-up of gearBabbage was frustrated that many of the tables, which were calculated and typeset by hand, had so many mistakes. “I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam,” he exclaimed to his good friend John Herschel, a famous astronomer. Herschel agreed with him that a machine would be far more accurate. So in 1821, Babbage decided to design one.

SextantMath was hugely important in many aspects of everyday life in the 1800s. The trouble was, most of the standard printed math tables used in critical calculations were filled with errors. What Babbage was looking to create was a machine capable of crunching the numbers of complex equations like polynomials, logarithms and sines, which are all math functions that are used in such occupations as banking, insurance, ocean navigation, architecture, and military weapons technology. A section of the machine would then create a printing plate of the results, so that the accurate tables could be mass-produced. (For example, bankers use logarithms to calculate the rate of interest on an investment over a certain number of years. And rather than doing the tedious calculations by hand for all the variables, it’s far quicker and more efficient to have standard printed tables to use as a reference.)  

Scribbling bookIt took six years of sketching in his notebooks (he called them his “scribbling books”) but by 1827, he had finished drawings. The design, which he named the Difference Engine, required 25,000 parts, each of which had to be specially made by hand, and the finished machine would weigh around 4 tons and stand 8’ tall x 4’ wide x 11’ long. Its ingenious system of brass rods, gears and rotating horizontal number wheels (each one was marked with the digits 0-9), allowed the Difference Engine to quickly spin through complicated math problems, once its operator had manually entered an equation to be solved and turned the hand crank. A marvel of precision engineering, it could “carry” numbers from one column to another and shift sums along the horizontal and vertical axes.

Difference-engine
The British government was very interested in his idea because accurate math tables would be very helpful for the army, the navy and the finances of the country. They invested £17,500 in the project (which would have purchased two fully equipped battleships) allowing Babbage to hire Joseph Clement, a master toolmaker, to start making the parts.

Work progressed slowly, as it was an incredibly complicated design. But finally, in 1832, a small demonstration model was finished, and Babbage was able to show that his concept was working. However, the Engine’s development stalled in 1833 when Clement quit in a huff over money. Babbage, however, was not discouraged. He had already started working on designs for a more sophisticated Engine.

Ada_Lovelace_portraitIt was right around this time that he met seventeen-year-old Ada Byron, (later Ada Lovelace) the daughter of Lord Byron, at a London party. Ada was a math whiz—she was called “the Enchantress of Numbers”—and the two of them struck up an instant friendship. Ada was fascinated by the Difference Engine and the idea that a machine could be made to solve such complicated math equations. When she and her mother returned to their home in northern England, she and Babbage kept up their friendship through letters, where they shared brainstorming ideas about the Engine’s possibilities.

Punch cardsDuring this time, Babbage made a trip to France, and was inspired by the mechanical jacquard looms he saw there. The looms were run by a series of punched cards that controlled the thread hooks, making it possible for them to weave textiles with very intricate patterns.  It was one of those “ah-ha” moments, and when he returned to England he took the idea of punched cards and adapted it to his Engine. And suddenly he saw a way of programming the machine to do a whole new level of functions. It was this concept, the idea of making a set of instructions to control what was done, that changed his machine from a mechanical calculator into the world’s first computer. 

Babbage-MainThe Analytical Engine, as Babbage called his new machine, was designed in 1837, (he kept on revising it for the rest of his life) and had many of the basic components of a modern-day computer. The “store” serves as its memory, where calculations could be “saved” while the machine changed gears in mid-calculation to run another variation. The “mill” was its central processing unit. And like modern computers, it could perform “loops”, which means repeating the same sequence of operations on a specific group of numbers, and conditional commands, which means it could be programmed to do different calculations depending on the result of the previous calculation.

Drawing of number wheels-DEHowever, by this time, people had basically stopped paying attention to Babbage and his Engines. He received a lot of criticism for his endless sketching and tinkering, which seemed to be going nowhere. The British government had grown frustrated with waiting for an actual machine and stopped funding his work. One of the few people who was still excited about his ideas was Ada Lovelace. In 1843, after translating an article on the Analytical Engine written by an Italian scientist, she added her own notes, in which she sketched out how a sequence of operations could be used by the Engine to solve a certain type of math problem. For this she is credited with having written the first computer program. (There’s something very poetic about the Enchantress of Numbers and the young boy inspired by Mr. Merlin teaming up to make a machine do something so magical, even if it was only on paper.)

Engine-with personBabbage’s Engines never got built—technologically they were nearly 100 years ahead of their time. But for his conceptual thinking, he credited with having invented the first computer. (In 2002, a team of scientists and engineers used modern technology to finally build a full scale model of one of Babbage’s Engine designs, Difference Engine #2. It worked perfectly.)

Okay, now let’s have a little fun with the monster created by Mr. Babbage. Our lives at times seem tethered to computers—and the internet! If you had your choice, what’s the one distraction you would banish from your computer/the internet as a Pernicious Influence on mankind. I dislike Twitter. And the ads that pop up based on what sites I’ve just visited. What about you?  

155 thoughts on “High Tech—Regency Style”

  1. Nice Article Cara … Do you have a WIP exploiting this study?
    I think that scientists don’t get enough exposure in the romance literature. Possibly based on the misguided idea that they are cold fish consumed with analytical research and lacking passion! I guess there are not enough scientists writing in the genre to correct this … they are mostly to busy pursuing their fascination for understanding how the creator screwed it all together …. especially why he created romance! LOL
    Like you, I don’t like the use of tracking software for use in advertising. In much the same way as I dislike the intrusive ads on ITV. I don’t want to ban anything, but simply buy software to eliminate the annoying intrusive features.

    Reply
  2. Nice Article Cara … Do you have a WIP exploiting this study?
    I think that scientists don’t get enough exposure in the romance literature. Possibly based on the misguided idea that they are cold fish consumed with analytical research and lacking passion! I guess there are not enough scientists writing in the genre to correct this … they are mostly to busy pursuing their fascination for understanding how the creator screwed it all together …. especially why he created romance! LOL
    Like you, I don’t like the use of tracking software for use in advertising. In much the same way as I dislike the intrusive ads on ITV. I don’t want to ban anything, but simply buy software to eliminate the annoying intrusive features.

    Reply
  3. Nice Article Cara … Do you have a WIP exploiting this study?
    I think that scientists don’t get enough exposure in the romance literature. Possibly based on the misguided idea that they are cold fish consumed with analytical research and lacking passion! I guess there are not enough scientists writing in the genre to correct this … they are mostly to busy pursuing their fascination for understanding how the creator screwed it all together …. especially why he created romance! LOL
    Like you, I don’t like the use of tracking software for use in advertising. In much the same way as I dislike the intrusive ads on ITV. I don’t want to ban anything, but simply buy software to eliminate the annoying intrusive features.

    Reply
  4. Nice Article Cara … Do you have a WIP exploiting this study?
    I think that scientists don’t get enough exposure in the romance literature. Possibly based on the misguided idea that they are cold fish consumed with analytical research and lacking passion! I guess there are not enough scientists writing in the genre to correct this … they are mostly to busy pursuing their fascination for understanding how the creator screwed it all together …. especially why he created romance! LOL
    Like you, I don’t like the use of tracking software for use in advertising. In much the same way as I dislike the intrusive ads on ITV. I don’t want to ban anything, but simply buy software to eliminate the annoying intrusive features.

    Reply
  5. Nice Article Cara … Do you have a WIP exploiting this study?
    I think that scientists don’t get enough exposure in the romance literature. Possibly based on the misguided idea that they are cold fish consumed with analytical research and lacking passion! I guess there are not enough scientists writing in the genre to correct this … they are mostly to busy pursuing their fascination for understanding how the creator screwed it all together …. especially why he created romance! LOL
    Like you, I don’t like the use of tracking software for use in advertising. In much the same way as I dislike the intrusive ads on ITV. I don’t want to ban anything, but simply buy software to eliminate the annoying intrusive features.

    Reply
  6. Quantum, my research has been for a non-fiction project, but I agree that scientist make very interesting romance characters. (I’ve actually written a series (starting with To Sin With A Scoundrel)where the heroines are all women with a great interest in science. They meet every week in a group they call the Circle of Sin, since women weren’t supposed to have used their intellect in Regency times.
    My background is totally Humanities, but I’ve become very interested in science as a very creative field too. Oh, to go back to school!
    Agree that banning things is not a good answer, but the computer algorithms they have for tracking our preferences are a little scary!

