Reconsidering the Stored-Program Concept

  title={Reconsidering the Stored-Program Concept},
  author={Thomas Haigh and Mark Priestley and Crispin Rope},
  journal={IEEE Annals of the History of Computing},
The first in a three-part series in IEEE Annals, this article gives a historical explanation of the endemic confusion surrounding the stored-program concept. The authors suggest the adoption of more precisely defined alternatives to capture specific aspects of the new approach to computing associated with the 1945 work of von Neumann and his collaborators. The second article, "Engineering--The Miracle of the ENIAC: Implementing the Modern Code Paradigm,"' examines the conversion of ENIAC to use… 
Engineering "The Miracle of the ENIAC": Implementing the Modern Code Paradigm
Treating this as a case of user-driven innovation, the authors document the conversion process and compare capabilities of the reconstructed machine to those of the first modern computers.
Colossus and Programmability
The capabilities of the Colossus codebreaking devices, built in 1943–1945 under the direction of Tommy Flowers of the UK General Post Office, are analyzed and new perspectives on Colossus focused on its use and impact, its relationship to other early machines, and its place in the history of digital communications engineering are argued.
The Media of Programming
We revisit the origins of the modern, so-called “stored program” computer during the 1940s from a media-centric viewpoint, from tape-driven relay computers to the introduction of delay line and
Historical Reflections Where Code Comes From : Architectures of Automatic Control from Babbage to Algol
The work of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace provides an important milestone on the road to this invention, but marks the beginning of the story rather than its end, before moving on to the 1940s when their ideas were independently rediscovered, extended, and finally realized in actual machinery.
Hardware, Software, Humans: Truth, Fiction and Abstraction
This work gives several historical examples and illustrates the changing pattern of mutual accommodation between human practices and computer technology, and argues for a more explicitly dialectical and critical approach to the history and philosophy of programming.
The Mathematical Origins of Modern Computing
Techniques for planning large-scale manual computation were directly translated to the task of programming the new machines, and specific mathematical practices, such as the use of tables in calculation, profoundly affected the design of programs.
Exploring the Early Digital
This introductory chapter outlines the objectives of the book, explaining how adopting “early digital” as a frame can encourage new perspectives on established topics within the history of computing
Los Alamos Bets on ENIAC: Nuclear Monte Carlo Simulations, 1947-1948
The planning, design, code, and operation of the first computerized Monte Carlo simulations on ENIAC are reconstructed from extensive archival records.
Less Is More in the Fifties: Encounters between Logical Minimalism and Computer Design during the 1950s
This article frames some important computing developments of the 1950s, connecting them to two older traditions, one within (mathematical) logic and one within engineering. Both traditions could be
From the Editor’s Desk
  • L. Heide
  • Computer Science
    IEEE Ann. Hist. Comput.
  • 2013
The emergence of affordable computers for use by ordinary people opened up computer use to schools and homes in affluent parts of the world and caused the computer industry to be reshaped into two segments with different dynamics: companies primarily serving large computers for businesses and public organizations, and companies producing consumer electronics for private people and businesses.


Existence Precedes Essence - Meaning of the Stored-Program Concept
It is concluded that the generally used distinction between computers and precursor machines in terms of the stored-program concept and von Neumann architecture rests not only on differences in hardware but also in the programming and use of machines.
Crossing the Divide: Architectural Issues and the Emergence of the Stored Program Computer, 1935-1955
  • P. Ceruzzi
  • Computer Science
    IEEE Ann. Hist. Comput.
  • 1997
The author examines a few systems that reveal especially well the nature of this transition: the ensembles of punched card equipment used by L.J. Comrie (1932) and W. Eckert (1984) for scientific instead of business use.
Inventing the User: EDSAC in Context
The user is identified as an emergent new class of practitioner, and EDSAC is locates in the context of the history of the internal stored program widely held to be the defining feature of the modern digital computer.
Von Neumann's First Computer Program
An analysis of the two earliest sets of instruction codes planned for stored program computers, and the earliest extant program for such a computer, gives insight into the thoughts of John yon
The Stored-Program Computer
This paper examines the contrasting understandings of the stored program and of computing embodied in John von Neumann's Draft Report on the EDVAC and Alan Turing's ACE Report, and their different
The Manchester Computer: A Revised History Part 1: The Memory
  • B. Copeland
  • History
    IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
  • 2011
The Manchester Baby, built by F.C. Williams and Tom Kilburn and operational in June 1948, was the first stored-program electronic computer. The Williams-Kilburn tube memory, pioneered in the Baby,
A Science of Operations - Machines, Logic and the Invention of Programming
A Science of Operations examines the history of what the authors now call programming, defined not simply as computer programming, but more broadly as the definition of the steps involved in computations and other information-processing activities.
The Computer from Pascal to von Neumann
From the Publisher: In 1942, Lt. Herman H. Goldstine, a former mathematics professor, was stationed at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania where he assisted
'Stored Program Concept' Considered Harmful: History and Historiography
The paper surveys the stored program concept’s use and development and attempts to separate it into three distinct aspects, each with its own history and each amenable to more precise definition.