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Core Memories

The Big Picture

1 min read

One of the great achievements of the UNIVAC 1, the world’s first commercial computer, was its mercury delay-line memory, shown here. As J. Presper Eckert, co-­inventor of the UNIVAC, and four other members of the Institute of Radio Engineers wrote in 1949: ”In a delay-line memory, ­information is stored in the form of groups of electrical or acoustical impulses or signals ­circulating in an electric delay line or medium suitable for transmission of acoustic waves.”

The authors noted, ”Although considerable research is being done on electrostatic ­memories�the delay-line type of memory is more highly developed at the present time.” Of course, today essentially all memory is electrostatic.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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