    Reply
  7. Quantum, my research has been for a non-fiction project, but I agree that scientist make very interesting romance characters. (I’ve actually written a series (starting with To Sin With A Scoundrel)where the heroines are all women with a great interest in science. They meet every week in a group they call the Circle of Sin, since women weren’t supposed to have used their intellect in Regency times.
    My background is totally Humanities, but I’ve become very interested in science as a very creative field too. Oh, to go back to school!
    Agree that banning things is not a good answer, but the computer algorithms they have for tracking our preferences are a little scary!

    Reply
  8. Quantum, my research has been for a non-fiction project, but I agree that scientist make very interesting romance characters. (I’ve actually written a series (starting with To Sin With A Scoundrel)where the heroines are all women with a great interest in science. They meet every week in a group they call the Circle of Sin, since women weren’t supposed to have used their intellect in Regency times.
    My background is totally Humanities, but I’ve become very interested in science as a very creative field too. Oh, to go back to school!
    Agree that banning things is not a good answer, but the computer algorithms they have for tracking our preferences are a little scary!

    Reply
  9. Quantum, my research has been for a non-fiction project, but I agree that scientist make very interesting romance characters. (I’ve actually written a series (starting with To Sin With A Scoundrel)where the heroines are all women with a great interest in science. They meet every week in a group they call the Circle of Sin, since women weren’t supposed to have used their intellect in Regency times.
    My background is totally Humanities, but I’ve become very interested in science as a very creative field too. Oh, to go back to school!
    Agree that banning things is not a good answer, but the computer algorithms they have for tracking our preferences are a little scary!

    Reply
  10. Quantum, my research has been for a non-fiction project, but I agree that scientist make very interesting romance characters. (I’ve actually written a series (starting with To Sin With A Scoundrel)where the heroines are all women with a great interest in science. They meet every week in a group they call the Circle of Sin, since women weren’t supposed to have used their intellect in Regency times.
    My background is totally Humanities, but I’ve become very interested in science as a very creative field too. Oh, to go back to school!
    Agree that banning things is not a good answer, but the computer algorithms they have for tracking our preferences are a little scary!

    Reply
  11. I am no way a fan of maths or science, but this article, and the pictures – fascinating!
    That Ada Lovelace portrait is a little unusual, and very interesting.
    “And the ads that pop up based on what sites I’ve just visited.”
    I’d really love to know what site I visited that I got Arnold Schwarzenegger pop-up ads for months! I did sit near him at the Formula One recently, but I’m pretty sure the internet doesn’t know that!
    “If you had your choice, what’s the one distraction you would banish from your computer/the internet as a Pernicious Influence on mankind. I dislike Twitter.”
    One?! 🙂 I’ve just (ten minutes ago) deleted my history Tumblr blog, after years of work and thousands of followers.
    I hate Twitter so much. I would delete that one, but it’s the only place I can go to for certain things.
    On Sunday – after one too many Facebook friends sharing graphics supporting Vladimir Putin (I’m Ukrainian, and I actually cried), I have made a commitment to never visit that awful, intrusive site again. I would delete it, but I have several hundred pictures from my ballet career on a group board.

    Reply
  12. I am no way a fan of maths or science, but this article, and the pictures – fascinating!
    That Ada Lovelace portrait is a little unusual, and very interesting.
    “And the ads that pop up based on what sites I’ve just visited.”
    I’d really love to know what site I visited that I got Arnold Schwarzenegger pop-up ads for months! I did sit near him at the Formula One recently, but I’m pretty sure the internet doesn’t know that!
    “If you had your choice, what’s the one distraction you would banish from your computer/the internet as a Pernicious Influence on mankind. I dislike Twitter.”
    One?! 🙂 I’ve just (ten minutes ago) deleted my history Tumblr blog, after years of work and thousands of followers.
    I hate Twitter so much. I would delete that one, but it’s the only place I can go to for certain things.
    On Sunday – after one too many Facebook friends sharing graphics supporting Vladimir Putin (I’m Ukrainian, and I actually cried), I have made a commitment to never visit that awful, intrusive site again. I would delete it, but I have several hundred pictures from my ballet career on a group board.

    Reply
  13. I am no way a fan of maths or science, but this article, and the pictures – fascinating!
    That Ada Lovelace portrait is a little unusual, and very interesting.
    “And the ads that pop up based on what sites I’ve just visited.”
    I’d really love to know what site I visited that I got Arnold Schwarzenegger pop-up ads for months! I did sit near him at the Formula One recently, but I’m pretty sure the internet doesn’t know that!
    “If you had your choice, what’s the one distraction you would banish from your computer/the internet as a Pernicious Influence on mankind. I dislike Twitter.”
    One?! 🙂 I’ve just (ten minutes ago) deleted my history Tumblr blog, after years of work and thousands of followers.
    I hate Twitter so much. I would delete that one, but it’s the only place I can go to for certain things.
    On Sunday – after one too many Facebook friends sharing graphics supporting Vladimir Putin (I’m Ukrainian, and I actually cried), I have made a commitment to never visit that awful, intrusive site again. I would delete it, but I have several hundred pictures from my ballet career on a group board.

    Reply
  14. I am no way a fan of maths or science, but this article, and the pictures – fascinating!
    That Ada Lovelace portrait is a little unusual, and very interesting.
    “And the ads that pop up based on what sites I’ve just visited.”
    I’d really love to know what site I visited that I got Arnold Schwarzenegger pop-up ads for months! I did sit near him at the Formula One recently, but I’m pretty sure the internet doesn’t know that!
    “If you had your choice, what’s the one distraction you would banish from your computer/the internet as a Pernicious Influence on mankind. I dislike Twitter.”
    One?! 🙂 I’ve just (ten minutes ago) deleted my history Tumblr blog, after years of work and thousands of followers.
    I hate Twitter so much. I would delete that one, but it’s the only place I can go to for certain things.
    On Sunday – after one too many Facebook friends sharing graphics supporting Vladimir Putin (I’m Ukrainian, and I actually cried), I have made a commitment to never visit that awful, intrusive site again. I would delete it, but I have several hundred pictures from my ballet career on a group board.

    Reply
  15. I am no way a fan of maths or science, but this article, and the pictures – fascinating!
    That Ada Lovelace portrait is a little unusual, and very interesting.
    “And the ads that pop up based on what sites I’ve just visited.”
    I’d really love to know what site I visited that I got Arnold Schwarzenegger pop-up ads for months! I did sit near him at the Formula One recently, but I’m pretty sure the internet doesn’t know that!
    “If you had your choice, what’s the one distraction you would banish from your computer/the internet as a Pernicious Influence on mankind. I dislike Twitter.”
    One?! 🙂 I’ve just (ten minutes ago) deleted my history Tumblr blog, after years of work and thousands of followers.
    I hate Twitter so much. I would delete that one, but it’s the only place I can go to for certain things.
    On Sunday – after one too many Facebook friends sharing graphics supporting Vladimir Putin (I’m Ukrainian, and I actually cried), I have made a commitment to never visit that awful, intrusive site again. I would delete it, but I have several hundred pictures from my ballet career on a group board.

    Reply
  16. What an interesting website. So glad I happened upon it. I’ve read several really interesting articles here. I had no idea computer science went back so far.
    Computers/internet like everything else have their good and bad points. I’m retired now and have health issues that don’t allow me to walk a great deal. I feel blessed that I live in a time that I can shop, communicate and even go to the library on line. I would much rather be able to do these things in real life, but I think computers are a great aid in many ways.
    On the other hand it is troubling how reliant on technology we have become. I am also frequently amazed and appalled at some of the personal things people are willing to put out on the world wide web and how gullible some are in dealing with strangers on line.
    I love my computer and kindle and wouldn’t want to be without them. I don’t want a smart phone. I’m not even as smart as my poor little cell phone (smile).
    I own my gadgets – they don’t own me.

    Reply
  17. What an interesting website. So glad I happened upon it. I’ve read several really interesting articles here. I had no idea computer science went back so far.
    Computers/internet like everything else have their good and bad points. I’m retired now and have health issues that don’t allow me to walk a great deal. I feel blessed that I live in a time that I can shop, communicate and even go to the library on line. I would much rather be able to do these things in real life, but I think computers are a great aid in many ways.
    On the other hand it is troubling how reliant on technology we have become. I am also frequently amazed and appalled at some of the personal things people are willing to put out on the world wide web and how gullible some are in dealing with strangers on line.
    I love my computer and kindle and wouldn’t want to be without them. I don’t want a smart phone. I’m not even as smart as my poor little cell phone (smile).
    I own my gadgets – they don’t own me.

