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Issue No.04 - October-December (1992 vol.14)
pp: 16-26
ABSTRACT
<p>This article describes the discovery of a paper-tape "relic" consisting of an un-debugged program written for the EDSAC computer in 1949. It is believed that this program is the first real, nontrivial application ever written for a stored- program computer. An examination of the program sheds new light on the extent to which the debugging problem was unanticipated by early computer programmers, and the motivation for the development at Cambridge of systematic programming practices and debugging aids. The impact of these early developments on programming elsewhere is discussed.</p>
CITATION
Martin Campbell-Kelly, "The Airy Tape: An Early Chapter in the History of Debugging", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.14, no. 4, pp. 16-26, October-December 1992, doi:10.1109/85.194051
REFERENCES
1. J. von Neumann, "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC," Moore School of Electrical Engineering, Univ. of Pennsylvania, June 30, 1945; reprinted inPapers of John von Neumann on Computing and Computer Theory, W.F. Aspray and A.W. Burks, eds., Charles Babbage Inst. Reprint Series for the History of Computing, Vol. 12, MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., and Tomash Publishers, Los Angeles, 1986.
2. D.E. Knuth, "John von Neumann's First Computer Program,"Computer Surveys, Vol. 2, 1970, pp. 247-260.
3. M. Campbell-Kelly and M.R. Williams eds.,The Moore School Lectures, Charles Babbage Inst. Reprint Series for the History of Computing, Vol. 9, MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., and Tomash Publishers, Los Angeles, 1986.
4. J. von Neumann, "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC," Moore School of Electrical Engineering, Univ. of Pennsylvania, June 30, 1945; reprinted inPapers of John von Neumann on Computing and Computer Theory, W.F. Aspray and A.W. Burks, eds., Charles Babbage Inst. Reprint Series for the History of Computing, Vol. 12, MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., and Tomash Publishers, Los Angeles, 1986.
5. Wilkes, M. V. 1985.Memoirs of a Computer Pioneer. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.
6. M.V. Wilkes, "The EDSAC,"Int'l Symp. Automatic Digital Computation, National Physical Laboratory, Mar. 1953, pp. 16-18; reprinted inThe Early British Computer Conferences, M.R. Williams and M. Campbell-Kelly eds., Charles Babbage Inst. Reprint Series for the History of Computing, Vol. 14, MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., and Tomash Publishers, Los Angeles, 1986.
7. "Report of a Conference on High Speed Automatic Calculating Machines," University Mathematical Laboratory, Cambridge, Jan. 1950; reprinted inThe Early British Computer Conferences, M.R. Williams and M. Campbell-Kelly, eds. (see ref. 6).
8. J.C.P. Miller,The Airy Integral, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1946.
9. M.V. Wilkes, "Electronic Calculating-Machine Development in Cambridge,"Nature, Vol. 164, Oct. 1, 1949, pp. 557-558.
10. D.R. Hartree,Numerical Analysis, Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, 1952, p. 136.
11. S. Gill "The Diagnosis of Mistakes in Programmes on the EDSAC,"Proc. Royal Society, Series A, Vol. 206, 1951, pp. 538-554.
12. D.J. Wheeler "Program Organisation and Initial Orders for the EDSAC,"Proc. Royal Society, Series A, Vol. 202, 1950, pp. 573-589.
13. M.V. Wilkes, D.J. Wheeler, and S. Gill,The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer, Addison-Wesley, Cambridge, Mass., 1951; reprinted in Charles Babbage Inst. Reprint Series for the History of Computing, Vol. 6, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., and Tomash Publishers, Los Angeles, 1982.
14. Bashe, C. J., L. R. Johnson, J. H. Palmer, and E. W. Pugh. 1986.IBM's Early Computers. Cambridge, Mass., The MIT Press.
15. G.M. Hopper, "The Education of a Computer,"Proc. ACM Nat'l Conf., May 1952, pp. 243-249.
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