Broad Band Book Summary By Claire L. Evans

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Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet (2018) is a groundbreaking book that celebrates the women who made immense contributions to technology and computers.

Through this incredible story, author Claire L.

Evans introduces readers to a number of brave and pioneering women whose work often got overlooked in favor of their male counterparts.

This captivating book gives detailed accounts of how these brave ladies revolutionized computing, from developing some of the earliest commercial software to inventing important programming languages.

It also sheds light on how the internet developed into what it is today – thanks in large part to these unsung heroes.

From Ada Lovelace to Hedy Lamarr, Broad Band provides an interesting and inspirational look at these forces behind progress in computing.

Broad Band Book

Book Name: Broad Band (The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet)

Author(s): Claire L. Evans

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 25 Minutes

Categories: History

Author Bio

Claire L.

Evans is an acclaimed journalist, beloved lead singer of the Grammy-nominated pop duo YACHT, and a respected advisor at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.

She has written for multiple publications such as Vice, Guardian, Wired, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Quartz.

Additionally, Claire L.

Evans is the founding editor of Terraform – Vice's science fiction vertical.

With her wide range of skills and wealth of experience in journalism and tech industry, she is the perfect author to bring us Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet.

Rediscovering The Erased History Of Female Pioneers In Computer Science

Computer Science

Many of us take for granted the internet and computing technology we’ve come to rely on in our everyday lives, not realizing that women were at the forefront of creating many groundbreaking innovations.

Despite this achievement, outdated stereotypes still perpetuate the idea of computer science being exclusively a man’s field.

That is why Broad Band’s book is so important – It reinstates this erased history and makes sure these crucial female contributions are not overlooked.

From taking up work that others deemed too menial to teaching themselves how to use computers with no user manuals, many women had to blaze trails in computer science that didn’t even exist yet; These hard working “kilogirls” eventually became established pioneers in the industry and helped lay down the foundation of the very same technology we use today.

The chapters reveal inspiring stories of people like Lord Byron’s input into programming, understanding what a kilogirl was like and how a college dropout secured a $150,000 computer for a community project.

Together these sections attempt to drive home the point that without female mental labor building the internet and advancing computing technology as we know it, things would be radically different today!

Ada Lovelace: A Tribute To Labor As Its Own Reward

When it comes to pioneers of computer programming, the name Ada Lovelace stands out.

The daughter of English poet Lord Byron, she is widely recognized as the world’s first computer programmer.

From a very young age, Ada was provided with an education in mathematics by her mother – Lady Anna Isabella Milbanke.

This laid the groundwork for her career as a trailblazer in computing.

At 17, Ada met Charles Babbage and his revolutionary difference engine – an early calculator for complex mathematical equations.

She was captivated by the machine and eager to understand its intricacies from Babbage himself.

Grace Hopper: The Trailblazing Grandma Of Programming And The Creator Of Cobol

Grace Hopper was a true trailblazer in the field of computer science.

A mathematics professor at Vassar, she left her tidy academic life to join the US Navy after Pearl Harbour and ended up as one of the first ever programmers of the world’s first computer – Lieutenant Howard Aiken’s Mark I.

Determined and undeterred, she quickly mastered this new technological marvel and soon began writing code to solve some of the most tricky wartime problems.

It wasn’t until after Hiroshima and Nagasaki that she made her greatest contribution – inventing a compiler for programming that converts instructions into code that can be interpreted by computers.

This allowed programmers to write their own programs more easily.

This idea caught on among other computer companies, but Grace foresaw the chaos that would occur if everyone was using different compilers for software development.

As a trailblazer once more, she used her naval connections to organize a meeting between all the key players in computing which eventually led to common business-oriented language (COBOL) which is still used today – 60 years later!

Thanks to Grace Hopper’s incredible innovation, COBOL became – and remains – one of the most widely used programming languages in the industry.

The Unsung Story Of The Eniac Six, The Pioneering Female Programmers Who Taught Themselves To Code

Female Programmers

The women of the ENIAC Six are legends.

Not only were they some of the first female engineers, but these six talented ladies accomplished an amazing feat.

They taught themselves how to program the world’s first electronic computer – the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC).

In 1945 when World War II was in full swing, many people struggled to keep up with demand for mathematical calculations.

That is why physics professor John Mauchly and engineer J.

Presper Eckert decided to design the ENIAC and enlisted six former human computers – Kathleen “Kay” McNulty, Betty Jean Jennings, Elizabeth “Betty” Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, Frances Bilas, and Ruth Lichterman – as programming operators.

Unfortunately, there was no manual for this new major task!

However undeterred by this challenge ,the women worked hard together and learned not only of how to use the computer but also how to program it thanks to their combined efforts and ingenuity.

For each computation that was done on this machine it required the physical movement of hundreds of cables – making Computers a formidable labor of love then!

Thanks to their dedication and teamwork even after the war had come to an end in 1946 they not only succeeded in displaying a successful public demonstration but they even became inspirations at a time where female engineers weren’t taken seriously apart from Judy Hopper who helped create COBOL language.

All credit goes out to Betty Jean Jennings and Elizabeth “Betty” Snyder who proved themselves more than capable at coding , troubleshooting errors and promoting early computers as well as withstanding pressure from male colleagues despite receiving very little recognition for their remarkable contribution.

