I am in the habit of naming my computers after people I admire in technology and science (including but not limited to computer science). My first and oldest PC — still sitting in another room though I haven't turned it on in ages — is called Archimedes. As soon as laptops became somewhat affordable (I'd set a budget of 2000 Dutch Guilders) I bought one, and named it Charles. Then there was Albert, who's helped me for years before breaking down, sometimes assisted by my first company laptop named Ada (sadly, I had to leave her behind). My current infatigable worker is Grace (where I'm writing this post), assisted by Alan, a laptop I bought myself to replace Ada — both are aging and Grace really isn't up to modern requirements for things like image editing, while Alan occasionally shows signs of instability, only to calm down once more and continue going. Then there's Christiaan, bought second-hand and intended as file server, but currently offline while Alan is taking over that role. Meanwhile, for mobility Alan has handed over to Isaac, my first MacBook which I bought when I feared Alan might give up the ghost any day.
I have a few more names lined up for other people to name my next computer after; and just like my current list has two women in it, the list of possible future names has two more. All names are first names; if you like a challenge, I leave it to you to determine who all these “computer people” are. Here's a little gallery to (maybe) jog your memory:
Given this context (and the names of my first two laptops!), it's no wonder that a recent post on identi.ca by Brianna Laugher announcing a pledge for Ada Lovelace Day drew my eye. The pledge page explains:
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women's contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Whatever she does, whether she is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, developing software or hardware, a tech journalist or a tech consultant, we want to celebrate her achievements.
Of course, I couldn't pass that up, and I signed the pledge (no, I haven't decided yet which woman to write about!). Until the 24th of March, when we will all publish a blog post to celebrate a woman's achievements in technology, you can follow the progress of the pledge in my sidebar. Is there a woman in tech you admire? Then join and write about her! Just follow the link and sign the pledge.