Since Joseph Marie Jacquard’s textile loom in 1801, there has been a demonstrated need to give our machines instructions. In the last few episodes, our instructions were already in our computer’s memory, but we need to talk about how they got there – this is the heart of programming. Today, we’re going to look at the history of programming and the innovations that brought us from punch cards and punch paper tape to plugboards and consoles of switches. These technologies will bring us to the mid 1970s and the start of home computing, but they had limitations, and what was really needed was an easier and more accessible way to write programs – programming languages. Which we’ll get to next week.
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