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Software StudiesA Lexicon$
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Matthew Fuller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262062749

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262062749.001.0001

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Software Studies

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun

The MIT Press

This chapter briefly discusses the different conceptions of program and programmability in the digital computer field; the discussion continues with two different grammatical definitions of the term “program,” verb and noun. It also focuses on ENIAC, the first working electronic digital computer. The chapter describes the requirements and the process of programming the analog and digital computer machines along with the works and arguments of various computer scientists. It furthermore states that programming an analog computer is descriptive while programming a digital one is prescriptive. The conclusion explains how the programmability concept affected the world of computers, from quantum computers to biology computing fields like DNA and RNA computing.

Keywords:   programmability, grammatical definitions, ENIAC, electronic digital computer, analog computer programming, digital computer programming, biology computing

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