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Know where "software" comes from?

By louridas in News
Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 06:49:50 PM EST
Tags: You Know... (all tags)
You Know...

When was the term "software" first used? In a recent note in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Yale Law Professor Fred Shapiro gives an 1850 occurence. The term was used by rubbish-tip pickers to denote all vegetable and animal matters---everything that would decompose; whilst hardware was what would not decompose. And as to the first occurence in Computer Science? It was in a 1958 article in the American Mathematical Monthly; the author was John W. Tukey, of FFT fame among other things, and whose major neologism has been considered to be the word "bit", which he invented in 1946. The note is available to all.


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Know where "software" comes from? | 28 comments (28 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Intresting stuff, I'm just a big hi... (none / 0) (#10)
by SgtPepper on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 12:14:48 PM EST

SgtPepper voted 1 on this story.

Intresting stuff, I'm just a big history nut anyway.

Neat bit of trivia. I don't see ho... (none / 0) (#7)
by Neuromancer on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 12:21:38 PM EST

Neuromancer voted 1 on this story.

Neat bit of trivia. I don't see how much discussion it will make, but more people will see it if it is up front.

Interesting bit of trivia.... (none / 0) (#8)
by inspire on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 12:55:29 PM EST

inspire voted 1 on this story.

Interesting bit of trivia.
--
What is the helix?

Interesting, ... (none / 0) (#14)
by slycer on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 01:03:23 PM EST

slycer voted 0 on this story.

Interesting,
Lately it seems more like hardware decomposes (obsoletes) MUCH quicker than software does. At the place I work we still use a really ugly interface into an old (access 2?) database that displays messages for us.

Not worth a lot of discussion though..

More write up please. I think the s... (none / 0) (#17)
by maynard on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 01:28:39 PM EST

maynard voted -1 on this story.

More write up please. I think the subject matter is perfectly fine for K5, but this write up doesn't do justice to the topic.

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.

It's always nice to have a little h... (none / 0) (#18)
by mrbob on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 02:00:16 PM EST

mrbob voted 1 on this story.

It's always nice to have a little history after lunch :-)

I think you have answered your own ... (none / 0) (#1)
by hattig on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 02:11:42 PM EST

hattig voted -1 on this story.

I think you have answered your own question. What is the point of the post? What discussion will it promote? When was the term CMOS, nMON, pMOS first used? When was the perm "Printer" first used? When was the term "First Post" first used? Not relevant or interesting, sorry.

Well, I hardly think he *invented* ... (none / 0) (#4)
by Pelorat on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 02:22:55 PM EST

Pelorat voted 1 on this story.

Well, I hardly think he *invented* the word 'bit' in 1946. Certainly it's been around a *bit* longer than that, ahem... =)

pdf file? Why do people use pdf so ... (none / 0) (#12)
by hooty on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 02:28:35 PM EST

hooty voted -1 on this story.

pdf file? Why do people use pdf so much!!!

Re: pdf file? (none / 0) (#23)
by pin0cchio on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 11:30:09 PM EST

Perhaps because PDF has more page layout capability than HTML?
lj65
[ Parent ]
Re: pdf file? Why do people use pdf so ... (none / 0) (#28)
by mattm on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 10:59:50 PM EST

<sarcasm>
Look at the bright side -- at least this one isn't encrypted!
</sarcasm>



[ Parent ]
Interesting historical issue.... (none / 0) (#6)
by Deven on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 03:38:07 PM EST

Deven voted 1 on this story.

Interesting historical issue.

Deven

"Simple things should be simple, and complex things should be possible." - Alan Kay

Interesting trivia, but was there a... (none / 0) (#13)
by Rasputin on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 04:00:14 PM EST

Rasputin voted -1 on this story.

Interesting trivia, but was there a discussion topic in here...?
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

(meta) Ask K5? (none / 0) (#24)
by pin0cchio on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 11:32:15 PM EST

Another weblog has a section called "Ask Slashdot" where users submit questions, editors choose and post them, and members answer them. Could K5 get the same thing?
lj65
[ Parent ]
Re: (meta) Ask K5? (none / 0) (#25)
by rusty on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 01:45:34 AM EST

We have a topic, called "Help" for questions of that nature. I'd really like to see more people use it, but it isn't terribly obvious that it's there, or that that's what it's for.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I love little history stuff like th... (none / 0) (#5)
by Skippy on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 04:41:13 PM EST

Skippy voted 1 on this story.

I love little history stuff like this. Besides being just neat nuggets of info, this is also the kind of thing that wins you big bucks on Jeopardy!
# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #

Probably won't spark much discussio... (none / 0) (#11)
by Eimi on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 05:01:21 PM EST

Eimi voted 1 on this story.

Probably won't spark much discussion, but pretty interesting. Should K5 have a section for Useless Fact of the Day?

Yes (none / 0) (#22)
by skim123 on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 10:38:45 PM EST

Yes, it should

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Groan. ... (none / 0) (#16)
by leshert on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 05:09:34 PM EST

leshert voted -1 on this story.

Groan. Would you please examine the date of this issue? April 2000...

Always love the odd trivia... (none / 0) (#19)
by abe1x on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 05:32:35 PM EST

abe1x voted 1 on this story.

Always love the odd trivia

Not really exciting, not even reall... (2.00 / 3) (#2)
by jwsh on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 05:49:01 PM EST

jwsh voted -1 on this story.

Not really exciting, not even really news, is it?

if it's a slow news day, throw it u... (none / 0) (#9)
by cetan on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 06:02:44 PM EST

cetan voted 0 on this story.

if it's a slow news day, throw it up there; if not maybe hold off until a slow news day? :)
===== cetan www.cetan.com =====

This is more a factoid than a story... (none / 0) (#15)
by Marcin on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 06:44:10 PM EST

Marcin voted -1 on this story.

This is more a factoid than a story in itself.. I don't see how it could prompt much discussion (I could be wrong I guess) :)
M.

Well, it's not the usual "This... (none / 0) (#3)
by mattm on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 06:48:44 PM EST

mattm voted 1 on this story.

Well, it's not the usual "This is what my roommate's cousin's girlfriend read in some magazine somewhere..." at least.

Entirely appropriate (2.50 / 2) (#20)
by h2odragon on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 08:23:01 PM EST

Obviously the guy had a vision of the world of computers as we know it now, way back when, and found *exactly* the right terminology.

ROFL (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by rusty on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 08:37:14 PM EST

Imagine if that 19th century garbage man had been more literal minded. Today we might find ourselves at parties, saying "I'm a decomposing vegetable and animal matter engineer." :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Economist (2.00 / 1) (#26)
by lichtin on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 03:26:02 AM EST

I just read this story in the latest issue of The Economist.


I know this girl (1.00 / 1) (#27)
by Neuromancer on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 03:30:06 AM EST

She claims that she can convert any software task to a hardware task. <G> *singing* Anything software can do, hardware can do quicker, hardware can do anything better than software, no it can't, yes it can, no it can't, yes it can... */singing*

Know where "software" comes from? | 28 comments (28 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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