    Reply
  18. What an interesting website. So glad I happened upon it. I’ve read several really interesting articles here. I had no idea computer science went back so far.
    Computers/internet like everything else have their good and bad points. I’m retired now and have health issues that don’t allow me to walk a great deal. I feel blessed that I live in a time that I can shop, communicate and even go to the library on line. I would much rather be able to do these things in real life, but I think computers are a great aid in many ways.
    On the other hand it is troubling how reliant on technology we have become. I am also frequently amazed and appalled at some of the personal things people are willing to put out on the world wide web and how gullible some are in dealing with strangers on line.
    I love my computer and kindle and wouldn’t want to be without them. I don’t want a smart phone. I’m not even as smart as my poor little cell phone (smile).
    I own my gadgets – they don’t own me.

    Reply
  19. What an interesting website. So glad I happened upon it. I’ve read several really interesting articles here. I had no idea computer science went back so far.
    Computers/internet like everything else have their good and bad points. I’m retired now and have health issues that don’t allow me to walk a great deal. I feel blessed that I live in a time that I can shop, communicate and even go to the library on line. I would much rather be able to do these things in real life, but I think computers are a great aid in many ways.
    On the other hand it is troubling how reliant on technology we have become. I am also frequently amazed and appalled at some of the personal things people are willing to put out on the world wide web and how gullible some are in dealing with strangers on line.
    I love my computer and kindle and wouldn’t want to be without them. I don’t want a smart phone. I’m not even as smart as my poor little cell phone (smile).
    I own my gadgets – they don’t own me.

    Reply
  20. What an interesting website. So glad I happened upon it. I’ve read several really interesting articles here. I had no idea computer science went back so far.
    Computers/internet like everything else have their good and bad points. I’m retired now and have health issues that don’t allow me to walk a great deal. I feel blessed that I live in a time that I can shop, communicate and even go to the library on line. I would much rather be able to do these things in real life, but I think computers are a great aid in many ways.
    On the other hand it is troubling how reliant on technology we have become. I am also frequently amazed and appalled at some of the personal things people are willing to put out on the world wide web and how gullible some are in dealing with strangers on line.
    I love my computer and kindle and wouldn’t want to be without them. I don’t want a smart phone. I’m not even as smart as my poor little cell phone (smile).
    I own my gadgets – they don’t own me.

    Reply
  21. Down with tracking software! And forcing video ads on you before you can get to what you want. And a lot of other stuff. Alas, I can’t delete Twitter since I don’t have it in the first place.
    Very interesting post, Cara/Andrea. I knew about Ada Lovelace and the Difference Engine in a general way, but I didn’t know the details. I did have one scientist hero in one of my Signet Regencies, and the hero of the book I just finished is something of a civil engineer, but it would be fun to do more such characters.

    Reply
  22. Down with tracking software! And forcing video ads on you before you can get to what you want. And a lot of other stuff. Alas, I can’t delete Twitter since I don’t have it in the first place.
    Very interesting post, Cara/Andrea. I knew about Ada Lovelace and the Difference Engine in a general way, but I didn’t know the details. I did have one scientist hero in one of my Signet Regencies, and the hero of the book I just finished is something of a civil engineer, but it would be fun to do more such characters.

    Reply
  23. Down with tracking software! And forcing video ads on you before you can get to what you want. And a lot of other stuff. Alas, I can’t delete Twitter since I don’t have it in the first place.
    Very interesting post, Cara/Andrea. I knew about Ada Lovelace and the Difference Engine in a general way, but I didn’t know the details. I did have one scientist hero in one of my Signet Regencies, and the hero of the book I just finished is something of a civil engineer, but it would be fun to do more such characters.

    Reply
  24. Down with tracking software! And forcing video ads on you before you can get to what you want. And a lot of other stuff. Alas, I can’t delete Twitter since I don’t have it in the first place.
    Very interesting post, Cara/Andrea. I knew about Ada Lovelace and the Difference Engine in a general way, but I didn’t know the details. I did have one scientist hero in one of my Signet Regencies, and the hero of the book I just finished is something of a civil engineer, but it would be fun to do more such characters.

    Reply
  25. Down with tracking software! And forcing video ads on you before you can get to what you want. And a lot of other stuff. Alas, I can’t delete Twitter since I don’t have it in the first place.
    Very interesting post, Cara/Andrea. I knew about Ada Lovelace and the Difference Engine in a general way, but I didn’t know the details. I did have one scientist hero in one of my Signet Regencies, and the hero of the book I just finished is something of a civil engineer, but it would be fun to do more such characters.

    Reply
  26. Sonya, Ada Lovelace is such a fascinating person—she rates an entire blog of her own. Such a wretched childhood, with her mother determined to snuff out any artistic sensibility. But Ada persevered, and her creative genius endured despite much physical and mental suffering. Even more than Babbage, she understood the significance of what a computer could do. Just last week was Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating smart women in science.
    As for modern social media, there is a lot of stuff going on out there that I really try to avoid, Not only a time suck, but too many negative vibes. I try to stay focused on positive things and positive people.

    Reply
  27. Sonya, Ada Lovelace is such a fascinating person—she rates an entire blog of her own. Such a wretched childhood, with her mother determined to snuff out any artistic sensibility. But Ada persevered, and her creative genius endured despite much physical and mental suffering. Even more than Babbage, she understood the significance of what a computer could do. Just last week was Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating smart women in science.
    As for modern social media, there is a lot of stuff going on out there that I really try to avoid, Not only a time suck, but too many negative vibes. I try to stay focused on positive things and positive people.

    Reply
  28. Sonya, Ada Lovelace is such a fascinating person—she rates an entire blog of her own. Such a wretched childhood, with her mother determined to snuff out any artistic sensibility. But Ada persevered, and her creative genius endured despite much physical and mental suffering. Even more than Babbage, she understood the significance of what a computer could do. Just last week was Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating smart women in science.
    As for modern social media, there is a lot of stuff going on out there that I really try to avoid, Not only a time suck, but too many negative vibes. I try to stay focused on positive things and positive people.

    Reply
  29. Sonya, Ada Lovelace is such a fascinating person—she rates an entire blog of her own. Such a wretched childhood, with her mother determined to snuff out any artistic sensibility. But Ada persevered, and her creative genius endured despite much physical and mental suffering. Even more than Babbage, she understood the significance of what a computer could do. Just last week was Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating smart women in science.
    As for modern social media, there is a lot of stuff going on out there that I really try to avoid, Not only a time suck, but too many negative vibes. I try to stay focused on positive things and positive people.

    Reply
  30. Sonya, Ada Lovelace is such a fascinating person—she rates an entire blog of her own. Such a wretched childhood, with her mother determined to snuff out any artistic sensibility. But Ada persevered, and her creative genius endured despite much physical and mental suffering. Even more than Babbage, she understood the significance of what a computer could do. Just last week was Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating smart women in science.
    As for modern social media, there is a lot of stuff going on out there that I really try to avoid, Not only a time suck, but too many negative vibes. I try to stay focused on positive things and positive people.

    Reply
  31. Mary T, so glad you enjoy the Wench site. Please stop by often!
    you express much wisdom in your observations!Computers are wonderful tools for so much. But as you say, one shouldn’t let them control one’s life. I make a conscious decision to limit my browsing time. (I agree there are an appalling number of things out there that really shouldn’t be spewed out for public viewing.) But still, there are times I’m abashed at how often I feel compelled to check my e-mails. Sigh.

    Reply
  32. Mary T, so glad you enjoy the Wench site. Please stop by often!
    you express much wisdom in your observations!Computers are wonderful tools for so much. But as you say, one shouldn’t let them control one’s life. I make a conscious decision to limit my browsing time. (I agree there are an appalling number of things out there that really shouldn’t be spewed out for public viewing.) But still, there are times I’m abashed at how often I feel compelled to check my e-mails. Sigh.

    Reply
  33. Mary T, so glad you enjoy the Wench site. Please stop by often!
    you express much wisdom in your observations!Computers are wonderful tools for so much. But as you say, one shouldn’t let them control one’s life. I make a conscious decision to limit my browsing time. (I agree there are an appalling number of things out there that really shouldn’t be spewed out for public viewing.) But still, there are times I’m abashed at how often I feel compelled to check my e-mails. Sigh.

    Reply
  34. Mary T, so glad you enjoy the Wench site. Please stop by often!
    you express much wisdom in your observations!Computers are wonderful tools for so much. But as you say, one shouldn’t let them control one’s life. I make a conscious decision to limit my browsing time. (I agree there are an appalling number of things out there that really shouldn’t be spewed out for public viewing.) But still, there are times I’m abashed at how often I feel compelled to check my e-mails. Sigh.

