Return-Path: <[log in to unmask]>
Delivered-To: [log in to unmask]
Received: (qmail 26447 invoked from network); 11 Nov 1997 15:10:04 -0000
Received: from (
  by with SMTP; 11 Nov 1997 15:10:04 -0000
Received: from ( []) by (8.8.5/8.7.5) with ESMTP id KAA22232 for <[log in to unmask]>; Tue, 11 Nov 1997 10:13:13 -0500
Received: from BETTYTOO ( [])
          by (8.8.6/8.8.4) with SMTP
          id HAA18867 for <[log in to unmask]>; Tue, 11 Nov 1997 07:10:05 -0800 (PST)
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 07:10:05 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <[log in to unmask]>
X-Sender: [log in to unmask] (Unverified)
X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Version 1.4.4
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
To: [log in to unmask]
From: [log in to unmask] (Betty A. Toole)
Subject: New Ada myth

To David E. Harrison, General Chair of Ada'97:

I can imagine how busy you are at Ada'97.  I wish I were there.   I hope the
following information could be passed along to those, if any, who are
interested.  As the author of "Ada, The Enchantress of Numbers" ( part of it
written with Colonel Gross) I was distressed to see the latest
misinformation about "Ada" in a paper back by Asprey and Campbell-Kelly,
"The History of the Information Age," stating that Ada did not write the
first program and that the U. S. Department of Defense was, in short, stupid
to name a program after her.  This misinformation has spread to Bill Gates (
Microsoft's third biggest customer is the US Department of Defense) who
gives all the credit to Babbage in his popular bestseller, he even gives
Babbage credit for the prescient comments, which is bizarre since Babbage
was not a speculator.

I know where this unsubstantiated statements stem and before I sent my mss
to the typesetter yesterday for the  paper edition of "Ada" I asked for
evidence from Campbell-Kelly.  Nothing of any substance came.  The reason I
wrote "Ada" as a collection of letters and her description of the first
computer is that is the evidence.

For those interested "Ada, The Enchantress of Numbers: A Selection from the
Letters of Lord Byron's Daughter and Her Description of the First Computer,"
normally $29.95, is available from the ACM for $25 including postage
anywhere in the world by e-mailing [log in to unmask]

I do hope this incompetent, Ada myth will be put to sleep and that Ada users
can be proud of their software and who it is named after.

Thank you for reading this on what must be a busy day.  If you wish to
forward this to interested parties you have my permission.

Sincerely yours,
Dr. B. A. Toole