Oldest operational computer

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Fri Feb 15 11:50:43 CST 2008

> Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 10:38:24 +0100 (CET)
> From: Christian Corti 

> And what's special about that? Historically a "computer" is a person who
> does computations (what else?), this job description may well originate
> from the 19th century. And a "compiler" generally is/was an insult for
> someone, mostly for scientists/students and the like, because that meant
> that they "compiled" their work mostly/completely from foreign texts.

Indeed.  I recall that the preface to the ANSI FORTRAN specifications 
from at least F77 state that no attempt is being made to specify what 
is meant by a "computer" and that it could well be a human being.

I'm not sure, but I think the CODASYL documents say the same thing.

I also recall a dialogue with one of the WWII codebreakers where the 
"Computer Room" was where the folks using pencil and paper and 
comptometers worked.


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