ENIAC programming Was: release dates of early microcomputer operating systems, incl. Intel ISIS

tony duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Thu Sep 17 12:51:54 CDT 2015

> Crispin Rope concentrates on the power of ENIAC and its usefulness, neither
> of which can be argued with, but to me a "computer" without self-modifying
> code is a programmable calculator even if it has index registers...

As a total thread-drift, I have in my hand a machine that anyone would class as a
a programmable calculator. It looks like a calcualtor, it has key-per-function operation
(that is, a 'SIN' key, etc). And yet...

Using totally documented instructions you can create a string containing the
text of a program. You can then convert that string _into_ a program. And 
execute said program (as a subroutine of the program you are running that
created the string and converted it to a program, in general). If that's not
self-modifying code, I don't know what is...

I refer of course to the excellent HP RPL machines.


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