Something I wonder is just how to think about whatever the answer turns out to be. Sue. I had to do it in pencil…”. Building on Mathematica and the ideas of A New Kind of Science, Wolfram embarked on a still more ambitious project: constructing a system that would make as much of the world’s knowledge as possible immediately computable and accessible to everyone. But since I really like my office to be perfectly quiet (it adds a certain calmness that helps my concentration), I had to put the CPU part of my computer in a different room. After all, Charles Wheatstone, who was intimately involved in the development of the electric telegraph in the 1830s, was a good friend of theirs. One is this web homepage, which I access many hundreds of times every day. William won an award for brick-making. There’s a plaque on that spacecraft that includes a representation of the wavelength of the 21-centimeter spectral line of hydrogen. Looking at a letter from Ada Lovelace to Charles Babbage in the British Library#### The Early Life of Ada, Let’s begin at the beginning. “A few years ago I was visiting a museum and looking at little wooden models of life in ancient Egypt that had been buried with some king several millennia ago. A mutual friend had made the introduction, and Steve Jobs wasted no time in saying that he was planning to make the definitive computer for higher education, and he wanted Mathematica to be part of it. The Steve Jobs—so confident as a businessman and technologist—had melted away, and he was asking me—hardly a noted known authority on such things—about his date. — and was supported, if modestly, by his father and his wife’s family. Worksheet for this episode can be found here. Back then, there was something a bit like the cloud, except it was called timesharing. Or perhaps it’s just the nature of such projects. But the obituaries were kind, if Victorian in their sentiments: An obituary for AdaWilliam outlived her by 41 years, eventually remarrying. But back in 1826 Babbage had invented something he called Mechanical Notation — that was intended to provide a symbolic representation for the operation of machinery in the same kind of way that mathematical notation provides a symbolic representation for operations in mathematics. For over three decades, Wolfram has published various articles regarding complex systems. Binary wasn’t well known in the mid-1800s, but it did appear in puzzles, and Babbage, at least, was quite into puzzles: a notable example being his question of how to make a square of words with “bishop” along the top and side (which now takes just a few lines of Wolfram Language code to solve). Menabrea’s article on Babbage’s Analytical EngineOver the months that followed she worked very hard — often exchanging letters almost daily with Babbage (despite sometimes having other “pressing and unavoidable engagements”). It’s such a pleasure to read and feel the proudness in your writings. I know a lot of people, from many different parts of my life. We concluded the conversation by discussing ‘light’ topics such as the meaning of life and his legacy…, This was really fun an rewarding for me. And, yes, in broad terms I find that I am extremely consistent and habitual—yet every day there are different things that happen, that make my “productivity” (as measured in a variety of ways) bounce around, often seemingly randomly. I could swear folks said [tentatively] it was supposed to come out mid-to-late last year, or maybe now early this year? But we’ve been careful to organize the groups, for example identifying different types by prefixes to their names (t- is a mailing list for a project team, d- a mailing list for a department, l- a more open mailing list, r- a mailing list for automated reports, q- a request list, etc.) He makes statements like “computations of great complexity can be effected by mechanical means”, but then goes on to claim (with rather weak examples) that a mechanical engine can produce sequences of numbers that show unexpected changes that are like miracles. Pascal made one in 1642, and we now know there was even one in antiquity. Meanwhile, the fragment of the Difference Engine that had been built in Babbage’s time was deposited at the Science Museum in London. OK, so I have my filesystem, and I have mail. Thank for the memories and thank for your vision with mathematica. And—partly out of caution about having a radio transmitter next to my head all day—my headset is wired, albeit with a long wire that lets me roam around my office. Then she started from *B_*0, and successively computed B_n for larger n, storing each value she got. I try to look at all of it, but it’s also sent to a request tracker system, so my staff can make sure important things get handled. And needless to say, I had it constructed with some special features. In 1838, William was made an earl for his government work, and Ada become the Countess of Lovelace. And I want to do as much of that as I can. In 1848 Babbage developed a hare-brained scheme to construct an engine that played tic-tac-toe, and to tour it around the country as a way to raise money for his projects. Hi Daniel, the email metasearch is a custom system we created 20 years ago, but we’re now moving to Wolfram Language TextSearch. Historians disagree. I still use a “roll-around” mouse (on the left, since I’m left-handed)—because at least according to my latest measurements I’m still faster with that than with any other pointing technology. But realistically this wouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Or perhaps I’ll want to pick an image from a “slide farm” that I want to immediately put on the screen, say in response to a question. Then I’ve got a calendar client. An inspiring story. A while later, the NeXT was duly released, and a copy of Mathematica was bundled with every computer. And perhaps as a sign of how paperless I’ve become, I have a printer under my desk that I use so rarely that I now seem to go through a ream of paper only every year or so. His wife Anna helps him in his job. She finally recovered in time to follow the custom for society girls of the period: on turning 17 she went to London for a season of socializing. Instead, I’ll typically just have a specific piece of Wolfram Language code I want to input, without having to take the time to explicitly type it. “It’s like the skin of the ship has an infinite number of types of atoms, not just the 115 elements we know” (that was going to be related to shining a monochromatic laser at the ship and seeing it come back looking like a rainbow). Babbage didn’t think of it in these terms, though. Had she run up huge gambling debts? Ada talked him out of it. And we’ll be able to know that our particular universe is number such-and-such in the enumeration of all possible universes. But what really interested me was the person walking out of the frame on the other side, intently controlling the dog—using a laptop that he had strapped on in front of him as if he were selling popcorn. ), So how do I deal with bringing in this material? (The transcripts of debates about the Difference Engine have a certain charm — especially when they discuss its possible uses for state statistics that strangely parallel computable-country opportunities with Wolfram|Alpha today.). He was a friend of Mary Somerville’s son, had been educated at Eton (the same school where I went 150 years later) and Cambridge, and then had been a civil servant, most recently at an outpost of the British Empire in the Greek islands. Indeed, his only other publication about “Mechanical Notation” is the flyer he had printed up for the Great Exhibition in 1851 — apparently a pitch for standardization in drawings of mechanical components (and indeed these notations appear on Babbage’s diagrams like the one above).
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