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   xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Feb 3 04:28 AM

Feb 3rd, 2015: Margaret Hamilton

As soon as I read the name Margaret Hamilton, it clicked in my head, Wicked Witch of the West. Just a piece of useless,(except for bar bets and trivial pursuit), information we all pick up like human lint rollers. But it turns out this Margaret Hamilton was much more powerful than some vengeful green witch who could fly around OZ. Yes, our Margaret Hamilton took Apollo to the moon.



Wearing the typical clothes, hair, and glasses, girls wore in office jobs during the 60s. Standing next to a printout of the software, most of which she wrote, that Apollo used to go and land on the moon.

Oh yes, and come back.

She had a degree in math, was obviously pretty smart, and had that type of organized mind it takes to write reliable software. But she also had another big item that put her into the forefront of "software engineering", (a term she invented), and that big item was opportunity.

In the dark ages of computers, everything was done with punch cards like at Joe Friday's R & I. Since making punch cards was first cousin to typing, the consensus of the predominately male engineers declared data entry was women's work. The engineers would solve the problems, and let the girls do the office work, typing, filing, and feeding computations into those new electric computing things. Most people couldn't even imagine how powerful and pervasive those electric computing things would rapidly become. As the job grew, Ms Hamilton grew along with it, eventually starting her own software company.

Margaret Hamilton, like Grace Hopper, was in the right place at the right time. But more than that, had the vision to see opportunity to stake out territory in new fields of technology and go for it.



Griff  Tuesday Feb 3 07:43 AM

That is one metric shit ton of code. It's true, back then you could weigh it.



glatt  Tuesday Feb 3 08:11 AM

Why have I never heard of this woman?

Thanks, Bruce!



Leus  Tuesday Feb 3 11:12 AM

I think she's hot.



DanaC  Tuesday Feb 3 11:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Why have I never heard of this woman?

Thanks, Bruce!
Think you may have answered your own question there, glatt :P


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Feb 3 11:41 AM

I have to agree with you, Leus. Keeping in mind she was born in 1936, I'd say she aged very nicely, too. Maybe because her career path didn't demand it, she avoided a lot of "beauty treatments"... you know, the lotions, potions, and medieval torture devices that pile up in the bathroom.




Lamplighter  Tuesday Feb 3 11:55 AM

But even I looked better in 1995 than I do now.



glatt  Tuesday Feb 3 12:05 PM

She probably didn't spend a lot of time in the sun either.



glatt  Tuesday Feb 3 12:19 PM

Here's a more recent picture and transcript of a talk she gave about her programming career, and how she loved to hunt down errors. 2001.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Feb 3 05:50 PM

Oh yeah, 65 years old.



My buddy's wife is like that. I've known her for over forty years and except for the long straight hair turning grey, she hasn't change a bit.



infinite monkey  Tuesday Feb 3 08:17 PM

She's great. I might think she's Amy Farrah Fowler!



Pico and ME  Wednesday Feb 4 06:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Here's a more recent picture and transcript of a talk she gave about her programming career, and how she loved to hunt down errors. 2001.
Oh hell, 'errors' were my downfall in first year fortran! I would pray that there weren't any, because it usually meant going back through all my cards just to find a typo.


xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Feb 5 01:45 AM

Ha ha ha, you're so right, is it O or is it 0?



BigV  Friday Feb 6 12:40 PM

right. only more like is it

XXXXX0XX

or is it

XXXX0XXX

Repeat for a zillion lines on a zillion cards



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Feb 6 02:11 PM

After you find them all...

IT COMPILED! IT COMPILED!



Gravdigr  Monday Feb 9 05:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
IT COMPILED!
I had a car that did that once.

Right there on the side of the road.


jonaD  Sunday May 31 04:50 AM

But of course!

She is not known, because MOST people, from MOST programs... are not known, not because of some grand conspiracy to hide women in the kitchen. There are MANY people on lots of programs, that can lay claim to something like, "They made everything possible and it's all because of them that anything good happened at all!", but it's not true, just like her contribution wasn't such a big deal... BUT! women and blacks are hot groups now, so ANY hint at all that a woman or a black was involved in ANYTHING more than... nothing really all that special, is a BIG DEAL! I imagine the Feminists will now push for Margaret to get the Presidential Medal of Honor and have a statue placed at the door of all public schools in America... right!? Meanwhile the rest of us unknown white male engineer/scientists, can continue to live, in the dark. Got it.



Sundae  Sunday May 31 05:28 AM

If you know about her, you know more than I did before reading this thread.
People are credited for all sorts of things they are not wholly responsible for - I've just been reading a book on the development of the Plimsoll Line (the loading line on ships) and the man that gave it the name was a tireless campaigner, but did not invent the concept or work on the calculations of how it could be used safely.

Personally, I like to acknowledge people who forged a path which was unusual at the time. Whether that was the Earl of Shaftesbury who thought perhaps six year olds shouldn't work in mines, or the white Australian athlete who gave tacit support when the Black Power salute was given during the Olympics medal ceremony, or a woman who worked in programming when many women of her class weren't working outside the home at all.