    Reply
  35. Mary T, so glad you enjoy the Wench site. Please stop by often!
    you express much wisdom in your observations!Computers are wonderful tools for so much. But as you say, one shouldn’t let them control one’s life. I make a conscious decision to limit my browsing time. (I agree there are an appalling number of things out there that really shouldn’t be spewed out for public viewing.) But still, there are times I’m abashed at how often I feel compelled to check my e-mails. Sigh.

    Reply
  36. Oh, those awful videos that cannot be stopped! I loath them!
    What I’ve learned in my science research is that the many disciples are highly creative, which is something I didn’t quite get when I was in school. I’d love to be more conversant in math and physics now. Maybe in another life!
    I think there is wonderful possibilities for heroes/heroines with a scientific bent. I hope we see more of them!

    Reply
  37. Oh, those awful videos that cannot be stopped! I loath them!
    What I’ve learned in my science research is that the many disciples are highly creative, which is something I didn’t quite get when I was in school. I’d love to be more conversant in math and physics now. Maybe in another life!
    I think there is wonderful possibilities for heroes/heroines with a scientific bent. I hope we see more of them!

    Reply
  38. Oh, those awful videos that cannot be stopped! I loath them!
    What I’ve learned in my science research is that the many disciples are highly creative, which is something I didn’t quite get when I was in school. I’d love to be more conversant in math and physics now. Maybe in another life!
    I think there is wonderful possibilities for heroes/heroines with a scientific bent. I hope we see more of them!

    Reply
  39. Oh, those awful videos that cannot be stopped! I loath them!
    What I’ve learned in my science research is that the many disciples are highly creative, which is something I didn’t quite get when I was in school. I’d love to be more conversant in math and physics now. Maybe in another life!
    I think there is wonderful possibilities for heroes/heroines with a scientific bent. I hope we see more of them!

    Reply
  40. Oh, those awful videos that cannot be stopped! I loath them!
    What I’ve learned in my science research is that the many disciples are highly creative, which is something I didn’t quite get when I was in school. I’d love to be more conversant in math and physics now. Maybe in another life!
    I think there is wonderful possibilities for heroes/heroines with a scientific bent. I hope we see more of them!

    Reply
  41. I’d known some of this information before, but not with such fabulous detail. I am in awe of technology. My mind simply doesn’t work that way and I have no idea why or how these words are going to pop up on this site shortly when I hit post.
    I dislike Twitter–I hate my verbosity to be constrained by 140 characters, LOL. Facebook is okay, if I can shut my eyes in time to not see the pictures of beaten dogs, sick children and just plain gross stuff. I know the political season will send me sideways. Limited doses of Internet time are best for one’s mental health.

    Reply
  42. I’d known some of this information before, but not with such fabulous detail. I am in awe of technology. My mind simply doesn’t work that way and I have no idea why or how these words are going to pop up on this site shortly when I hit post.
    I dislike Twitter–I hate my verbosity to be constrained by 140 characters, LOL. Facebook is okay, if I can shut my eyes in time to not see the pictures of beaten dogs, sick children and just plain gross stuff. I know the political season will send me sideways. Limited doses of Internet time are best for one’s mental health.

    Reply
  43. I’d known some of this information before, but not with such fabulous detail. I am in awe of technology. My mind simply doesn’t work that way and I have no idea why or how these words are going to pop up on this site shortly when I hit post.
    I dislike Twitter–I hate my verbosity to be constrained by 140 characters, LOL. Facebook is okay, if I can shut my eyes in time to not see the pictures of beaten dogs, sick children and just plain gross stuff. I know the political season will send me sideways. Limited doses of Internet time are best for one’s mental health.

    Reply
  44. I’d known some of this information before, but not with such fabulous detail. I am in awe of technology. My mind simply doesn’t work that way and I have no idea why or how these words are going to pop up on this site shortly when I hit post.
    I dislike Twitter–I hate my verbosity to be constrained by 140 characters, LOL. Facebook is okay, if I can shut my eyes in time to not see the pictures of beaten dogs, sick children and just plain gross stuff. I know the political season will send me sideways. Limited doses of Internet time are best for one’s mental health.

    Reply
  45. I’d known some of this information before, but not with such fabulous detail. I am in awe of technology. My mind simply doesn’t work that way and I have no idea why or how these words are going to pop up on this site shortly when I hit post.
    I dislike Twitter–I hate my verbosity to be constrained by 140 characters, LOL. Facebook is okay, if I can shut my eyes in time to not see the pictures of beaten dogs, sick children and just plain gross stuff. I know the political season will send me sideways. Limited doses of Internet time are best for one’s mental health.

    Reply
  46. Maggie, I’m in awe of technology too, and all the “magic” it can do. It’s been interesting trying to grasp some of the basic concept behind it all—how electricity works, the beautiful logic of math, etc. My mind struggles with it—but I enjoy pushing the limits!
    Twitter seems so crazy to me. One has to devote WAY too much time trying to follow conversations . . .which to me mostly make s no sense or are too mundane to care about. FB is fine—I confess to enjoying seeing some of the things my friends are doing. The political stuff or the personal rants are things I rush past . . . wish I could filter it even more!

    Reply
  47. Maggie, I’m in awe of technology too, and all the “magic” it can do. It’s been interesting trying to grasp some of the basic concept behind it all—how electricity works, the beautiful logic of math, etc. My mind struggles with it—but I enjoy pushing the limits!
    Twitter seems so crazy to me. One has to devote WAY too much time trying to follow conversations . . .which to me mostly make s no sense or are too mundane to care about. FB is fine—I confess to enjoying seeing some of the things my friends are doing. The political stuff or the personal rants are things I rush past . . . wish I could filter it even more!

    Reply
  48. Maggie, I’m in awe of technology too, and all the “magic” it can do. It’s been interesting trying to grasp some of the basic concept behind it all—how electricity works, the beautiful logic of math, etc. My mind struggles with it—but I enjoy pushing the limits!
    Twitter seems so crazy to me. One has to devote WAY too much time trying to follow conversations . . .which to me mostly make s no sense or are too mundane to care about. FB is fine—I confess to enjoying seeing some of the things my friends are doing. The political stuff or the personal rants are things I rush past . . . wish I could filter it even more!

    Reply
  49. Maggie, I’m in awe of technology too, and all the “magic” it can do. It’s been interesting trying to grasp some of the basic concept behind it all—how electricity works, the beautiful logic of math, etc. My mind struggles with it—but I enjoy pushing the limits!
    Twitter seems so crazy to me. One has to devote WAY too much time trying to follow conversations . . .which to me mostly make s no sense or are too mundane to care about. FB is fine—I confess to enjoying seeing some of the things my friends are doing. The political stuff or the personal rants are things I rush past . . . wish I could filter it even more!

    Reply
  50. Maggie, I’m in awe of technology too, and all the “magic” it can do. It’s been interesting trying to grasp some of the basic concept behind it all—how electricity works, the beautiful logic of math, etc. My mind struggles with it—but I enjoy pushing the limits!
    Twitter seems so crazy to me. One has to devote WAY too much time trying to follow conversations . . .which to me mostly make s no sense or are too mundane to care about. FB is fine—I confess to enjoying seeing some of the things my friends are doing. The political stuff or the personal rants are things I rush past . . . wish I could filter it even more!

    Reply
  51. I have to say I’ve come to love technology for the most part. I do limit my time on line. I haven’t gotten into twitter except for the summaries that someone at work does.
    I think the thing I hate the most is smartphones and texting. It’s just irritating to go out to dinner with someone and they keep checking their phone and answering text messages. I keep thinking how much more fun I’d be having if I were at home with my Kindle. (Scary thought: maybe if I pull out my Kindle and start reading?) I guess not everyone wants to disconnect from technology and connect with people.

    Reply
  52. I have to say I’ve come to love technology for the most part. I do limit my time on line. I haven’t gotten into twitter except for the summaries that someone at work does.
    I think the thing I hate the most is smartphones and texting. It’s just irritating to go out to dinner with someone and they keep checking their phone and answering text messages. I keep thinking how much more fun I’d be having if I were at home with my Kindle. (Scary thought: maybe if I pull out my Kindle and start reading?) I guess not everyone wants to disconnect from technology and connect with people.

    Reply
  53. I have to say I’ve come to love technology for the most part. I do limit my time on line. I haven’t gotten into twitter except for the summaries that someone at work does.
    I think the thing I hate the most is smartphones and texting. It’s just irritating to go out to dinner with someone and they keep checking their phone and answering text messages. I keep thinking how much more fun I’d be having if I were at home with my Kindle. (Scary thought: maybe if I pull out my Kindle and start reading?) I guess not everyone wants to disconnect from technology and connect with people.

    Reply
  54. I have to say I’ve come to love technology for the most part. I do limit my time on line. I haven’t gotten into twitter except for the summaries that someone at work does.
    I think the thing I hate the most is smartphones and texting. It’s just irritating to go out to dinner with someone and they keep checking their phone and answering text messages. I keep thinking how much more fun I’d be having if I were at home with my Kindle. (Scary thought: maybe if I pull out my Kindle and start reading?) I guess not everyone wants to disconnect from technology and connect with people.

    Reply
  55. I have to say I’ve come to love technology for the most part. I do limit my time on line. I haven’t gotten into twitter except for the summaries that someone at work does.
    I think the thing I hate the most is smartphones and texting. It’s just irritating to go out to dinner with someone and they keep checking their phone and answering text messages. I keep thinking how much more fun I’d be having if I were at home with my Kindle. (Scary thought: maybe if I pull out my Kindle and start reading?) I guess not everyone wants to disconnect from technology and connect with people.

    Reply
  56. I’ve included a few scientists in my books, Quantum, but I’ve integrated them. Too often they’re odd in some way. Admittedly, Henry Cavendish was odd, but many scientists can mingly well in society.
    Especially in the Enlightenment period gentlemen were supposed to be educated and enquiring, so Rothgar is into clockwork mechanisms and automata in a hands-on way, and his cousin Ashart is an astronomer.
    These aren’t their defining features, however. They are simply part of who they are along with their management of estates, enjoyment of horses, their style and their politics.
    I don’t think I’ve done the same in the Regency books, though Nicholas Delaney has an eclectically enquiring mind.

    Reply
  57. I’ve included a few scientists in my books, Quantum, but I’ve integrated them. Too often they’re odd in some way. Admittedly, Henry Cavendish was odd, but many scientists can mingly well in society.
    Especially in the Enlightenment period gentlemen were supposed to be educated and enquiring, so Rothgar is into clockwork mechanisms and automata in a hands-on way, and his cousin Ashart is an astronomer.
    These aren’t their defining features, however. They are simply part of who they are along with their management of estates, enjoyment of horses, their style and their politics.
    I don’t think I’ve done the same in the Regency books, though Nicholas Delaney has an eclectically enquiring mind.

    Reply
  58. I’ve included a few scientists in my books, Quantum, but I’ve integrated them. Too often they’re odd in some way. Admittedly, Henry Cavendish was odd, but many scientists can mingly well in society.
    Especially in the Enlightenment period gentlemen were supposed to be educated and enquiring, so Rothgar is into clockwork mechanisms and automata in a hands-on way, and his cousin Ashart is an astronomer.
    These aren’t their defining features, however. They are simply part of who they are along with their management of estates, enjoyment of horses, their style and their politics.
    I don’t think I’ve done the same in the Regency books, though Nicholas Delaney has an eclectically enquiring mind.

    Reply
  59. I’ve included a few scientists in my books, Quantum, but I’ve integrated them. Too often they’re odd in some way. Admittedly, Henry Cavendish was odd, but many scientists can mingly well in society.
    Especially in the Enlightenment period gentlemen were supposed to be educated and enquiring, so Rothgar is into clockwork mechanisms and automata in a hands-on way, and his cousin Ashart is an astronomer.
    These aren’t their defining features, however. They are simply part of who they are along with their management of estates, enjoyment of horses, their style and their politics.
    I don’t think I’ve done the same in the Regency books, though Nicholas Delaney has an eclectically enquiring mind.

    Reply
  60. I’ve included a few scientists in my books, Quantum, but I’ve integrated them. Too often they’re odd in some way. Admittedly, Henry Cavendish was odd, but many scientists can mingly well in society.
    Especially in the Enlightenment period gentlemen were supposed to be educated and enquiring, so Rothgar is into clockwork mechanisms and automata in a hands-on way, and his cousin Ashart is an astronomer.
    These aren’t their defining features, however. They are simply part of who they are along with their management of estates, enjoyment of horses, their style and their politics.
    I don’t think I’ve done the same in the Regency books, though Nicholas Delaney has an eclectically enquiring mind.

    Reply
  61. All in all I’d rather be with modern technology than without it. I find the pop up ads amusing, because they’re so stupid. I looked once at canned spinach, and they think I’m an addict??? Even better are the google ones that offer to sell me anything I’ve searched on. I search for the Book of Kells, and I get “Best prices on the Book of Kells here.”
    I would simply ban any ads that move, whether it’s jiggle or video. “They only do it to annoy because they know it teases.”
    Oh, and people who are on their cell phone at a social event. Ban them too! I think it should be a seriously intimate activity — ie, if it’s essential find a quiet, shadowy corner where no one can see you do it.

    Reply
  62. All in all I’d rather be with modern technology than without it. I find the pop up ads amusing, because they’re so stupid. I looked once at canned spinach, and they think I’m an addict??? Even better are the google ones that offer to sell me anything I’ve searched on. I search for the Book of Kells, and I get “Best prices on the Book of Kells here.”
    I would simply ban any ads that move, whether it’s jiggle or video. “They only do it to annoy because they know it teases.”
    Oh, and people who are on their cell phone at a social event. Ban them too! I think it should be a seriously intimate activity — ie, if it’s essential find a quiet, shadowy corner where no one can see you do it.

    Reply
  63. All in all I’d rather be with modern technology than without it. I find the pop up ads amusing, because they’re so stupid. I looked once at canned spinach, and they think I’m an addict??? Even better are the google ones that offer to sell me anything I’ve searched on. I search for the Book of Kells, and I get “Best prices on the Book of Kells here.”
    I would simply ban any ads that move, whether it’s jiggle or video. “They only do it to annoy because they know it teases.”
    Oh, and people who are on their cell phone at a social event. Ban them too! I think it should be a seriously intimate activity — ie, if it’s essential find a quiet, shadowy corner where no one can see you do it.

    Reply
  64. All in all I’d rather be with modern technology than without it. I find the pop up ads amusing, because they’re so stupid. I looked once at canned spinach, and they think I’m an addict??? Even better are the google ones that offer to sell me anything I’ve searched on. I search for the Book of Kells, and I get “Best prices on the Book of Kells here.”
    I would simply ban any ads that move, whether it’s jiggle or video. “They only do it to annoy because they know it teases.”
    Oh, and people who are on their cell phone at a social event. Ban them too! I think it should be a seriously intimate activity — ie, if it’s essential find a quiet, shadowy corner where no one can see you do it.

    Reply
  65. All in all I’d rather be with modern technology than without it. I find the pop up ads amusing, because they’re so stupid. I looked once at canned spinach, and they think I’m an addict??? Even better are the google ones that offer to sell me anything I’ve searched on. I search for the Book of Kells, and I get “Best prices on the Book of Kells here.”
    I would simply ban any ads that move, whether it’s jiggle or video. “They only do it to annoy because they know it teases.”
    Oh, and people who are on their cell phone at a social event. Ban them too! I think it should be a seriously intimate activity — ie, if it’s essential find a quiet, shadowy corner where no one can see you do it.

    Reply
  66. Great post! I love this history! What would I most likely to get rid of on my computers? All those annoying ads – especially the ‘smart’ ones that track your history, they’re just creepy in addition to being annoying! The dancing, flashinf, video everything ones are annoying too since you can’t make them stop. I also wish news sites would stop posting so many video only reports. Most of the time I’d rather read than watch – especially on my phone so I don’t eat up battery power.

    Reply
  67. Great post! I love this history! What would I most likely to get rid of on my computers? All those annoying ads – especially the ‘smart’ ones that track your history, they’re just creepy in addition to being annoying! The dancing, flashinf, video everything ones are annoying too since you can’t make them stop. I also wish news sites would stop posting so many video only reports. Most of the time I’d rather read than watch – especially on my phone so I don’t eat up battery power.

    Reply
  68. Great post! I love this history! What would I most likely to get rid of on my computers? All those annoying ads – especially the ‘smart’ ones that track your history, they’re just creepy in addition to being annoying! The dancing, flashinf, video everything ones are annoying too since you can’t make them stop. I also wish news sites would stop posting so many video only reports. Most of the time I’d rather read than watch – especially on my phone so I don’t eat up battery power.

