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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The Future of Content Creators

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

This post is a little jumpy with me trying to articulate my thoughts regarding the main topic. I certainly hope you share your thoughts on this as well, as I’m curious as to what other people think.

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I need a Grandma Rocking Chair so I can use it whenever I start writing a post that begins with, “Back in my day…”

So, back in my day, video games weren’t as social as they are now. If you got stuck on a part in the game, hopefully you either knew someone else who could help you or you could buy a strategy guide. Like, a physical book. (R.I.P. Prima Games.) Once the Internet was a little bigger, you could search for online guides as well. Then YouTube appeared and now there’s a good chance you can search for a video for the spot where you’re stuck and figure out how to get yourself out of it.

I remember about five or so years ago when Rachel and I really started watching YouTube. I was amazed that people were able to make a living off of creating videos for the website, mostly videos based on their love of video games. I grew up with the mentality that video games were a nice hobby, but playing them wasn’t going to help in “the real world,” then people started doing Let’s Plays on YouTube.

Fast forward to now, and people are putting “Live Streamer” on their resumes and folks like Ninja are being paid $1 million dollars to stream certain games. I was a little baffled at seeing EA pay Ninja (and other streamers) so much to stream Apex Legends for a day, but thinking further on it, it’s a typical marketing move. Instead of saturating television channels with commercials on the game, EA spends the money to let streamers advertise for them. Considering how much traffic Twitch gets in a single day, seeing a load of top streamers spending their time playing just one game was bound to help EA’s sales.

Streaming is something else that Rachel and I are balancing with this blog. To us, our Twitch channel is another way to reach out and connect with fellow gamers, to have real-time conversations. We’re lucky in that we were able to reach affiliate status with the channel and, admittedly, we’ve wondered what would happen if we somehow were able to make a living through streaming.

With how quickly technology and consumer want grows and changes, will streaming continue to grow or will it fall to wayside in favor of the next technological shift? Will streaming still be a feasible way to advertise or make a living ten or twenty years from now? People went from reading the evening newspapers to having all the news at their fingertips with the help of phones that rarely use their original intended purpose. I’m curious as to how content creators will be affected in the future.

What kind of creator are you? How do you believe the future and technology will affect the way you create your content? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

Save the date! We’re doing a special Twitch Stream to celebrate the Nintendo Switch! You can learn more about it here.

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Cool Tech: All-in-One PC SmartDesk

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

How many of you are PC gamers? What kind of set-up do you have for your monitors and computers for your games? Considering how dependent everyone nowadays on their computers, I’m sure everyone has a dream set-up for their tech station.

djallinonedesk

One of my coworkers at the office has a standing desk. You know, those desks where you hit a button and it rises up or down depending on the level you’d like? It’s supposed to be much better for your health (and back) to stand while working on your computer instead of sitting at the desk for six to eight hours a day. A standing desk is something that is on Rachel’s and my wish lists.

And then I found this article about a certain All-in-One PC called the Cemtrex SmartDesk that is built into a standing desk.

And it has three monitors. Not just one, but three touchscreen monitors that also have some sort of sensor that allows you to scroll between documents and the like with a wave of your hand like Star Trek. There’s also a built-in scanner right on the desktop, which is nifty.

Aside from the hefty price — which is about $4500.00 — I do balk at the idea of the keyboard also being built into the desk. Like, it seems like it’s flush with the desk surface and I can imagine not having a raised keyboard may be a little interesting to get used to. The other major potential issue is something that the article writer had pointed out — if part of the all-in-one PC breaks, would the parts be interchangeable enough to fix individually, or would one need to send out the entire desk and three monitors back to the manufacturer to fix or get a new one?

Either way, this computer desk looks insane and I would totally want one for gaming, writing, and art. And, of course, to pretend I’m in Star Trek.

Would you be interested in an all-in-one PC like this?

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Pioneer Times

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Our days are saturated with technology, especially for those of us who love video games. Watching a DVD of an old show led me to wonder about how we would survive in an age before all of these technical advancements…

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I don’t watch too much television. Rather, Rachel and I tend to stick on some of our favorite YouTube or Twitch channels to listen to while we work or hang out if we’re not gaming or writing. Lately, DVDs of the old show “I Love Lucy” is what I’ve been putting on as background noise.

It’s an older show, one that originally ran in the 1950s and is still prevalent today with its comedy. Rachel’s and my older sister Lisa is the expert on stars from that era, and it’s due to her influence that “I Love Lucy,” “The Dick van Dyke Show,” and “Happy Days” are a couple of our favorites to return to again and again.

“I Love Lucy” has an episode called Pioneer Woman where the husbands and wives bet each other that they couldn’t live like their grandparents had in the 1900s — no electricity, needing to churn their own butter, bake their own bread, sew their own clothes, etc. The wives revolted over housework and wanted “modern” conveniences, like an automatic dishwasher.

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“I Love Lucy,” Pioneer Woman

Many of their modern conveniences are technology that we take for granted nowadays and, honestly, many we cannot live without. When was the last time you didn’t use your cell phone for a day? Are you able to do your day job without the help of a computer or any type of technology? Does the last video game you played have online capabilities to play and connect with others?

I’m constantly on the computer with my job, and it’s beyond frustrating when some aspect of it doesn’t work, whether its our Internet, the computers themselves, or one of the many programs we use to keep everything running smoothly. Our blogs and social media are used everyday at home for our writing, gaming, and connecting with friends. It absolutely sucks whenever our Internet decides to be spotty — it’s like we’re cut off from the rest of the world.

Gaming is a huge part of my life, having connected me with amazing people and friends through the Internet, as well as inspiring my writing and art in more ways than one. I am constantly amazed at the advancements in technology we have made in my lifetime, and I truly wonder if we could ever spend even a day without the tech we have at our fingertips.

Do you realize how often you use technology? Do you think you could survive in the 1900s after the comfort and ease of today’s technology?

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