A Science of Operations: Machines, Logic and the Invention - download pdf or read online

By Mark Priestley

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

A technological know-how of Operations examines the background of what we now name programming, outlined now not easily as computer programming, yet extra commonly because the definition of the stairs fascinated with computations and different information-processing actions. This targeted viewpoint highlights how the historical past of programming is precise from the historical past of the pc, regardless of the shut courting among the 2 within the 20th century. The booklet additionally discusses how the advance 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 features:

  • Covers the early improvement of automated computing, together with Babbage’s “mechanical calculating engines” and the functions of punched-card technology
  • Examines the theoretical paintings of mathematical logicians equivalent to Kleene, Church, submit and Turing, and the machines outfitted by means of Zuse and Aiken within the Nineteen Thirties and 1940s
  • Discusses the position that good judgment performed within the improvement of the saved application computer
  • Describes the “standard version” of machine-code programming popularised by means of Maurice Wilkes
  • Presents the entire desk for the common Turing computer within the Appendices
  • Investigates the increase of the projects 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 deals a brand new standpoint for historians of technology and know-how, in addition to for the overall reader. The old narrative builds the tale in a transparent and logical model, approximately following chronological order.

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

Example text

Babbage considered that this could be a significant source of error, and therefore looked for ways to avoid this procedure. For some functions, he found that there was a mathematical relationship between the value to be calculated and one of the later differences. For example, it can be shown by simple algebraic manipulation that Δ2 sin(x) = K sin(x + 1), for a constant value K. In other words, the value of sin(x + 1) can be calculated from the second difference of the preceding value of the function.

When a combinatorial card was encountered, the number on these wheels would be reduced by one and the operation cards backed up as far as required. When the number on the wheels reached zero, the combinatorial card would be ignored and the computation would proceed with the next operation card. 49 The sole purpose of this suggestion seems to have been to minimize the number of operation cards that needed to be prepared for a calculation. A further type of cards were the number cards; these were perforated in such a way as to make it possible to transfer a number from the card to a figure axis.

A drawing could only represent the state of a machine at one instant, and so provided little assistance in understanding the sequences of movements involved in a complex mechanism or in working out the appropriate timing of the movements of its interacting parts. Babbage rejected as impractical the idea of producing a series of drawings of successive states of the machine, and believed that natural language was too verbose and ambiguous to be used. 32 Unlike existing symbolic languages such as that of algebra, the notation Babbage developed was partly graphical: the machine to be analyzed was represented by a two-dimensional diagram containing various textual annotations.

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