    Reply
  69. Great post! I love this history! What would I most likely to get rid of on my computers? All those annoying ads – especially the ‘smart’ ones that track your history, they’re just creepy in addition to being annoying! The dancing, flashinf, video everything ones are annoying too since you can’t make them stop. I also wish news sites would stop posting so many video only reports. Most of the time I’d rather read than watch – especially on my phone so I don’t eat up battery power.

    Reply
  70. Great post! I love this history! What would I most likely to get rid of on my computers? All those annoying ads – especially the ‘smart’ ones that track your history, they’re just creepy in addition to being annoying! The dancing, flashinf, video everything ones are annoying too since you can’t make them stop. I also wish news sites would stop posting so many video only reports. Most of the time I’d rather read than watch – especially on my phone so I don’t eat up battery power.

    Reply
  71. Wonderful post, I knew a wee bit but this has made me so much more aware. I am not on Facebook nor Twitter, but yes those short films that stop me from moving forward are yucky.
    I do believe that as much as I like my computer and my Kindle, I dislike the negative and hateful things that appear because of someone’s ability to hide in the shadows. Technology has given us treasures, all thanks to people who were so bright their lights could not be hidden.

    Reply
  72. Wonderful post, I knew a wee bit but this has made me so much more aware. I am not on Facebook nor Twitter, but yes those short films that stop me from moving forward are yucky.
    I do believe that as much as I like my computer and my Kindle, I dislike the negative and hateful things that appear because of someone’s ability to hide in the shadows. Technology has given us treasures, all thanks to people who were so bright their lights could not be hidden.

    Reply
  73. Wonderful post, I knew a wee bit but this has made me so much more aware. I am not on Facebook nor Twitter, but yes those short films that stop me from moving forward are yucky.
    I do believe that as much as I like my computer and my Kindle, I dislike the negative and hateful things that appear because of someone’s ability to hide in the shadows. Technology has given us treasures, all thanks to people who were so bright their lights could not be hidden.

    Reply
  74. Wonderful post, I knew a wee bit but this has made me so much more aware. I am not on Facebook nor Twitter, but yes those short films that stop me from moving forward are yucky.
    I do believe that as much as I like my computer and my Kindle, I dislike the negative and hateful things that appear because of someone’s ability to hide in the shadows. Technology has given us treasures, all thanks to people who were so bright their lights could not be hidden.

    Reply
  75. Wonderful post, I knew a wee bit but this has made me so much more aware. I am not on Facebook nor Twitter, but yes those short films that stop me from moving forward are yucky.
    I do believe that as much as I like my computer and my Kindle, I dislike the negative and hateful things that appear because of someone’s ability to hide in the shadows. Technology has given us treasures, all thanks to people who were so bright their lights could not be hidden.

    Reply
  76. Shannon, it drives me crazy to see people in a restaurant looking down in their laps and texting while in the company of others. Or worse—two people, clearly on a date of some sort, and both are on their phones! (Maybe talking to each other, as so many people seem to have trouble connecting face to face. To me, it’s the height of rudeness to favor an electronic device over the people one is with.

    Reply
  77. Shannon, it drives me crazy to see people in a restaurant looking down in their laps and texting while in the company of others. Or worse—two people, clearly on a date of some sort, and both are on their phones! (Maybe talking to each other, as so many people seem to have trouble connecting face to face. To me, it’s the height of rudeness to favor an electronic device over the people one is with.

    Reply
  78. Shannon, it drives me crazy to see people in a restaurant looking down in their laps and texting while in the company of others. Or worse—two people, clearly on a date of some sort, and both are on their phones! (Maybe talking to each other, as so many people seem to have trouble connecting face to face. To me, it’s the height of rudeness to favor an electronic device over the people one is with.

    Reply
  79. Shannon, it drives me crazy to see people in a restaurant looking down in their laps and texting while in the company of others. Or worse—two people, clearly on a date of some sort, and both are on their phones! (Maybe talking to each other, as so many people seem to have trouble connecting face to face. To me, it’s the height of rudeness to favor an electronic device over the people one is with.

    Reply
  80. Shannon, it drives me crazy to see people in a restaurant looking down in their laps and texting while in the company of others. Or worse—two people, clearly on a date of some sort, and both are on their phones! (Maybe talking to each other, as so many people seem to have trouble connecting face to face. To me, it’s the height of rudeness to favor an electronic device over the people one is with.

    Reply
  81. Jo, I totally agree on all the good uses of modern tech. I’d hate to give up my computer and internet connectivity. But I try to use it as tools for information, making life easier (yes, shopping!) and such, not just letting it suck me into passive distractions.
    Loud cellphone conversation in a social occasion are awful—yes, ban them. On trains and other public spaces, too. I REALLY don’t want to have to listen to someone’s personal conversations—it’s quite appalling what some will yak on about in great detail!

    Reply
  82. Jo, I totally agree on all the good uses of modern tech. I’d hate to give up my computer and internet connectivity. But I try to use it as tools for information, making life easier (yes, shopping!) and such, not just letting it suck me into passive distractions.
    Loud cellphone conversation in a social occasion are awful—yes, ban them. On trains and other public spaces, too. I REALLY don’t want to have to listen to someone’s personal conversations—it’s quite appalling what some will yak on about in great detail!

    Reply
  83. Jo, I totally agree on all the good uses of modern tech. I’d hate to give up my computer and internet connectivity. But I try to use it as tools for information, making life easier (yes, shopping!) and such, not just letting it suck me into passive distractions.
    Loud cellphone conversation in a social occasion are awful—yes, ban them. On trains and other public spaces, too. I REALLY don’t want to have to listen to someone’s personal conversations—it’s quite appalling what some will yak on about in great detail!

    Reply
  84. Jo, I totally agree on all the good uses of modern tech. I’d hate to give up my computer and internet connectivity. But I try to use it as tools for information, making life easier (yes, shopping!) and such, not just letting it suck me into passive distractions.
    Loud cellphone conversation in a social occasion are awful—yes, ban them. On trains and other public spaces, too. I REALLY don’t want to have to listen to someone’s personal conversations—it’s quite appalling what some will yak on about in great detail!

    Reply
  85. Jo, I totally agree on all the good uses of modern tech. I’d hate to give up my computer and internet connectivity. But I try to use it as tools for information, making life easier (yes, shopping!) and such, not just letting it suck me into passive distractions.
    Loud cellphone conversation in a social occasion are awful—yes, ban them. On trains and other public spaces, too. I REALLY don’t want to have to listen to someone’s personal conversations—it’s quite appalling what some will yak on about in great detail!

    Reply
  86. Annette, that’s a very good point about how people can be so anonymous on the internet, and use that “privacy” to to post nasty or damaging stuff. But I suppose there have always been people who thrive on doing negative things with whatever tools are out there.

    Reply
  87. Annette, that’s a very good point about how people can be so anonymous on the internet, and use that “privacy” to to post nasty or damaging stuff. But I suppose there have always been people who thrive on doing negative things with whatever tools are out there.

    Reply
  88. Annette, that’s a very good point about how people can be so anonymous on the internet, and use that “privacy” to to post nasty or damaging stuff. But I suppose there have always been people who thrive on doing negative things with whatever tools are out there.

    Reply
  89. Annette, that’s a very good point about how people can be so anonymous on the internet, and use that “privacy” to to post nasty or damaging stuff. But I suppose there have always been people who thrive on doing negative things with whatever tools are out there.

    Reply
  90. Annette, that’s a very good point about how people can be so anonymous on the internet, and use that “privacy” to to post nasty or damaging stuff. But I suppose there have always been people who thrive on doing negative things with whatever tools are out there.

    Reply
  91. In the 1960’s I edited an education pamphlet about the coming computer age that featured Charles Babbage, but I learned much more from you. And I didn’t know of Ada Lovelace!
    As for modern computing: I keep Facebook because I connect with family and special interest friends that way. Those connections are good; I can do genealogy — and keep up with authors in Australia, England, Canada, and many other places as well as the entire U. S. BUT, I hate Facebook’s organization. It constantly defaults to what it wants instead of what I as a user want. It pushes ads and stories that have NO connection to anything I have clicked on or anything I have joined of friended, and so on. Facebook tis all about the administration and not about the user. Someone give us a user-friendly Facebook!

    Reply
  92. In the 1960’s I edited an education pamphlet about the coming computer age that featured Charles Babbage, but I learned much more from you. And I didn’t know of Ada Lovelace!
    As for modern computing: I keep Facebook because I connect with family and special interest friends that way. Those connections are good; I can do genealogy — and keep up with authors in Australia, England, Canada, and many other places as well as the entire U. S. BUT, I hate Facebook’s organization. It constantly defaults to what it wants instead of what I as a user want. It pushes ads and stories that have NO connection to anything I have clicked on or anything I have joined of friended, and so on. Facebook tis all about the administration and not about the user. Someone give us a user-friendly Facebook!

