Happy Ada Lovelace Day 2014!


Happy Ada Lovelace Day people! Every day is Ada Lovelace Day here at 2dgoggles, if you’re new to the site you’re probably looking for Lovelace: The Origin! Which is a brisk introduction to Lovelace and what she’s all about.


The FIRST thing I should say is that the gif above is totally wrong, the programming cards didn’t go end-to-end like that but lengthwise like this– and had they existed would have been made of heavy card that would be a giant pain to animate. Seldom, I must say, have I felt closer or more sympathetic to Lady Lovelace than when spending months trying to get my head around, and then explain, Babbage’s impossibly complicated machine! I have failed to make any great world-changing intellectual breakthroughs in the process however. Over the next few months I’ll be putting a bunch of Analytical Engine stuff up so stay tuned for that. Also, comics!

Appropriate to the day, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage has a cover!!

Lovelace and Babbage cover

That links to the Amazon US site, should you care to preorder, and be astonished six months from now by a strange artifact appearing inexplicably in your mailbox. Ditto UK! Erm… the description still suggests the Book contains The Organist, which we unfortunately had to jettison to attain more lift. We’ll get that fixed up!

Traditionally on Ada Day I provide some novel primary documents, so I hunted down a couple of women-in-STEM celebrations from days of yore.. first up, the Babbage-boosters at Mechanics Magazine have a shout-out to Lovelace in an 1851 Babbage retrospective:

(Lovelace wrote the notes anonymously, of course, but was outed by the Statistical Society in 1848, “with the permission of Lord Lovelace”).

A positive roster of accomplished women from a speaker advocating for women’s suffrage, 1852– early indeed, and accompanied by ambiguous ‘laughter’:

Do check out the ALD website and lively twitter hashtag for lots of articles and events on women in tech for the next day or two!

PS– I’ve had requests for a small version of the lovelace looping gif, here you go:



  1. Telzey Amberdon on January 8, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I grabbed a set of the Lovelace & Babbage keychains at New York Comicon on the first day of the convention (making high-pitched dolphin noises of joy much to the consternation of the nice young lady manning the booth), but they wouldn’t take pre-orders. The basket of keychains must have disappeared quickly, when I went back the next day to grab another set for a friend, it was gone! I hope they sent you some as a courtesy, they are lovely. I kind of don’t want to actually use them as they are made of soft white rubber/plastic, so I just have them hanging on a key caddy.

    I am part-owner of a comic book store in Connecticut, do you have any idea if the book be offered to us through Diamond?

  2. JamesPadraicR on October 19, 2014 at 4:32 am

    It’s also available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble. I happened to be there earlier–have had the book in my shopping cart since it was announced–and noticed that it showed a cover now.


  3. Hervé S. on October 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    OK, we’ll do Amazon if Amazon we must, but really, isn’t there *any* other means to buy the book?
    (and have it delivered to France, in addition -I know, I’m a bother…)

    • sydney on October 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      No no not at all! Amazon just seems to get the earliest preorder setup… Indiebound has it up http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780307908278 — but none of the shops I tried had a means to preorder yet. When it’s closer to the date it’ll show up in all fine bookshops (and fine comics shops in France, I should hope!)

      • Hervé S. on October 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

        After a patient attempt at contacing them, it seems Indiebound just don’t cover my remote part of the world… But I’m sure I’ll succeed anyway :-)

      • John Spencer on November 1, 2014 at 9:15 am

        FNAC says you can preorder the ebook (There’s an ebook ???) which will be coming out on 21 April 2015. I guess they could be persuaded to preorder the paper version too.

  4. John on October 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I would’ve written off the “problems” with the punchcards as perspective, myself, if you hadn’t drawn attention to it.

    Interestingly, going to Amazon to make sure the book has been ordered (it has), it looks like almost all of my purchases this year were for things that have a primarily Internet-based presence…

  5. Susie Vickery on October 14, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Fabulous stuff. Here is a link to my animation of a conversation between Babbage and Jacquard. Ada Lovelace is quoted.
    Also I have made a cross stitched QR code brooch to link to your website that I would like to send you. Can you send me your mailing address.