Software Preservation (was: SIMTEL...)

From: Hans B Pufal <>
Date: Fri Apr 5 23:39:05 2002

Derek Peschel wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 05, 2002 at 01:25:29PM +0100, Stan Barr wrote:

>>Don't know about PDP-8 programs, but a copy of a program
>>to print squares, by M.V.Wilkes, May 1949 is available
>>for the EDSAC emulator...could this be the oldest surviving
>>computer program? (Of course, the operating sustem - or
>>Initial Orders as it was known - is older.)

> I thought the squares program was lost and had to be reconstructed.

You may be thinking of the first program run at Manchester in 1948,
although a notebook survives with a listing of that program it is dated
some weeks later. The original authors of the program reconstructed it
from that listing and their recollections. This was done for the 50th
anniversary celebrations in 1998. More details for the curious at

Since the manchester machine is considered (by some) to be the first
electronic stored program digital computer, then the first program to
run on it must, by definition, be the oldest - no?

   -- hbp
Received on Fri Apr 05 2002 - 23:39:05 BST

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