Explore the programming system for the Cambridge EDSAC computer.


Dr Andrew Herbert OBE, FREng


2:00pm - Refreshments for delegates attending the venue
2:30pm - Start of event
5:00pm - End of event


This lecture will explore the programming system for the Cambridge EDSAC computer when it provided a general computing service to the university from 1951 onwards and as described in the first ever computer programming text book, “The Preparation of Programmes for an Electronic Digital Computer”, M.V. Wilkes, D.J. Wheeler & S. Gill, Addison-Wesley, 1951. Amongst the early modern computers EDSAC was unique in terms of the facilities provided to make it easy to write and debug programmes for the machine, including providing an extensive library of mathematical and input/output subroutines, symbolic addressing, dynamic linking in the programme input and extensive post-mortem and execution profiling facilities. The talk will be illustrated by running examples on an EDSAC simulator.

The lecture on the history of British HCI by Elizabetta Mori originally scheduled for this date has had to be postponed to a later date to be announced. We apologise for the inconvenience to members who have already booked. Your bookings will be carried forward to the new subject.

About the speaker

Dr Andrew Herbert OBE, FREng

Dr Andrew Herbert OBE, FREng is Chairman of Trustees for The National Museum of Computing where he is also the project manager for the EDSAC Replica Project – now substantially complete and running simple test programs. Andrew studied for his PhD at Cambridge in the final years of Wilkes’ tenure as head of the Computer Laboratory, giving him personal connection to the EDSAC.

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England: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
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Wales: https://www.gov.wales/coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ireland

This event is brought to you by: Computer Conservation Society

Hybrid event: EDSAC Programming
Date and time
Thursday 18 April, 2:30pm - 5:00pm
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
Ground Floor, 25 Copthall Avenue