How were computers “commanded” before computer languages existed?


How were computers “commanded” before computer languages existed?

In: Technology

5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Computers always run on what is called “machine code”, the actual values which make the computer components behave as desired. At this stage it is just like flipping electrical switches at the start of a long chain reaction.

The secret is that computers *never changed from that.* Computers do not “think”, they do not understand anything, they don’t “obey orders” any more than an electric winch obeys an order to pull on something when it is turned on. Computer languages and code are just abstractions to allow people to more easily construct logical processes than putting the machine code together directly.

Imagine a purely mechanical calculator, something that adds and subtracts numbers via gears and levers. The numbers to be calculated together are indicated by the positions of the gears at the start and that is in essence what computers are doing. The difference is that it is much faster, the parts are smaller, and it is done without moving parts using semiconductor switches.

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