Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy Birthday, Grace

The person who developed the term: RTFM*

From The Writer's Almanac:

It's the birthday of one of the people who helped invent the modern computer: Grace Hopper, born in New York City (1906). She began tinkering around with machines when she was seven years old, dismantling several alarm clocks around the house to see how they worked. She studied math and physics in college, and eventually got a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale.

Then World War II broke out, and Hopper wanted to serve her country. Her father had been an admiral in the Navy, so she applied to a division of the Navy called WAVES, which stood for Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service. They turned her down at first they said she was too old at 35, and that she didn't weigh enough, at 105 pounds. But she wouldn't give up, and they eventually accepted her. With her math skills, she was assigned to work on a machine that might help calculate the trajectory of bombs and rockets.

Hopper learned how to program that early computing machine, and wrote the first instruction manual for its use. And she went on to help write an early computer language known as COBOL — "Common Business-Oriented Language." She remained in the Navy, and eventually she became the first woman ever promoted to rear admiral.

Hats off to Grace!

*Read the F*cking Manual
What is it with the swearing after a great Bio of a great Woman.
Wonderful. She really was a great woman. I believe she also coined the term 'bug' after a moth that got stuck in the vacuum tubes and shorted some out. Thank you for posting this! (and I do RTFM)
Love the scarf, Ann and I am RUNNING to Home Depot or Lowes to see if I can find some of that cleaning stuff..sure will come in handy for my last minute clean-up tomorrow.

Diane...near Normal, but not for long!
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