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By Mark Priestley

ISBN-10: 1848825544

ISBN-13: 9781848825543

Today, desktops fulfil a blinding array of roles, a flexibility as a result of the good diversity of programsthat might be run on them.

A technology of Operations examines the background of what we now name programming, outlined now not easily as computer programming, yet extra extensively because the definition of the stairs fascinated with computations and different information-processing actions. This particular point of view highlights how the historical past of programming is particular from the background of the pc, regardless of the shut courting among the 2 within the 20th century. The ebook additionally discusses how the advance of programming languages is said to disparate fields which tried to provide a mechanical account of language at the one hand, and a linguistic account of machines at the other.

Topics and features:

  • Covers the early improvement of automated computing, together with Babbage’s “mechanical calculating engines” and the purposes of punched-card technology
  • Examines the theoretical paintings of mathematical logicians reminiscent of Kleene, Church, submit and Turing, and the machines outfitted through Zuse and Aiken within the Nineteen Thirties and 1940s
  • Discusses the function that good judgment performed within the improvement of the kept application computer
  • Describes the “standard version” of machine-code programming popularised through Maurice Wilkes
  • Presents the entire desk for the common Turing desktop within the Appendices
  • Investigates the increase of the tasks aimed toward constructing higher-level programming notations, and the way those got here to be considered ‘languages’ which may be studied independently of a machine
  • Examines the significance of the Algol 60 language, and the framework it supplied for learning the layout of programming languages and the method of software program development
  • Explores the early improvement of object-oriented languages, with a spotlight at the Smalltalk project

This interesting textual content bargains a brand new point of view for historians of technological know-how and expertise, in addition to for the overall reader. The historic narrative builds the tale in a transparent and logical type, approximately following chronological order.

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Additional resources for A Science of Operations: Machines, Logic and the Invention of Programming

Example text

53 She emphasized that the two views were complementary, and commented that “the same mind might not be likely to prove equally profound or successful in both”. Menabrea and Lovelace gave just enough mechanical detail about the engine to enable the reader to understand how it might be used to perform calculations. Rather than going into the details of how division was performed, for example, Menabrea wrote that “we must limit ourselves to admitting that the first four operations of 51 Babbage (1837b), p.

This is, of course, a table that could be easily have been computed by the machinery assembled in 1832. Babbage proceeded to analyze these new functions, and succeeded, with some difficulty, in deriving formulae that would generate the same numerical sequences. 26 He was further surprised to discover that one of the functions he investigated was related to enquiries that he had made years previously in the course of an investigation into the problem of describing knight’s tours on a chessboard.

As a result of this frustration, “it was suggested by one of us, in a manner which certainly at the time was not altogether serious, that it would be extremely convenient if a steam-engine could be contrived to execute calculations for us; to which it was replied that such a thing was quite possible”,9 and in Babbage’s account, it was this casual suggestion which sparked in him a serious consideration of the possibility of mechanical computation. 11 Babbage did not view the Difference Engine as simply a calculator, however, but rather as an attempt to mechanize a complete process, namely the production of mathematical tables.

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A Science of Operations: Machines, Logic and the Invention of Programming by Mark Priestley


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