Links from 2021-07-04

“A damn stupid thing to do”—the origins of C

The Mathematical Laboratory’s first computers, EDSAC and EDSAC 2, were made available to researchers elsewhere at the university who wrote programs that were punched out on paper tape and fed into the machine.

At the computing center, these paper tapes were clipped to a clothesline and executed one after the other during business hours. This line of pending programs became known as the “job queue,” a term that remains in use to describe far more sophisticated means of organizing computing tasks.

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