It doesn't negate the admiration I feel for anyone else. Including all the white, male programmers/ engineers on here.

Although I like the fact you think I'm hot right now.



DanaC  Sunday May 31 05:48 AM

Quote:
I imagine the Feminists will now push for Margaret to get the Presidential Medal of Honor and have a statue placed at the door of all public schools in America... right!? Meanwhile the rest of us unknown white male engineer/scientists, can continue to live, in the dark. Got it.

It's so good you've pointed this out. It's high time our society got it's collective head around the real victims of inequality and indifference: middle-class, white, male proffessionals.


Clodfobble  Sunday May 31 09:34 AM

Bo Burnham - Straight White Man




Undertoad  Sunday May 31 11:22 AM

jonaD if a medal will make you feel better, let us know what to put on it. Did you work on the space program?



DanaC  Sunday May 31 12:28 PM

Oh btw:

Quote:
so ANY hint at all that a woman or a black was involved in ANYTHING more than... nothing really all that special, is a BIG DEAL!
Quote:
Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which developed on-board flight software for the Apollo space program.[2] Hamilton's team's work prevented an abort of the Apollo 11 moon landing.[3] In 1986, she became the founder and CEO of Hamilton Technologies, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company was developed around the Universal Systems Language based on her paradigm of Development Before the Fact (DBTF) for systems and software design.[4]

Hamilton has published over 130 papers, proceedings, and reports concerned with the 60 projects and six major programs in which she has been involved.



BigV  Thursday Jun 4 12:35 PM

Welcome to the cellar jonaD. Stick around and tell us more about what's going on with you.



DanaC  Saturday Jun 27 09:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post

Margaret Hamilton, like Grace Hopper, was in the right place at the right time. But more than that, had the vision to see opportunity to stake out territory in new fields of technology and go for it.

Stumbled across this recently whilst trying to find an interview with Jonah Nolan ( for which I am still searching) about the surveillance state:



Quote:
Podcast: Grace Hopper Led America into the Information Age

October 16, 2009


Author Kurt Beyer describes the life and legacy of inventor and computer programmer Grace Murray Hopper.


Kurt Beyer is the author of Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age. In this podcast, Beyer goes beyond the myth to find the real Grace Hopper, a US Naval officer, computer scientist, and inventor who was at the forefront of the post-WWII computer revolution.

Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age is part of the Lemelson Center Studies in Invention and Innovation from MIT Press.

http://invention.si.edu/podcast-grac...nformation-age



Really interesting podcast.


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 23 03:43 PM

She gets the Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian award.



Yay Maggie!



glatt  Wednesday Nov 23 04:21 PM

I'm going to miss Obama



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 23 04:29 PM

You're not the only one.



BigV  Wednesday Nov 23 06:48 PM

We wouldn't have to miss him it he was placed on the Supreme Court.



Pamela  Wednesday Nov 23 07:23 PM

I miss him, but my aim is improving....



Gravdigr  Thursday Nov 24 02:11 PM

I was gonna say that I bet more than one person has missed him already...



Gravdigr  Thursday Nov 24 02:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV View Post
We wouldn't have to miss him it he was placed on the Supreme Court.
Shut. Your. Filthy. Scotch-hole.


infinite monkey  Thursday Nov 24 09:42 PM

Pissing contests aside, Ms. Hamilton went to Earlham, where my brother went and then got his masters on their dime. My bro is wicked smart, as are many of the grads of that college. Nice to see this.



infinite monkey  Thursday Nov 24 09:44 PM

PS...how do you win a pissing contest with a vajayjay? No aim ability there. LOL



Clodfobble  Thursday Nov 24 10:13 PM

Velocity? I got some powerful force behind it sometimes. No shame in shotgunning the problem.



infinite monkey  Thursday Nov 24 10:28 PM




xoxoxoBruce  Friday Nov 25 02:07 PM

How did a thread honoring MS Hamilton get so vulgar? Only the Cellar.



Gravdigr  Friday Nov 25 02:38 PM

It was them foul-mouthed Buckeyes, and stout-cootered Texans what started it.



Gravdigr  Friday Nov 25 02:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by infinite monkey View Post
PS...how do you win a pissing contest with a vajayjay? No aim ability there. LOL
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
Velocity? I got some powerful force behind it sometimes. No shame in shotgunning the problem.
It's called "Spray & Pray".




Torrere  Saturday Nov 26 03:15 PM

Quote:
What they used to do when you came into this organization as a beginner, was to assign you this program which nobody was able to ever figure out or get to run. When I was the beginner they gave it to me as well. And what had happened was it was tricky programming, and the person who wrote it took delight in the fact that all of his comments were in Greek and Latin. So I was assigned this program and I actually got it to work. It even printed out its answers in Latin and Greek. I was the first one to get it to work.
Wow. Fuck that guy.


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Nov 26 03:33 PM

Yeah, programmers are assholes. And she didn't have Google to translate.



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