John Von Neumann worked at the Institute for Advanced Study. He developed two important concepts that directly influenced the path of computer programming languages. The first was known as the “shared program technique”. This technique stated that the actual computer hardware should be simple and not have to be manually wired for each program.
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It was motivated by the success of power looms. It had limited capacity and due to technological limitations, this proposal could not be fully implemented. The physical motion was eventually replaced by electrical signals when the US government built the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator) in 1942.
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It followed many of the same principles of Babbage’s engine and therefore could only be “programmed” by presetting switches and rewiring the entire system for each new “program” or calculation. This process turned out to be very lengthy.
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Charles Babbage is considered the inventor of the first computer. This machine, known as the Analytical Engine (or Difference Engine), was invented in the 1820s. At first, tasks could only be performed by changing the gears that performed the calculations. So the earliest form of computer language was physical movement. Key features of this machine included memory (called storage), jump, loop, and the concept of subroutines.