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<p>The Manchester Mark I Prototype (or Small-Scale Experimental Machine, SSEM, as it was officially known) is generally recognized as the first stored-program computer to successfully execute a program. The SSEM was a simple machine with only seven instructions (its only arithmetic operation was subtraction) and 32 words of 32-bit memory. Two of the men primarily responsible for the SSEM, Frederic C. Williams and Tom Kilburn, published a letter in the 25 September 1948 issue of <it>Nature</it> describing the SSEM along with a summary of three programs that were run on it: long division, finding the greatest common divisor of two integers, and finding the largest factor of an integer. Given the very limited capabilities of the SSEM, the authors set out to discover how all three programs were actually coded.</p>
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