Ellen Ullman





Ellen Ullman

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About this author

Ellen Ullman is the author of By Blood, The Bug, a New York Times Notable Book and runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the cult classic memoir Close to the Machine, based on her years as a rare female computer programmer in the early years of the personal computer era. She lives in San Francisco.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/ellenu...


Average rating: 3.61 · 2,532 ratings · 463 reviews · 5 distinct works · Similar authors
By Blood
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 1,841 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Close to the Machine: Techn...
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 317 ratings — published 1997 — 8 editions
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The Bug
3.53 of 5 stars 3.53 avg rating — 334 ratings — published 2003 — 17 editions
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The Eloquent Essay: An Anth...
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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 46 ratings — published 2000
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Story Behind the Book : Vol...
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5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2014
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“Debugging: what an odd word. As if "bugging" were the job of putting in bugs, and debugging the task of removing them. But no. The job of putting in bugs is called programming. A programmer writes some code and inevitably makes the mistakes that result in the malfunctions called bugs. Then, for some period of time, normally longer than the time it takes to design and write the code in the first place, the programmer tries to remove the mistakes.”
Ellen Ullman, The Bug

“But you can't stop knowing something, can you?”
Ellen Ullman, By Blood

“The machine seemed to understand time and space, but it didn’t, not as we do. We are analog, fluid, swimming in a flowing sea of events, where one moment contains the next, is the next, since the notion of “moment” itself is the illusion. The machine—it—is digital, and digital is the decision to forget the idea of the infinitely moving wave, and just take snapshots, convincing yourself that if you take enough pictures, it won’t matter that you’ve left out the flowing, continuous aspect of things. You take the mimic for the thing mimicked and say, Good enough. But now I knew that between one pixel and the next—no matter how densely together you packed them—the world still existed, down to the finest grain of the stuff of the universe. And no matter how frequently that mouse located itself, sample after sample, snapshot after snapshot—here, now here, now here—something was always happening between the here’s. The mouse was still moving—was somewhere, but where? It couldn’t say. Time, invisible, was slipping through its digital now’s.”
Ellen Ullman, The Bug

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