Mark Priestley's A Science of Operations: Machines, Logic and the Invention PDF

By Mark Priestley

ISBN-10: 1848825544

ISBN-13: 9781848825543

At the present time, desktops fulfil a stunning array of roles, a flexibility due to the good variety of courses that may be run on them.

A technological know-how of Operations examines the background of what we now name programming, outlined no longer easily as computer programming, yet extra largely because the definition of the stairs fascinated with computations and different information-processing actions. This precise point of view highlights how the historical past of programming is specific from the background of the pc, regardless of the shut courting among the 2 within the twentieth century. The publication additionally discusses how the improvement of programming languages is expounded to disparate fields which tried to offer a mechanical account of language at the one hand, and a linguistic account of machines at the other.

Topics and contours: Covers the early improvement of automated computing, together with Babbage’s “mechanical calculating engines” and the purposes of punched-card expertise, examines the theoretical paintings of mathematical logicians reminiscent of Kleene, Church, submit and Turing, and the machines outfitted via Zuse and Aiken within the Nineteen Thirties and Nineteen Forties, discusses the function that good judgment performed within the improvement of the kept application desktop, describes the “standard model” of machine-code programming popularised by means of Maurice Wilkes, offers the whole desk for the common Turing computing device 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’ that may be studied independently of a desktop, 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 improvement and explores the early improvement of object-oriented languages, with a spotlight at the Smalltalk project.

This attention-grabbing textual content deals a brand new standpoint for historians of technological know-how and know-how, in addition to for the final reader. The historic narrative builds the tale in a transparent and logical style, approximately following chronological order.

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Additional info for A Science of Operations: Machines, Logic and the Invention of Programming (History of Computing)

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49 See the references listed by Collier (1970), p. 199. 50 Babbage (1837b), p. 27. 36 2 Babbage’s Engines the possibility of producing a graphical representation of results by means of a curve drawing apparatus. The Mathematical View In the 1837 manuscript, Babbage gave few details of how the engine would be used. 51 As well as simple sequences of operations, it was proposed that users could order the repetition of groups of operations using the combinatorial cards, but Babbage does not seem to have envisaged at this point that users could specify alternative sequences.

62 Menabrea (1842), p. 688. 63 The combination of the claim that the cards translated formulae and the fact that the engine only implemented a limited range of operations raised certain problems, however. For example, consider the case of formulae of the form bn , where one number is raised to an integral power. If the idea of translation is to be preserved, this formula cannot be interpreted as containing an exponential operation, as the engine contained no such operation. Rather, it should be interpreted as containing a reference to a multiplication operation, with the exponent n indicating how often the multiplication should be carried out.

23 The engine was designed to compute tables which had a constant last difference. Many important functions, particular trigonometrical functions, did not have this property, but could nevertheless be approximated over suitably chosen intervals by functions which did have a constant difference. A disadvantage of this procedure was that, at the boundaries between these intervals, the constant difference in use would have to be manually altered to the value appropriate for the next interval. Babbage considered that this could be a significant source of error, and therefore looked for ways to avoid this procedure.

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A Science of Operations: Machines, Logic and the Invention of Programming (History of Computing) by Mark Priestley


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