Browse Prior Art Database

Programming the Pilot Early Programming Activity at the National Physical Laboratory

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129367D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

MARTIN CAMPBELL-KELLY: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The design of the ACE was the subject of a report written by A. M. Turing in 1945. A pilot model of the ACE was completed at the National Physical Laboratory, England, in late 1951. By early 1952 a basic programming system had been established and the machine began regular operation. This paper describes the development of this programming system and a matrix interpretive scheme that was subsequently developed. The paper concludes with an assessment of the programming activity and of the Pilot ACE itself. Keywords Pilot ACE, optimum coding, minimum-latency coding, subroutine, debugging, linear algebra, interpreter, matrix interpretive scheme CR Categories: 1.2, 2.43, 4;11, 4.13, 4.21, 4.30, 4.42

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 3% of the total text.

Page 1 of 34

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1981 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Programming the Pilot Early Programming Activity at the National Physical Laboratory

MARTIN CAMPBELL-KELLY

(Image Omitted: © 1981 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 data 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 Computer Science, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, England. © 1981 AFIPS 0164-1239/31 /020133-162

Programming the Pilot Early Programming Activity at the National Physical Laboratory

MARTIN CAMPBELL-KELLY .00/0)

The design of the ACE was the subject of a report written by A. M. Turing in 1945. A pilot model of the ACE was completed at the National Physical Laboratory, England, in late 1951. By early 1952 a basic programming system had been established and the machine began regular operation. This paper describes the development of this programming system and a matrix interpretive scheme that was subsequently developed. The paper concludes with an assessment of the programming activity and of the Pilot ACE itself. Keywords Pilot ACE, optimum coding, minimum-latency coding, subroutine, debugging, linear algebra, interpreter, matrix interpretive scheme CR Categories: 1.2, 2.43, 4;11, 4.13, 4.21, 4.30, 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 (the Pilot ACE). The ideas of the first generation of British programmers were largely shaped by the programming techniques devised for these machines and their commercial derivatives (respectively: the LEO, made by the J. Lyons Company and Leo Computers from 1954; the Ferranti Mark I; and the English Electric DEUCE).

In this paper, early programming activity at the National Physical Laboratory will be described. (Programming at Cambridge and Manchester Universities has been described in two previous papers in the Annals: Campbell-Kelly 1980a and 1980b.)

The purpose of this paper is to describe and assess the development of the programming system for the Pilot ACE. Although this programming system was rather rudimentary, it was nevertheless very long-lived, for it became the basic programming system for the successful English Electric DEUCE, examples of which survived into the late 1960s.

IEEE Computer Society, Apr 01, 1981 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume...