BEFORE COMPUTERS-AFTER DIGITAL (BC-AD)
Worldly Wise Women.com
A world of computers without women? Impossible!
Chauvinists may want to think of a world without women, but it's impossible to think of an IT world without them...
AD: Hey, what's up?
BC: I need to finish some work quickly and then attend a wedding. We're running late, and she's not started yet...
AD: What's taking her so long?
BC: Guess it's all those accessories…
AD: Oh, ok…
BC: I've tried really hard, but I'm yet to understand why she chooses to do things so differently…
AD: Could it be because you don't speak her language?
BC: You're right, I don't. She has her own logic that she internalises with…
AD: Have you tried getting the message across?
BC: No, each time I try, she simply switches off.
AD: Perhaps her memory...?
BC: No, that's good. I got that checked recently. In fact, she not only remembers all my mistakes, she recalls them too.
AD: Oops, that's not good for you…
BC: And she gets heated up for no reason at all.
AD: Think she could have caught a virus?
BC: That's not possible; she has a check-up every month.
AD: But you just cannot do without her, can you?
BC: That's right. She's terrific in solving problems, but I guess she's become old — I'll have to go for an upgrade.
AD: What? How can you talk about your wife like that?
BC: Wife? I was talking about my computer!
AD: But why do you refer to a computer as ‘she'? Women may not like it.
BC: If your macho bike can be feminine, so can my computer. Besides, isn't it just a way of endearing yourself to your prized possession?
AD: Just that it's pretty ironical… computers being referred to in feminine gender.
BC: Why, you think women aren't good enough with computers?
AD: On the contrary, it is widely believed that the world's first programmer was a woman.
BC: I think we've spoken about her once — Ada Lovelace?
AD: That's right. Women have also played a key role in developing languages — the credit for creating COBOL, a programming language, goes to Grace Hopper.
BC: News like this will definitely get more women to choose IT as a profession…
AD: Well, Mattel has been trying to inspire young girls through a Computer Engineer Barbie doll…
BC: Catch them young, huh?
AD: Absolutely! The numbers are pretty dismal in the U.S. According to a 2009 survey, women hold only 25 per cent of all the computer-related jobs in the country.
BC: I'm sure India fares much better — we have so many women programmers and IT professionals.
AD: Computers have fascinated not just techie women, but also Hollywood actresses — the technique for spread spectrum communication, the technology that drives CDMA phones, GPS, wireless LAN and so much more, was created by Hedy Lamarr.
BC: And people thought actresses were…
AD: Don't say the word! The Computer Algebra System (CAS), the programme for symbolic mathematics, is derived from the efforts of Grete Hermann, who began as a mathematician and went on to become a philosopher…
BC: I'm sure a computer must have had that effect on her.
AD: Your misadventures with computers are now legendary…
BC: Guess I have to go now.
AD: She's ready?
BC: Yes, and the best part is once she gets started, things get done in a jiffy.
AD: Your computer?
BC: No, I was referring to my wife.
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