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Cover Quote: April 1970

Whenever numbers meaning operations and not quantities (such as the indices of powers), are inscribed on any column or set of columns, those columns immediately act in a wholly separate and independent manner, becoming connected with the operating mechanism exclusively, and re-acting upon this. They never come into combination with numbers upon any other columns meaning quantities; though, of course, if there are numbers meaning operations upon n columns, these may combine amongst each other, and will often be required to do so, just as numbers meaning quantities combine with each other in any variety. It might have been arranged that all numbers meaning operations should have appeared on some separate portion of the engine from that which presents numerical quantities; but the present mode is in some cases more simple, and offers in reality quite as much distinctness when understood. The operating mechanism can even be thrown into action independently of any object to operate upon (although of course no result could then be developed). Again, it might act upon other things besides number, were objects found whose mutual fundamental relations could be expressed by those of the abstract science of operations, and which should be also susceptible of adaptations to the action of the operating notation and mechanism of the engine. Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.



- Ada Augusta Lovelace
Notes to L. F. Menabras Memoir, 1842
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