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Programming the Mark 1: Early Programming Activity at the University of Manchester

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129341D
Original Publication Date: 1980-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

MARTIN CAMPBELL-KELLY: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Computer activity at Manchester University began in 1946 with the construction of a CRT-based memory, which was followed by a series of prototype computers. The word culminated in the Ferranti Mark 1, completed in early 1951. This paper describes the programming systems devised, past for the prototype and then for the production Mark 1, and includes an account of two novel automatic coding schemes developed during 1952 and 1954. The paper concludes with an assessment of the programming activity.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1980 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc., Volume 2, Number 2, April 1980. Used with permission.

Programming the Mark 1: Early Programming Activity at the University of Manchester

MARTIN CAMPBELL-KELLY

(Image Omitted: © 1980 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Author's address: Department of Mathematics and Computer Studies, Sunderland Polytechnic, Sunderland SRI 3SD, England. © 1980 AFIPS 0164-1239/80/020130-168

Programming the Mark 1: Early Programming Activity at the University of Manchester

MARTIN CAMPBELL-KELLY 00/0)

Computer activity at Manchester University began in 1946 with the construction of a CRT-based memory, which was followed by a series of prototype computers. The word culminated in the Ferranti Mark 1, completed in early 1951. This paper describes the programming systems devised, past for the prototype and then for the production Mark 1, and includes an account of two novel automatic coding schemes developed during 1952 and 1954. The paper concludes with an assessment of the programming activity.

Keywords and phrases: subroutine, loader, assembler, compiler, interpreter, paging, operating system

CR categories: 1.2, 2.43, 4.11, 4.12, 4.13, 4.21, 4.22, 431, 4.35, 4.42

1 Introduction

By 1950, there were three influential centers of programming in Britain where working computers had been constructed: Cambridge University (the EDSAC), Manchester University (the Mark D, and the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington (the Pilot ACE). At each of these centers, distinctive styles of programming evolved, largely independently of each other. Through the activities of these centers and their commercially produced derivative machines (the LEO, the Ferranti Mark I, and the DEUCE, respectively), the foundations of programming were laid in Britain during the early 1950s. Other influences were at work, of course, such as A.
D. Booth's work at Birkbeck College of London University that led to the successful HEC series of computers (Booth 1975); there were also numerous contemporary developments in the United States. But none of these had nearly as much influence on programming in Britain as the three leading British centers at Cambridge, Manchester, and Teddington, where many early British programmers were initiated by means of programming schools, research studentships, secondments, and industrial collaboration.

IEEE Computer Society, Apr 01, 1980 Page 1 IEEE Annals of th...