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62 votes
Accepted

What was the first programming book

I would say one of the versions of the Menabrea paper, written in 1842 by Luigi F. Menabrea. Ada Lovelace became involved in computing when she was asked to translate this paper from Italian to French....
Jerry Coffin's user avatar
  • 4,872
45 votes

What should we do with manuals from the 80s?

You could have a look on bitsavers.org. They catalogue and preserve computer manuals. If you have any unique manuals which are not yet catalogued on there, I am sure they would accept a scanned copy, ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
41 votes
Accepted

Did computers come with circuit diagrams?

Back until the late 80ies, it was actually pretty commonplace to get a circuit diagram with a lot of electronics devices when you bought them - Even TVs and radio sets often came with them. In cases ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 35k
32 votes

What should we do with manuals from the 80s?

First, check if the documents aren't already present on Bitsavers and Archive.org. If you do have something unique that hasn't been scanned yet, you can maybe try the new initiative announced today by ...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar
31 votes

Did computers come with circuit diagrams?

To clarify Tim Locke's comment about the Commodore 64 Programmer's Reference having a schematic, here are a couple of quick photos of the copy I lucked into in 2003. The rest of the book includes ...
ssokolow's user avatar
  • 7,065
25 votes

When did computer manuals and books start using monospace fonts for code, and why?

Could you provide any base for the assumption that using proportional fonts was the most common way before 1980? My experience tells different. Random example with text in proportional and code in ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
24 votes

What was the first programming book

If you insist on a book, try The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer, by Wilkes, Wheeler, and Gill, 1951. Undoubtedly this book derives in large part from the article ...
PMar's user avatar
  • 241
22 votes

What was the first programming book

The 1946 Mark 1 (ASCC) manual by Howard Aiken, Grace Murray Hopper, et al, has to be the first one which: Is a technical manual, for a digital machine, which was actually manufactured (only one ever ...
Warren  P's user avatar
  • 321
21 votes

When did computer manuals and books start using monospace fonts for code, and why?

Eating your own dog food Computer manuals for "real" publication, as opposed to just internal use within a company, were typeset using traditional methods. When you are typesetting manually, ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
19 votes

What was the first programming book

FORTRAN for the IBM 704. Link to a PDF here. My justification for this choice is that FORTRAN is the earliest "proper" language in widespread use that I can think of.
Andy's user avatar
  • 415
15 votes

What is the "Data Language" paper referenced in RFC 309?

RFC565 identifies NIC 8208 as: Computer Corporation of America, Datacomputer Project Working Paper No. 3, Datalanguage, 29 Oct '71, 78 pp. A copy of this document is available in the online ...
snips-n-snails's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

What are the electrical characteristics of a PC gameport?

The documentation for IBM's original Game Control Adapter has some details that will be of use. Even though you're using a SoundBlaster card instead, it should still be compatible with the IBM ...
Kaz's user avatar
  • 8,146
14 votes
Accepted

Xerox 3700 Documentation?

It looks like you have the control unit (probably including the hard disk, etc.) for a high-end Xerox 3700 laser printing system: (image source) The "3700" on the front of the unit and &...
cjs's user avatar
  • 26.6k
13 votes

When did computer manuals and books start using monospace fonts for code, and why?

In the 1980s, many magazines incorporated source code in the form of photo-reproduced computer printouts, which were naturally monospaced. In situations that didn't use actual computer printouts, for ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.5k
12 votes

What was the first programming book

I found something from 1949; it's a 4 page article that describes programming for the EDSAC. It's like a book, but whether it counts as one for this question I leave open. In any case, I think it's ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 1,720
11 votes

What was the first programming book

The Zuse Z1 was a binary electrical computer and finished in 1938. Zuse invented the programming language Plankalkül for it between 1943 and 1945, however, the book that he wrote about Plankalkül wasn'...
dirkt's user avatar
  • 27.8k
11 votes
Accepted

Where can I find macrofun.hlp?

The help file is still available elsewhere on Microsoft’s site. The macrofun.exe file there is a self-extracting cabinet file containing macrofun.hlp, the table of contents (macrofun.cnt) and a README ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
11 votes

Source For V2/A4 Missile Analog Guidance Computer Schematic?

I've extracted a reasonably complete description and schematic from the document Das Gerät A4 Baureihe B Gerätbeschreibung (The A4 Device Series B Device Description) published by the Oberkommando des ...
cmholm's user avatar
  • 351
11 votes

Documentation for an old computer: ICL 4120

A bit of web searching indicates that the 4120 was part of a range with the 4130, and among their operating systems was one called NICE. That seems congruent with an assembler called NEAT. Searching ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 13.3k
10 votes

What should we do with manuals from the 80s?

I'd get a nice sheetfed document scanner, cut off the spines, and feed in the manuals one at a time. Then upload to archive.org.
snips-n-snails's user avatar
9 votes

Did computers come with circuit diagrams?

I remember the computers from Czechoslovakia back in the 80s', and they come with the circuit diagram automatically, especially those for "professional use". The manufacturers knew that ...
Martin Maly's user avatar
  • 5,575
8 votes

What was the first programming book

Although older books have already been cited, I just reached across onto my bookshelf and found: "Ferranti Pegasus Computer, Programming Manual", Ferranti Ltd, Issue 1, September 1955. I have older ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
8 votes

Xerox 3700 Documentation?

I was the Principal Technical Consultant on the Xerox 2700/3700 and 4235 (follow on product). It is the ESS (Electronic Sub System) of a Xerox 3700 LPS (Laser Printing System) printing at 24 ppm. The ...
Ole Sandner's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Documentation for an old computer: ICL 4120

Not a complete answer, but a couple of references scraped from the net: NCR 4100 Software - mentions NEAT assembler and NEAT executive; little detail though. CPU and peripheral descriptions. 4100 ...
dave's user avatar
  • 35.7k
8 votes

When did computer manuals and books start using monospace fonts for code, and why?

In code, unlike natural printed text, spacing is sometimes important. In proportional fonts, the width of a space is not the same as the width of all characters. (It may be different than the width of ...
Stephan Samuel's user avatar
7 votes

What are the electrical characteristics of a PC gameport?

back in the (x386) days I was using GAME port as an ADC for home made scanner and other self build HW. As it is usual during development there is occasional set back like short circuit etc. The GAME ...
Spektre's user avatar
  • 7,276
7 votes

What should we do with manuals from the 80s?

Your options seem to be: Donating them to a local or non-local museum Donating them to The Internet Archive or Bitsavers Digitizing them yourself (Stack Exchange thread here) Posting to a special ...
Aster's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes

When did computer manuals and books start using monospace fonts for code, and why?

The IBM 709/7090 FORTRAN Reference Manual (copyright 1958, 1959, 1961) uses the same font for code as text, except that the code is in all capitals. A serif font is most of the text, a sans-serif font ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
  • 1,338
6 votes
Accepted

Documentation for the SALUT preprocessor of the IBM Macro Assembler 2.0

[Before anyone asks, yes, this question hits a soft spot with me. After all, Structured Programming is everything one needs to follow - all later paradigms are just extensions thereof :))] ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
5 votes

Did computers come with circuit diagrams?

At my university in the 70's was an Adage Graphics Terminal, a full-blown digital computer (30-bit, one's complement!) along with analog graphics hardware driving a 3D vector display. It was the size ...
joe snyder's user avatar

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