[vcf-midatlantic] Looking for some knowledgeable with the Harvard Mark I

Jeffrey Jonas jeffrey.scott.jonas at gmail.com
Sun Oct 11 01:40:20 EDT 2020

There are some glorious YouTube videos of Grace Hopper showing the
wide paper-tape containing the programming, and how she had to
literally patch it (cover holes, add holes, etc). I vaguely remember
her mentioning how it was an early form of parallel processing:
calculations could be run simultaneously on each functional unit (so
long as there were no data hazards). Such optimization was
meticulously planned by hand. In a way, we're revisiting that with
super-scalar RISC, DSPs or EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction

My point being there's WHAT it can do (instruction set, data paths)
and then there's HOW it was used. The compelling historical element is
how it was all PEOPLE, not software. But Grace Hopper's Flow-Matic was
an amazing leap forward. Like Alan Turing, she understood that
computers can process SYMBOLS and handle all the drudgery of

-- jeff jonas

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