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  • Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

    http://www.tgdaily.com/index.php

    http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/36600/113/

    Redlands (CA) – Computer geeks on opposite ends of the Earth have found the original sketch of the world’s first programmer. In a story worthy of a Hollywood movie, a United States Army sergeant in Tajikistan and a programmer in Texas resurrected the legend of Ada Lovelace by buying up a 180-year-old watercolor portrait on eBay.

    Ada Lovelace, formally known as Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace is credited with creating the world’s first computer program for the Babbage steam-powered calculating engine. The United States military named their Ada programming language after her and her portrait is used in some Microsoft hologram stickers.

    But those stickers and many paintings of Lovelace have been copies of copies. Also it’s a bit weird that Microsoft is probably using a twice removed copy of the sketch as an authenticity sticker. A company spokesman declined to comment on the find.

    It was assumed that the original portrait had been lost forever, until a Canadian antique dealer put the original framed watercolor sketch on eBay. The posting would have faded into oblivion if it wasn’t for US Army Master Sergeant Robert McLaughlin.

    Currently posted at the United States Embassy in dusty and remote Tajikistan, McLaughlin frequently searches eBay for Ada Lovelace-related items. In a weekly ritual, partly to keep sane and mainly to keep in touch with friends, he sends the results to “Valkyrie”, a friend in Texas. “Ada is Valkyrie’s heroine,” he told us.

    The find sparked a flurry of emails, Skype messages and phone calls between fellow computer geeks, historians and antique dealers who tried to authenticate the drawing. Experts soon agreed that the portrait was done in the 1820s when Ada was approximately four-years-old. McLaughlin bid for the portrait and put in another bid with the last moments of bidding. Who would have thought that Army anti-sniper training would be so relevant to eBay bidding these days?

    McLaughlin took early leave to pick up the sketch in Southern California. He and Valkyrie met us met us at a top-secret location (cough Starbucks cough) in Redlands, CA to show off the frame and authenticity letter. Cradling the frame like a baby, Valkyrie joked, “She looks pretty good for being so old.”

    Only a few feet separated Ada’s portrait from a MacBook Air and two other laptops and we can only imagine how proud she would have felt about the progress of computing.


    (photos at link at top of page)
    Last edited by astcell; March 24, 2008, 10:47.

  • #2
    Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

    Congrats on your great find!
    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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    • #3
      Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

      If all goes well, she will be at Defcon.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

        So who do you think historically made the biggest contribution to computers. My vote would have to go to George Boole.

        xor
        Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

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        • #5
          Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

          Originally posted by xor View Post
          So who do you think historically made the biggest contribution to computers. My vote would have to go to George Boole.

          xor
          I vote for Thorn, since had he not told the early Persians about Zero, we wouldn't even have Boolean.
          A third party security audit is the IT equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's long, intrusive, very uncomfortable, and when it's done, you'll have seen things you really didn't want to see, and you'll never forget that you've had one.

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          • #6
            Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

            What would Antiques Roadshow say?
            ======================================
            DJ Jackalope
            dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

            send in the drop bears!
            ======================================

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            • #7
              Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

              Good question Lopey! But I think they see Uncle Ira's table and run the other way!

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              • #8
                Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

                Hey, congrats! A great find!
                Thorn
                "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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                • #9
                  Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

                  The post made slashdot. ;-)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

                    Originally posted by xor View Post
                    So who do you think historically made the biggest contribution to computers.
                    Alan Turing, with Alonzo Church coming in a close second
                    45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
                    45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
                    [ redacted ]

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                    • #11
                      Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

                      Originally posted by bascule View Post
                      Alan Turing, with Alonzo Church coming in a close second
                      Claude Shannon, for Artificial Intelligence, Information Theory, and general Computer Science.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

                        Originally posted by xor View Post
                        So who do you think historically made the biggest contribution to computers. My vote would have to go to George Boole.

                        xor
                        Alan Turing and Rear Admiral Grace Hopper.
                        Thorn
                        "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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                        • #13
                          Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

                          On March 24, 2008, the computer world was enthralled with the notice of the resurrection of the childhood portrait of Ada Lovelace. The image, seen on many Microsoft CDs, is over 180 years old and tells of a day when steam ran the country, Abe Lincoln was only ten years old, and a future female computer programmer was having her portrait painted in watercolor by Frank Stone, who went on to paint for Charles Dickens.

                          The news was on slashdot, tgdaily, and here. Well it turns out that March 24 is about to go down in history as Ada Lovelace Day.

                          Who'da thunk.

                          http://www.pledgebank.com/AdaLovelaceDay
                          Last edited by astcell; January 14, 2009, 22:02.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

                            Wow. Very cool. I'll be wanting to see it at DC.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Original Ada Lovelace painting purchased on eBay

                              Wow, that's remarkable.

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