Flashback Friday: Ada Lovelace

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

I’m doing a little something different this month in regards to Flashback Friday. Instead of celebrating an older game, this post will be about a person who has influenced the history of technology with her contributions in the field.

Ada Lovelace | Video Games | Technology | History | Computers | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace — also known more simply as Ada Lovelace — was a woman born in 1815 and only lived until 1852. She is often credited with creating the first computer program, creating an algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine.

Ada’s father, the poet Lord Byron, disappeared out of her life only a month after she was born, separating from her mother. Considering Lord Byron fled from their family to sire more children — and having fathered one, most likely two, other children before Ada with other women — Ada’s mother was bitter and encouraged Ada’s love of mathematics and logic to steer Ada away from Lord Byron’s way of waxing poetics. Despite this, Ada still admired her father’s work, requesting to even be buried next to her upon her death.

With her skills and learning in mathematics and logic, Ada’s studies helped her meet fellow mathematician Charles Babbage, who is considered the father of computers. Indeed, he created the first Analytical Engine, piquing Ada’s interest. Babbage’s notes had fragments of programs, but Ada’s was the first complete algorithm to be written and published.

Aside from publishing the first program, it is also written that Ada was the first person to see greater potential in the Analytical Engine. Rather than just performing logical equations and math, it was Ada who expressed that the Engine could potentially create music and art with the right programming. Considering the major steps programming and computers have taken within the past couple of centuries, Ada Lovelace was definitely ahead of her time. Can you imagine if computers and algorithms were mainly used just for number-crunching? How video games would have been affected?

Due to her feats in this field, every second Tuesday of October is Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women and their achievements in the STEM fields. I am sad to only have just discovered this. To see an event that promotes women in typically male-dominated fields and, in turn, tries to encourage more girls to join these fields and helps to sponsor them.

I remember vividly in college that I was one of only two woman in most of my computer networking class. While the majority of my classmates weren’t bad, there were a couple of instances where it was joked that I did well on a project here or there because I was a woman and the professor was male, a suggestion that may not have been made had the men known about more women in technology fields. I hope that Ada Lovelace Day, which is only a decade old, continues to reach, support, and encourage people — women, men, and others alike — in the coming years.

Have you heard of Ada Lovelace? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Podcasts and Spotify

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

It’s been a little while, but I hope everyone is doing well. Summer is just about over and, honestly, I’m excited for cooler weather and being able to get back into a routine with blogging and gaming. So, today, we’re chatting about podcasts because why not.

Podcasts | Spotify | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | Doublexjump.com

Rachel and I had a pretty busy summer. I hope everyone else has had a great summer, one where you all were healthy and productive! With September, Rachel and I are doing our best to get back into our writing routines, especially for our blogs.

Of course, we’re always trying to expand our creativity, and something that has always popped up in our minds is a podcast (because we totally don’t have enough on our plates). Granted, we’re not planning on doing a podcast anytime soon, but the idea has always been there. Finding additional ways to reach out to more people and share our love of video games and geeky things is always in the back of our minds.

Podcasts started being a thing in 2004 and now there are a plethora of websites and apps dedicated to listening to podcasts. Our friend Justin runs an awesome podcast called The Game N’ Watch Podcast over on Podbean, for example. Spotify is another example, and has been increasing their podcast selections. Considering my music tastes — movies and video game soundtracks, game covers, and instrumentals, mostly — many of the podcasts that Spotify recommends to me have to do with film, gaming, and Dungeons & Dragons (in fact, one is called “Not Another D&D Podcast”).

Recently, I saw an article that had uncovered a potential new feature in the Spotify app that has to do with publishing a podcast. Supposedly, creating and publishing a podcast on Spotify will be as simple as the push of a button. While the simplicity will be fantastic for people trying to reach wider audiences, it may flood the platform with too many podcasts. On that note, who knows if there will be anything filtering the podcasts, if they have to go through the proper channels before being able to be listened to by the masses. If there is no regulation, it could create chaos.

Still, podcasts are a wonderful way to reach out to others and share information or opinions. They’re reminiscent to the old radio talk shows from decades ago, coming back in an upgraded medium.

What podcasts do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Smart House

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Aside from my day job, I do a little side hustle in the form of dog- and house-sitting for neighbors and friends. More so for the comfort of the animals, I stay at their homes instead of having them at my house or even just popping in on them a couple of times a day. Besides enjoying my time with the pets, it’s fun being in a different house for a little while.

Smart House | Disney | Technology | Google | Amazon | Doublexjump.com

Anybody remember that movie from the Disney channel, Smart House? It was about a family — single dad, two kids, a dog — that won a contest that gave them a completely automated house. This was released in 1999, way before the likes of Amazon’s Alexa devices or Google Home. I remember being completely fascinated by the “technology” — rather, the special effects — of Smart House and wondered what it would be like to live in such a house.

In Smart House, the programming had its own room and this giant computer-like device for all the commands. Nowadays, you can have a smart home with a couple of voice-activated devices, subtler way to help make you feel like you were on the bridge of the Enterprise from Star Trek.

At the time of this post, I am actually dog- and house-sitting for a neighbor and, honestly, their house is the closest thing to Disney’s Smart House that I’ve ever seen. They have several Alexa devices in the house, many responding to different names (including one using the wake-word “Computer,” for that Star Trek effect), and most of the lights and other electronics are connected to them somehow. Their security system is also not something to be trifled with. Completely modern, I am always eager to see what kind of tech upgrades were done to the house in between my dog-sitting sessions.

On the flip-side, there’s another family that I have dog- and house-sat for once before (and will again in the winter), and they have a beautiful house. However, their house is also older and much more old-fashioned. They have some beautiful, original architecture and, unlike the house I’m in now, gets their heat from naked radiators rather than having central air and heat.

The two houses are polar opposites of each other, but each are beautiful in their own ways. Yet, it also makes me wonder what other kinds of home advancements will be made in the future?

Do you remember Disney’s Smart House? What do you think of smart homes? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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