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Archive for August, 2011

History of programming languages

ENIAC Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (1946)

The first using of programming, although cables were connected to ports to achieve this.

UDSAC (1947)

First computer with memory

FORTRAN (1954-57)

The first language with a compiler, this cut programming time from 2 weeks to 2 hours

GOTO statements

These are bad for programming, they organise the program in a way that makes it almost impossible to debug.

Object-Orientated

The data and its processes are kept as a single unit called an object

Declarative languages

The computer is told what to do, not how to do it such as SQL

Constraint based languages

Conditions need to be met before processes will be executed

 

Programming language generations

First generation – Machine code (0’s and 1’s)

Second generation – Assembler (Mnemonic codes)

Third generation – Modern programming languages (BASIC, C and PASCAL)

Forth generation – Declaritive languages (SQL etc. code tells computer what, not how to do it)

Fifth generation – Constraint based languages (Prolog, artificial intelligent applications)

 

 

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The meaning of life and research

*Disclaimer: I was lying about the life bit*

Research begins with a theory (or lack of one) which is sometimes based on an assumption and explains phenomenons.

There are five ways in which we gain knowledge:

  • Experience (although what works for one person may not work for another)
  • Asking questions
  • argument
  • Consulting authority
  • Research (Which actually may use all but experience)

Research is conducted for many different reasons and there are many different types, it will never give completely definite answers and over time some research will inevitably become void

We research to explain and understand things, to expand knowledge of subjects, to make or save money, for personal satisfaction or organisational research and development

Research is a process with a beginning, an end and some stuff in the middle.

Questions are refined

Data is collected

And most research opens up new questions and horizons

In order to conduct research to a standard it must be about:

The right questions

Honesty and accuracy

Record keeping

Accepting limitations

Over all

Attempt to seek answers

Draw conclusions from data

generalise conclusions

Add to existing knowledge and improve understanding of the world around us

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