News

Validity and Correctness in LEO I and II

Abstract of the presentation at the roundtable What is a (computer) program? at the prelaunch of the project PROGRAMme in Paris, at the CNAM – Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, on the 20th of October 2017.

The presentation is an historical reconstruction of the procedures to ensure validity and program correctness in the early examples of business computers: the focus of the talk is the hardware testing, data validation and program correctness techniques designed for LEO I and II in the UK during the 1950s. Continue reading “Validity and Correctness in LEO I and II”

Reflections on Identity and Copy of Programs

Abstract of the presentation at the roundtable `What is a (computer) program?’ at the prelaunch of the project PROGRAMme in Paris, at the CNAM – Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, on the 20th of October 2017.

The problem of identity is a long-standing one in philosophy. In turn, it is a crucial one for the Philosophy of Computer Science, and in particular for answering the question ‘what is a program?’. Two major strands in the history of such conceptual investigation can be found. Continue reading “Reflections on Identity and Copy of Programs”

Coping with the “American giants”

Abstract of the paper presented at the 4th HaPoC – History and Philosophy of Computing conference in Brno, 3-7 October 2017.

Coping with the “American giants”: mergers, relationships and attempted partnerships in the European computer industry in the early Sixties

During the 1950s, a fragmented computer industry grew up in Europe. After the enthusiasm and pioneering in a brand new business like computers, at the beginning of the 1960s these companies were weakened by several issues, such as the financial crisis and the pressure of  US competitors like IBM and General Electric. The investments in R&D  were not fully refunded by the income from machines sales after several years. The growth of a computer company, in fact, was often doomed by these costs and very often also by lack of proper marketing experience in a totally brand new field. Continue reading “Coping with the “American giants””

CfP HaPoP4

Fourth Symposium on the History and Philosophy of Programming
https://www.shift-society.org/hapop4/

23 March 2018, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, UK
Colocated with BSHM Meeting on History of Computing, 22 March 2018
Organised by Commission for the History and Philosophy of Computing
www.hapoc.org

Submission of two-page extended abstracts (including footnotes, but excluding references) are invited. Accepted papers will be given a 30 minute presentation slot including discussion. We intend to publish selected papers in a special journal issue following the symposium.

  • Submission deadline: 1 January 2018
  • Author notification: 2 February 2018
  • HaPoP symposium: 23 March 2018

In memory of Peter Bird

Peter-Bird
Peter Bird, a director of Lyons Computer Services, charted the food company’s pioneering introduction of computers. Source: The Guardian UK

Peter Bird worked for J. Lyons & Co. from 1964 to 1991. He published his book LEO: The First Business Computer in 1994 and later an extensive book about Lyons in 2000.
We met Peter Bird in October 2016 at his house in Wokingham. We had a productive day, discussing about his books on Lyons and LEO. A day full of hints and suggestions, going through his collection of photos of LEO people and machines. Peter passed away on the 16th August 2017. Continue reading “In memory of Peter Bird”

History and Philosophy of Computing Symposium at ICHST2017

Symposium 002. The Ubiquity of Computing: historical and philosophical issues

Monday, 24 July,

9:00-10:30 a.m- Session Chair: Alberto de Lima
9:00 – 9:30 Henrique Cukierman A racing car without tires
9:30 – 10:00 Lucas Pereira Between taxes and innovations: The Role of Federal Data Processing Service (SERPRO) in the growth of Brazilian computer Market (1964-1970)
10:00 – 10:30 Alberto de Lima Control, freedom, informatics and society: a review of informatics histories in Brazil Continue reading “History and Philosophy of Computing Symposium at ICHST2017”

2nd CLE Colloquium for Philosophy and History of Formal Sciences: “Logic and Computing”

2nd CLE Colloquium for Philosophy and History of Formal Sciences
“Logic and Computing”
CLE4Science-Colloquia — JULY 19-21, 2017
http://www.cle.unicamp.br/principal/content/2ndcle4science

At Centre for Logic, Epistemology and the History of Science (CLE-Unicamp)

Invited Speakers:

  • Christoph BENZMÜLLER (Freie Universität Berlin, Dep. of Mathematics and Computer Science)
  • Giuseppe PRIMIERO (Middlesex University, Computer Science)
  • Gianfranco BASTI (Pontifical Lateran University, Faculty
    of Philosophy).

Continue reading “2nd CLE Colloquium for Philosophy and History of Formal Sciences: “Logic and Computing””