The First Computer Programmer

One this day, in 1815, the world's first computer program was born. I am, of course, referring to August Ada King, Lady of Lovelace. I've written before about The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, a remarkable fictional take on the creation of the first computer. If you would like a briefer, non-fiction take on Ada Lovelace to commemorate her birthday, I recommend this video by Feminist Frequency. And if you are reading this, thank Lady Lovelace.

The Professional Gamer - January 4, 2016

Happy New Year readers! I hope you all have enjoyed the end of one year and the beginning of a new.  I enjoyed a short week at work (probably the last until we get closer to summer).  And I've ended up spending most of my free time this week working on plans for my Traveller game.  And I've got quite a lot done.  For example, I've made a map of the sector where the players will start out:

If you can't tell, I'm rather excited about this whole game.  I have Star Wars to blame for a large portion of that enthusiasm.

Speaking of Star Wars, I'm still reading Shadows of the Empire, and it has improved somewhat.  I still feel that reads a bit like a fan-fiction, with a lot of purple prose and too much telling, rather than showing.  I'm a bit surprised that I was so into these sorts of novels when I was in high school and college.  I suppose that imagining the action sequences, like the star fighter battles and the blaster shoot-outs, was more important to young Jim than artful prose and characterizations.  In spite of my concerns about the quality, I'm having a ton of fun reading it.

I also got back into reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.  I haven't quite finished yet, though I think my favorite part is the visit from George Boole.  I just love the setup and build to the punchline.

That's all I've got for this week.  I hope 2016 treats everyone with care and respect, and that you all have a great year.  Have a great week and game on!

The Professional Gamer - December 7, 2015

Hello everyone!  I hope all of my American readers had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  For any international readers, now you know why there was no article posted last week.  You might think that with some additional time off, that I would have played some games or something.  But that's kinda not the case.  What have I been doing for the past week?  Read on to find out!

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The Professional Gamer - November 23, 2015

I must report that I may have fallen off the the wagon this week.  You see, I started reading The Lord of the Rings again.  When I was middle school and high school, reading through LotR was an annual ritual for me.  As I moved onto college and, later, a career.  I found it harder to keep up with my regular habit.  I think the last time I actually read through the books was during graduate school.  I still really love Tolkien's prose, and the slow unfolding of the plot.

At other times, I read a few more pages of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.  As I've written before, this is a really fun comic, with a fun blend of slapstick humor and discussion of the historic context via footnotes.

That's all that I have going on this week.  I'll see you all again next week.  Game on!

The Professional Gamer - October 26, 2015

Hi everyone! I hope you all have had a great week and enjoyed your weekend. We're getting close to Halloween, which of course leads to this:


This week has been a lot of fun, watching some fun TV series and reading some great comics.  

Playing: In terms of gaming this week, all that I've done is playing a few hours of Guild Wars 2.

Watching: This week I spent time watching through the Green Lantern: The Animated Series that was produced recently.  It's very much a kid series, but is still a lot of fun.  As hinted above, I also re-watched the entirety of Over the Garden Wall this last week, and it is still an amazing series.

Reading: This week, I read the first volume of Mystery Babylon, which I purchased at Denver Comic Con due to a strong resemblance to The Slayers.  The series so far is a lot of fun, but I feel like I need to read some more to develop a more informed opinion of it.  I've also started reading The Thrilling Adventure of Lovelave and Babbage, a mostly factual comic of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, the world's first computer scientists.  This book is dense, with lots of historical references and footnotes.  I've not even made it through one chapter yet, because I've had to spend so much time reading through all the notes.  But, I'm loving every minute of it.