Bletchley Park screen Ada film and Sydney Padua releases iPad app

More exciting news about Ada Lovelace Day!

First up: Sydney Padua, who for the first ever Ada Lovelace Day created the wonderful webcomic, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, has announced that she is releasing that very first episode as a free iPad app. You’ll also have the option to buy another webisode, The Client, for, and I quote “I dunno, a pound or something, haven’t decided”. The app is scheduled for release in the iTunes store on Ada Lovelace Day, 7 October.

Over the last two and a half years, Lovelace and Babbage has turned into one of the best web comics on the internet, attracting a loyal following. Although I may be biased, I would say that it’s a webcomic well worth supporting!

Secondly: The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park will be screening the film To Dream Tomorrow on Saturday 8 October, free for all visitors to the museum.

To Dream Tomorrow: Ada Byron Lovelace
To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day 2011 the National Museum of Computing is proud to present Flare Productions film about Ada Lovelace, followed by a discussion with the Directors John Fuegi and Jo Francis.

‘To Dream Tomorrow’ is the story of Ada Byron Lovelace (1815-1852) and her contribution to computing, a hundred years before the start of the computer age. Daughter of a mathematically gifted mother and the ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ poet Lord Byron, Ada was 17 when she began studying a prototype mechanical calculator designed by mathematician Charles Babbage. By the time she was 27, she had moved beyond her famous contemporaries and predecessors such as Leibniz & Pascal, to describe universal computing much as we understand it today. Alan Turing, who also worked at Bletchley Park, was familiar with Lovelace’s work.

The screening is kindly made possible by a grant from the School of Humanities, Kingston University, London. 
To Dream Tomorrow: Ada Byron Lovelace, Color, 52 minutes. Directed and Produced by John Füegi and Jo Francis, 2003.
Curated by Ele Carpenter, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Date8 October 2011. The Museum will be open 1pm – 5pm and the film will screened at 2.30pm
Location: The National Museum of Computing, Block H, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB
Tickets: Entry to the museum costs £5 / £2.50 concessions, or £10 for an annual pass. The film screening is free once you are in the museum. There is no need to book.

Find out more on The National Museum of Computing or Flare Productions websites.


Remember, if you’re holding an event around Ada Lovelace Day, please let me know!

Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011

As announced on the front page of the site a few weeks ago, the date of this year’s Ada Lovelace Day has moved to Friday 7 October 2011. Please put it in your diary!

I didn’t take the decision to change the date lightly. We’ve had two years of ALD being in March, and it was starting to become a bit of a tradition, so the idea of moving it to later in the year has worried me a bit, as I don’t want to lose momentum. But by early January it had become clear that things just weren’t going to be ready in time.

Although I have had some fabulous help from some wonderful people, the responsibility for getting things moving still lies with me, and the last six months has seen me incredibly busy with work. We’re in the middle of a recession, so I feel grateful for having such a full diary, but the knock-on effect has been that I’ve not been able to give this year’s Ada Lovelace Day the love it deserves.

It turns out that March is a supremely bad time of year to have a recurring event. Despite trying to get things moving towards the end of last summer, I didn’t make much progress and before you know it, it’s Christmas and everyone’s really busy, and then New Year has come round and suddenly things aren’t ready and it’s all getting a bit tight. Add a trip to India in February to the mix and deadlines throughout March and it became clear to me that something had to change.

The March date was always arbitrary, picked because I was too impatient to wait any longer! The October date has been picked because it’s far enough away that it gives us a chance to get our ducks in a row, but also because (hopefully!) it doesn’t clash with school and university calendars. I’d very much like to do a bit more outreach this year, and would like to have more resources for teachers, pupils, university lecturers and students. A date that’s in term-time, but not too near Easter or in exam season is a more important consideration now than it was two years ago.

There are other changes afoot too: I’ve also shifted the mailing mailing list from Yahoo to Mailchimp, so provide us with more flexibility. Please do join up – there’s a form in the sidebar to your right. I’ll be sending out monthly updates once we have a few people subscribed, with more updates closer to the big day. You’ll be able to manage your subscription and unsub at any time you like, so take the plunge and subscribe today!

Finally, I do need your help to spread the word about the new date, so please do blog, tell your friends, Twitter, and Facebook followers! Ada Lovelace Day: 7 October 2011.