Indeed these WOMEN were one-of-a-kind geniuses!

Pam Hardt-English And Her Friends Paved The Way For The Use Of Computers To Serve Social Good

Pam Hardt-English, a computer science graduate student at UC Berkeley, was integral to the formation of communication networks for social good in 1969.

She and her fellow student activists wanted to have a more efficient way to connect each other and exchange resources.

Hardt-English tirelessly searched for donations and opportunities that would help them build their decentralized network.

Her persistency finally paid off when TransAmerica Leasing Corporation donated an outdated but giant SDS-940 computer to Project One – a San Francisco based warehouse residence occupied by hippies.

In April 1972, Hardt-English received the SDS-940, which she named “Resource One”, and after gathering enough funds for its maintenance it was put to use for various purposes.

For example three volunteers at Project One, Mya Shone, Sherry Reson and Mary Janowitz created a social service referral directory database on Resource One which helped link people in need with available services while remaining inaccessible directly themselves.

Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler Had A Huge Role In The Development Of The Early Internet

Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler is an inspiring leader who played a vital role in the development of the internet.

Her work as the head of the Network Information Center (NIC) at Stanford Research Institute was instrumental in layering the building blocks for what would become the World Wide Web.

As the NIC, she created a resource handbook for the ARPANET, which allowed scientists to communicate with each other and share resources more effectively.

Feinler also created a people-finder feature on the network, making it simpler to find information on it.

In addition, she suggested creating generic categories based on where computers were located, giving rise to common domain names such as “.mil”, “.gov”, “.edu” and “.com”.

Without her work, our current global network would not exist today.

Stacy Horn: Founder Of The First Social Media Network Influenced By An Early Female Influencer

Female Influencer

Stacy Horn was a visionnaire in the early days of online communities.

In 1990, she created Echo, or “East Coast Hang-Out,” with the goal of creating an online community with a more authentic New York City feel.

Horn found users for her platform – whom she called “Echoids” – by physically visiting art openings, parties, and concerts to invite interested people to join.

The key message is that this was one of the earliest social media networks created by a woman and it featured the first influencer.

Horn wanted Echo to be an extension of the real world, so she created both public and private spaces catering to specific groups like women, men, recovering addicts, and those under 30.

One remarkable contribution that Echoids made to cultural history was called “simulcasting” or as we now know it today – live-tweeting during O.J Simpson’s Bronco chase in 1994.

Apart from this unique case study between on-line/off-line activities, Echo also showcased an early influencer in Marisa Bowe who developed a cult following within the Echoids community due to her ability for stimulating discussions on the platform.

Tim Berners-Lee May Have Invented The World Wide Web, But Women Pioneers Like Dame Wendy Hall Paved The Way

Dame Wendy Hall was one of the innovators in the field of hypertext and computer science, who made critical breakthroughs that eventually led to the birth of the World Wide Web.

At the time, she was a computer-science lecturer at the University of Southampton in England when she began investigating into hypertext systems – interactive media formats on computers – in 1986 after being intrigued by a BBC project commemorating the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book!

Hall’s interest kept growing when she went to conduct research at a University in Michigan, learning all about clickable multimedia and Hypermedia.

Upon returning to Southampton, she developed Microcosm – a hypertext system designed for easy browsing through archives such as photographs, speeches, and videos.

Then came Tim Berners-Lee with his World Wide Web that ended up becoming everybody’s favorite platform due to its simplicity and free use.

Despite Hall’s team working hard to commercialize Microcosm, it ultimately wasn’t enough to match up against Berners-Lee’s invention.

Thus, it paved way for what we now know have as the ‘World Wide Web’ today!

Jaime Levy Is A Pioneer Of Digital Publishing Who Pushed The Creative Boundaries Of What Was Possible In The 1990S

Jaime Levy

Jaime Levy has rightfully earned the title of digital-publishing pioneer.

A Southern California native with a passion for punk rock, Levy’s interest in computers was sparked when a boyfriend showed her how to create computer animations.

This piqued her curiosity and she soon found herself studying New Media at NYU, where she experimented with interactive media that would bring her fame.

In 1990, Levy moved to Los Angeles where she produced the groundbreaking electronic magazine, Electronic Hollywood – a floppy disc full of graphics, animations and games – distributed to indie bookstores which from record sales quickly became popular.

She soon returned to New York City which is when her career really began to take off.

In 1995, Levy was appointed as Creative Director of Word Magazine – the first real web magazine before web magazines even existed!

She and fellow writer Marisa Bowe created innovative works that took full advantage of what was possible with online publishing – such that by 1998 it was getting 1-2 million hits per week and receiving acclaim from major publications.

Wrap Up

In Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet, author Claire L.

Evans gathers together a collection of inspiring stories of tenacious women who made remarkable advances in technology, often facing obstacles and resistance along the way.

From early computer programmers to social networking innovators, these women were not just the backbone but also the brains behind much of today’s technological landscape.

Their innovations have had lasting impacts and helped shape our modern world in ways that probably would’ve been unimaginable to many at the time they transformed it.

In short, this book provides an invaluable reminder of how far we have come and how important it is to recognize and honor those who gave us so much.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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