Resurgence of Parallelism

Who’s your top “information” pioneer? I voted for Ken Iverson, of course.  And also, of course, I arrived at the polling station through a winding route.

For those of you who don’t know me, if I’ve mastered anything in this life, it’s the art of wandering.

So, I’m reading this article that I have on actual paper.  I’m fairly certain it was given to me by Alex Bochannek at the Computer History Museum when I was down there last year.  I’m a little confused by its title, but the ACM published it in 1981* and I’m reading it because I’m getting ready to talk some more with Adin Falkoff.  I bought one of those phone recording things, so we’ll see how that goes.

So, I went to sleep last night having just read that:

The first use of the Language [APL] to describe a complete computing system was begun in early 1962 when Falkoff discussed with Dr. W.C. Carter his work in the standardization of the instruction set for the machines that were to become the IBM Systems/360 family.  Falkoff agreed to undertake a formal description of the machine language, largely as a vehicle for demonstrating how parallel processes could be rigorously represented.

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My Translation for the folks who just can’t swallow that quote: Adin Falkoff used APL to describe parallel processes, an important problem in computing that people are still working on today – back in 1962!

So, of course I get all excited when I read my rss feeds this morning and notice the Lambda the Ultimate folks are discussing an article the ACM just published about the  Resurgence of Parallelism.

We gotta watch those ACM guys, though.  They put out an article about the history of parallelism that mentions IBM’s System/360, Haskell, disruptive innovation – AND NOT US?  Anyway, this is what got me surfing about APL & Parallelism, and lo; I get to vote for Ken as my favourite information pioneer.

And I’m quite confident there’s a Jedi Knight among us who can work up and post a clever comment for those ACM guys. Go to: Resurgence of Parallelism.

*It’s called APL Session and credits Chairmen: JAN Lee; Speaker Kenneth E. Iverson; Discussant: Frederick Brooks and then has a secondary title: Paper: The Evolution of APL, Adin D. Falkoff;Kenneth E Iverson. ISBN 0-12-745040-8.


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