    Reply
  93. In the 1960’s I edited an education pamphlet about the coming computer age that featured Charles Babbage, but I learned much more from you. And I didn’t know of Ada Lovelace!
    As for modern computing: I keep Facebook because I connect with family and special interest friends that way. Those connections are good; I can do genealogy — and keep up with authors in Australia, England, Canada, and many other places as well as the entire U. S. BUT, I hate Facebook’s organization. It constantly defaults to what it wants instead of what I as a user want. It pushes ads and stories that have NO connection to anything I have clicked on or anything I have joined of friended, and so on. Facebook tis all about the administration and not about the user. Someone give us a user-friendly Facebook!

    Reply
  94. In the 1960’s I edited an education pamphlet about the coming computer age that featured Charles Babbage, but I learned much more from you. And I didn’t know of Ada Lovelace!
    As for modern computing: I keep Facebook because I connect with family and special interest friends that way. Those connections are good; I can do genealogy — and keep up with authors in Australia, England, Canada, and many other places as well as the entire U. S. BUT, I hate Facebook’s organization. It constantly defaults to what it wants instead of what I as a user want. It pushes ads and stories that have NO connection to anything I have clicked on or anything I have joined of friended, and so on. Facebook tis all about the administration and not about the user. Someone give us a user-friendly Facebook!

    Reply
  95. In the 1960’s I edited an education pamphlet about the coming computer age that featured Charles Babbage, but I learned much more from you. And I didn’t know of Ada Lovelace!
    As for modern computing: I keep Facebook because I connect with family and special interest friends that way. Those connections are good; I can do genealogy — and keep up with authors in Australia, England, Canada, and many other places as well as the entire U. S. BUT, I hate Facebook’s organization. It constantly defaults to what it wants instead of what I as a user want. It pushes ads and stories that have NO connection to anything I have clicked on or anything I have joined of friended, and so on. Facebook tis all about the administration and not about the user. Someone give us a user-friendly Facebook!

    Reply
  96. I worked for many years as a computer programmer, so technology and I play together well. But I do those video ads that start playing as soon as you open a web page! Horrible. I usually keep my volume turned off and only turn it on if I want to listen to something.

    Reply
  97. I worked for many years as a computer programmer, so technology and I play together well. But I do those video ads that start playing as soon as you open a web page! Horrible. I usually keep my volume turned off and only turn it on if I want to listen to something.

    Reply
  98. I worked for many years as a computer programmer, so technology and I play together well. But I do those video ads that start playing as soon as you open a web page! Horrible. I usually keep my volume turned off and only turn it on if I want to listen to something.

    Reply
  99. I worked for many years as a computer programmer, so technology and I play together well. But I do those video ads that start playing as soon as you open a web page! Horrible. I usually keep my volume turned off and only turn it on if I want to listen to something.

    Reply
  100. I worked for many years as a computer programmer, so technology and I play together well. But I do those video ads that start playing as soon as you open a web page! Horrible. I usually keep my volume turned off and only turn it on if I want to listen to something.

    Reply
  101. I agree…those ads! Those video stories instead of print! Those flashy graphics! (yuck, yuck, yuck).
    As to what I follow..only Facebook, only 28 friends/family and 8 organizations. I can’t keep up with all the stuff my friends/family members like/comment on so I’m glad I don’t have hundreds of friends.
    What do I like? The ability to go out and find information when my inquiring mind wants it. Also, the ability to go online and look at the catalog at my library and reserve the book I want. Find out when new books are coming out. Etc, etc.
    But it is also a DREADFUL black hole of wasted time…..Sometimes I think I use the computer as a way of procrastinating so I don’t have time to do what I should be doing. Grin.

    Reply
  102. I agree…those ads! Those video stories instead of print! Those flashy graphics! (yuck, yuck, yuck).
    As to what I follow..only Facebook, only 28 friends/family and 8 organizations. I can’t keep up with all the stuff my friends/family members like/comment on so I’m glad I don’t have hundreds of friends.
    What do I like? The ability to go out and find information when my inquiring mind wants it. Also, the ability to go online and look at the catalog at my library and reserve the book I want. Find out when new books are coming out. Etc, etc.
    But it is also a DREADFUL black hole of wasted time…..Sometimes I think I use the computer as a way of procrastinating so I don’t have time to do what I should be doing. Grin.

    Reply
  103. I agree…those ads! Those video stories instead of print! Those flashy graphics! (yuck, yuck, yuck).
    As to what I follow..only Facebook, only 28 friends/family and 8 organizations. I can’t keep up with all the stuff my friends/family members like/comment on so I’m glad I don’t have hundreds of friends.
    What do I like? The ability to go out and find information when my inquiring mind wants it. Also, the ability to go online and look at the catalog at my library and reserve the book I want. Find out when new books are coming out. Etc, etc.
    But it is also a DREADFUL black hole of wasted time…..Sometimes I think I use the computer as a way of procrastinating so I don’t have time to do what I should be doing. Grin.

    Reply
  104. I agree…those ads! Those video stories instead of print! Those flashy graphics! (yuck, yuck, yuck).
    As to what I follow..only Facebook, only 28 friends/family and 8 organizations. I can’t keep up with all the stuff my friends/family members like/comment on so I’m glad I don’t have hundreds of friends.
    What do I like? The ability to go out and find information when my inquiring mind wants it. Also, the ability to go online and look at the catalog at my library and reserve the book I want. Find out when new books are coming out. Etc, etc.
    But it is also a DREADFUL black hole of wasted time…..Sometimes I think I use the computer as a way of procrastinating so I don’t have time to do what I should be doing. Grin.

    Reply
  105. I agree…those ads! Those video stories instead of print! Those flashy graphics! (yuck, yuck, yuck).
    As to what I follow..only Facebook, only 28 friends/family and 8 organizations. I can’t keep up with all the stuff my friends/family members like/comment on so I’m glad I don’t have hundreds of friends.
    What do I like? The ability to go out and find information when my inquiring mind wants it. Also, the ability to go online and look at the catalog at my library and reserve the book I want. Find out when new books are coming out. Etc, etc.
    But it is also a DREADFUL black hole of wasted time…..Sometimes I think I use the computer as a way of procrastinating so I don’t have time to do what I should be doing. Grin.

    Reply
  106. Sue, Ada is a fascinating story! You might enjoy reading more about her. (The U.S. Defense Department’s main programming lanugage is named ADA in her honor!)
    Facebook is good for exactly the reasons you mention, but their secret algorithms for what shows up on your page, and why all your friends don’t get your posts are frustrating and annoying. So yes, a user-friendly FB would be wonderful!

    Reply
  107. Sue, Ada is a fascinating story! You might enjoy reading more about her. (The U.S. Defense Department’s main programming lanugage is named ADA in her honor!)
    Facebook is good for exactly the reasons you mention, but their secret algorithms for what shows up on your page, and why all your friends don’t get your posts are frustrating and annoying. So yes, a user-friendly FB would be wonderful!

    Reply
  108. Sue, Ada is a fascinating story! You might enjoy reading more about her. (The U.S. Defense Department’s main programming lanugage is named ADA in her honor!)
    Facebook is good for exactly the reasons you mention, but their secret algorithms for what shows up on your page, and why all your friends don’t get your posts are frustrating and annoying. So yes, a user-friendly FB would be wonderful!

    Reply
  109. Sue, Ada is a fascinating story! You might enjoy reading more about her. (The U.S. Defense Department’s main programming lanugage is named ADA in her honor!)
    Facebook is good for exactly the reasons you mention, but their secret algorithms for what shows up on your page, and why all your friends don’t get your posts are frustrating and annoying. So yes, a user-friendly FB would be wonderful!

    Reply
  110. Sue, Ada is a fascinating story! You might enjoy reading more about her. (The U.S. Defense Department’s main programming lanugage is named ADA in her honor!)
    Facebook is good for exactly the reasons you mention, but their secret algorithms for what shows up on your page, and why all your friends don’t get your posts are frustrating and annoying. So yes, a user-friendly FB would be wonderful!

    Reply
  111. Karen, I do the same thing with my volumn, so at least the ads don’t unexpectedly blast me out of my chair!
    I’ve gotten fairly proficient with technology, so can figure out some glitches, and navigate pretty easily. I’m happy to have all the advantages. Would just like to change a few of the really bothersome things.

