Software Preservation (was: SIMTEL...)

From: Stan Barr <>
Date: Sat Apr 6 02:26:30 2002


Derek Peschel <> said:
> 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.

I was quoting from the listing. However reading the docs for the
emulator it says:
"It should be emphasiszed that these programs - like almost all of the
routines supplied with the Edsac emulator - have not been rewritten,
but are historical artifacts. They have been sitting in the original
conference proceedings since 1949."

> Also, I'd call the Initial Orders more of an assembler/loader
> than an OS, since it didn't incldue any subroutines you could use
> for things like I/O. Eventually they added a library of I/O and
> math subroutines, some utilities (mostly for debugging), and a
> fancier version of the Initial Orders that allowed you to decide
> at load time where subroutines should go. But you still had to
> decide what subroutines to use and copy them to your input tape.

Yor're right, of course...
> The tic-tac-toe (noughts and crosses) program is undoubtedly
> one of the oldest computer games.

Stan Barr
The future was never like this!
Received on Sat Apr 06 2002 - 02:26:30 BST

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