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It is mid-1973: microprocessors exist, but only in control systems. Punched cards dominate. Bill Gates is getting ready for Harvard, where he will eventually produce a version of Basic for the new Altair "microcomputer". Fortran, Cobol, and PL/I are the languages, unless you're doing something pretty specialised, or still using assembly language. It is less(More)
In Stephen Pinker's book The Language Instinct[1], the author argues convincingly that the remarkable human facility for managing language depends on our being equipped from birth with machinery to do just that : " Language is ... a distinct piece of the biological makeup of our brains ". Because of this machinery, he suggests, any signs of linguistic(More)
The human brain is capable of coordinating a large number of muscular actions to produc e impressive results : we think of an organist, a typist, a driver. A worthy goal fo r rehabilitation computing is to provide a way to achieve the same results for people whos e physical condition make the actions of playing the organ, or typing, or driving, impossible ,(More)
It is gratifying to note that, doubtless as a result of my previous work on the topic 1, the significance of the study of garbage has been recognised by the introduction of the occasional new department Garbage in, Garbage out in this publication. My consciousness of responsibility as a leader in the field has unfortunately moved me to report the result of(More)
In this note, I argue that some of the confusion which surrounds the use of the GOTO instruction is not a necessary property of the instruction itself, but a result of the metaphor we use when we imagine it in execution. These ideas grew from contemplation of contributions by David O. Williams (1984) and by P.A. Buhr (1985). David Williams describes a(More)
This topic was brought to mind by the title of a recentish publication[1], where "a tiny virtual machine" was mentioned. I have told you[2] about our virtual machine for Basic which ran in 16 kilobytes; the smallest of the processors used for the "tiny virtual machine" provided 32 kilobytes of non-volatile storage, with an additional 0.5 or 1 kilobyte of(More)