    Reply
  112. Karen, I do the same thing with my volumn, so at least the ads don’t unexpectedly blast me out of my chair!
    I’ve gotten fairly proficient with technology, so can figure out some glitches, and navigate pretty easily. I’m happy to have all the advantages. Would just like to change a few of the really bothersome things.

    Reply
  113. Karen, I do the same thing with my volumn, so at least the ads don’t unexpectedly blast me out of my chair!
    I’ve gotten fairly proficient with technology, so can figure out some glitches, and navigate pretty easily. I’m happy to have all the advantages. Would just like to change a few of the really bothersome things.

    Reply
  114. Karen, I do the same thing with my volumn, so at least the ads don’t unexpectedly blast me out of my chair!
    I’ve gotten fairly proficient with technology, so can figure out some glitches, and navigate pretty easily. I’m happy to have all the advantages. Would just like to change a few of the really bothersome things.

    Reply
  115. Karen, I do the same thing with my volumn, so at least the ads don’t unexpectedly blast me out of my chair!
    I’ve gotten fairly proficient with technology, so can figure out some glitches, and navigate pretty easily. I’m happy to have all the advantages. Would just like to change a few of the really bothersome things.

    Reply
  116. The mills had looms running on punch cards long before Babbage was studying math. These looms were the first aims of the machine breaking Luddites. The punch cards running the looms were closely related to the cards used on some of the main frames in the 20th century
    They were sort of like player piano rolls.

    Reply
  117. The mills had looms running on punch cards long before Babbage was studying math. These looms were the first aims of the machine breaking Luddites. The punch cards running the looms were closely related to the cards used on some of the main frames in the 20th century
    They were sort of like player piano rolls.

    Reply
  118. The mills had looms running on punch cards long before Babbage was studying math. These looms were the first aims of the machine breaking Luddites. The punch cards running the looms were closely related to the cards used on some of the main frames in the 20th century
    They were sort of like player piano rolls.

    Reply
  119. The mills had looms running on punch cards long before Babbage was studying math. These looms were the first aims of the machine breaking Luddites. The punch cards running the looms were closely related to the cards used on some of the main frames in the 20th century
    They were sort of like player piano rolls.

    Reply
  120. The mills had looms running on punch cards long before Babbage was studying math. These looms were the first aims of the machine breaking Luddites. The punch cards running the looms were closely related to the cards used on some of the main frames in the 20th century
    They were sort of like player piano rolls.

    Reply
  121. Nancy, Joseph Marie Jacquard invented his sophisticated loom in 1801, and it was the first to use the punch cards to weave such intricate designs. In the late 1800s, Herman Hollerith (who went on to found IBM) designed a tabulator with punch cards tabulating the U.S Census data—the first time a machine accomplished the task. Yes, punch cards were used in computers up until the 1970s! Amazing how technology has changed with lightning speed since then!

    Reply
  122. Nancy, Joseph Marie Jacquard invented his sophisticated loom in 1801, and it was the first to use the punch cards to weave such intricate designs. In the late 1800s, Herman Hollerith (who went on to found IBM) designed a tabulator with punch cards tabulating the U.S Census data—the first time a machine accomplished the task. Yes, punch cards were used in computers up until the 1970s! Amazing how technology has changed with lightning speed since then!

    Reply
  123. Nancy, Joseph Marie Jacquard invented his sophisticated loom in 1801, and it was the first to use the punch cards to weave such intricate designs. In the late 1800s, Herman Hollerith (who went on to found IBM) designed a tabulator with punch cards tabulating the U.S Census data—the first time a machine accomplished the task. Yes, punch cards were used in computers up until the 1970s! Amazing how technology has changed with lightning speed since then!

    Reply
  124. Nancy, Joseph Marie Jacquard invented his sophisticated loom in 1801, and it was the first to use the punch cards to weave such intricate designs. In the late 1800s, Herman Hollerith (who went on to found IBM) designed a tabulator with punch cards tabulating the U.S Census data—the first time a machine accomplished the task. Yes, punch cards were used in computers up until the 1970s! Amazing how technology has changed with lightning speed since then!

    Reply
  125. Nancy, Joseph Marie Jacquard invented his sophisticated loom in 1801, and it was the first to use the punch cards to weave such intricate designs. In the late 1800s, Herman Hollerith (who went on to found IBM) designed a tabulator with punch cards tabulating the U.S Census data—the first time a machine accomplished the task. Yes, punch cards were used in computers up until the 1970s! Amazing how technology has changed with lightning speed since then!

    Reply
  126. What an absolutely wonderful article. Thank you so much. I’m going to share it with my math geek son, and if I ever write an historical romance, I think a mathematical tinkerer would serve well.

    Reply
  127. What an absolutely wonderful article. Thank you so much. I’m going to share it with my math geek son, and if I ever write an historical romance, I think a mathematical tinkerer would serve well.

    Reply
  128. What an absolutely wonderful article. Thank you so much. I’m going to share it with my math geek son, and if I ever write an historical romance, I think a mathematical tinkerer would serve well.

    Reply
  129. What an absolutely wonderful article. Thank you so much. I’m going to share it with my math geek son, and if I ever write an historical romance, I think a mathematical tinkerer would serve well.

    Reply
  130. What an absolutely wonderful article. Thank you so much. I’m going to share it with my math geek son, and if I ever write an historical romance, I think a mathematical tinkerer would serve well.

    Reply
  131. Thanks for the interesting article… and all the other ones I (nearly) always read but don’t comment on.
    And a tip for all you ladies who loath the tracking & advertising & other creepy crawlers and want to feel a little safer on the internet, install these (free but safe) programmes:
    Ghostery – blocks trackers (it tells me it blocked 6 trackers on this blog by the way 😉 )
    HTTPS Everywhere – goes to encrypted link automatically if available, which should be standard practice for all sites IMO
    AdBlock Plus – blocks almost all ads, also before/during YouTube videos etc.
    Wé (our data) are the products that are being sold/traded by Facebook & Co, and nearly always without our consent so make it as hard as possible for them.

    Reply
  132. Thanks for the interesting article… and all the other ones I (nearly) always read but don’t comment on.
    And a tip for all you ladies who loath the tracking & advertising & other creepy crawlers and want to feel a little safer on the internet, install these (free but safe) programmes:
    Ghostery – blocks trackers (it tells me it blocked 6 trackers on this blog by the way 😉 )
    HTTPS Everywhere – goes to encrypted link automatically if available, which should be standard practice for all sites IMO
    AdBlock Plus – blocks almost all ads, also before/during YouTube videos etc.
    Wé (our data) are the products that are being sold/traded by Facebook & Co, and nearly always without our consent so make it as hard as possible for them.

    Reply
  133. Thanks for the interesting article… and all the other ones I (nearly) always read but don’t comment on.
    And a tip for all you ladies who loath the tracking & advertising & other creepy crawlers and want to feel a little safer on the internet, install these (free but safe) programmes:
    Ghostery – blocks trackers (it tells me it blocked 6 trackers on this blog by the way 😉 )
    HTTPS Everywhere – goes to encrypted link automatically if available, which should be standard practice for all sites IMO
    AdBlock Plus – blocks almost all ads, also before/during YouTube videos etc.
    Wé (our data) are the products that are being sold/traded by Facebook & Co, and nearly always without our consent so make it as hard as possible for them.

    Reply
  134. Thanks for the interesting article… and all the other ones I (nearly) always read but don’t comment on.
    And a tip for all you ladies who loath the tracking & advertising & other creepy crawlers and want to feel a little safer on the internet, install these (free but safe) programmes:
    Ghostery – blocks trackers (it tells me it blocked 6 trackers on this blog by the way 😉 )
    HTTPS Everywhere – goes to encrypted link automatically if available, which should be standard practice for all sites IMO
    AdBlock Plus – blocks almost all ads, also before/during YouTube videos etc.
    Wé (our data) are the products that are being sold/traded by Facebook & Co, and nearly always without our consent so make it as hard as possible for them.

    Reply
  135. Thanks for the interesting article… and all the other ones I (nearly) always read but don’t comment on.
    And a tip for all you ladies who loath the tracking & advertising & other creepy crawlers and want to feel a little safer on the internet, install these (free but safe) programmes:
    Ghostery – blocks trackers (it tells me it blocked 6 trackers on this blog by the way 😉 )
    HTTPS Everywhere – goes to encrypted link automatically if available, which should be standard practice for all sites IMO
    AdBlock Plus – blocks almost all ads, also before/during YouTube videos etc.
    Wé (our data) are the products that are being sold/traded by Facebook & Co, and nearly always without our consent so make it as hard as possible for them.

    Reply

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