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WILKES, Maurice V.; David J. Wheeler; Stanley Gill.

The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer.

With special reference to the EDSAC and the use of a library of subroutines.

Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley Press, Inc., 1951 Stock Code: 139945
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"The first book on computer programming"

First edition, first printing, in lovely condition, of "the first book on computer programming" and one of the most influential textbooks of this early era (Tomash & Williams). As in the Tomash copy a printed slip with the imprint of Scientific Computing Service Limited is tipped onto the title page indicating that they were the English distributors of the book.

Commonly referred to as "Wilkes, Wheeler, and Gill", the present work "had its genesis in the privately issued Report on the Preparation of Programmes for the EDSAC, a dittoed typescript prepared by the Cambridge University Mathematics Laboratory and distributed to a limited number of computer researchers. Wilkes believed that the report deserved a wider publication... Because Addison-Wesley was then a small publisher with no offices in England, Scientific Computing Service, founded by L. C. Comrie, handled the English distribution" (OOC). It was "so influential that a number of computers were created that mimicked the EDSAC so that the subroutine techniques used in this book could be implemented more readily" (Tomash & Williams). A typescript list of errata is loosely inserted in this copy.

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Octavo. Original brown cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt.


With 2 photographic frontispieces, one depicting a general view of the Cambridge EDSAC, the other an operator punching a programme tape on keyboard perforator; numerous diagrams and figures in the text.


Withdrawn stamp to front free endpaper, no other signs of library use. Minor bumps to spine ends and lower outer tip of front cover, light scratch to cloth to front cover, very faint offsetting to endpapers; a bright copy in near-fine condition.


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