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Revision to Software

Austin Blakely

Computers may seem magical, but they’re actually a bit dumb once you leave the grasp of the marketing department. At a fundamental level, computers execute simple instructions given by humans like ''add these two numbers'' or ''move this number to a different spot''. All software is made from these basic instructions, which can be put together in just the right way to [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ|play a video] or simulate the physics of a car crash.
 
The first software was written by [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace|Ada Lovelace] in the 1840s. Since the algorithm she designed was only theoretical and the computer she was working with was never built, her ideas were never tested. Many pieces of early software were not written in a [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-level_programming_language|high-level programming language] as we know it today; instead, software was married to hardware and was “programmed” with physical componentry instead. Women like [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Booth|Kathleen Booth] and [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper|Grace Hopper] worked on early software in the 1940s by routing cables between various inputs and outputs. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Hamilton_(software_engineer)|Marget Hamilton] wrote software for the U.S. Apollo space missions in the late 1960s which was presented to the computer as a series of circuitry. Even then, the first software that existed completely within the memory of the computer looked much different than modern Javascript or Python. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_language|Assembly languages] had to come first, sharing similar syntax with the binarybinary, logical instructions that would be fed to the processor. In this way, the software we have today is all built off of these stepping stones, with high-level code being fed to an [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_language#Assembler|assembler], which then feeds instructions into the physical software built into the processor.
The first software was written by [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace|Ada Lovelace] in the 1840s. Since the algorithm she designed was only theoretical and the computer she was working with was never built, her ideas were never tested. Many pieces of early software were not written in a [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-level_programming_language|high-level programming language] as we know it today; instead, software was married to hardware and was “programmed” with physical componentry instead. Women like [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Booth|Kathleen Booth] and [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper|Grace Hopper] worked on early software in the 1940s by routing cables between various inputs and outputs. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Hamilton_(software_engineer)|Marget Hamilton] wrote software for the U.S. Apollo space missions in the late 1960s which was presented to the computer as a series of circuitry. Even then, the first software that existed completely within the memory of the computer looked much different than modern Javascript or Python. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_language|Assembly languages] had to come first, sharing similar syntax with the binarybinary, logical instructions that would be fed to the processor. In this way, the software we have today is all built off of these stepping stones, with high-level code being fed to an [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_language#Assembler|assembler], which then feeds instructions into the physical software built into the processor.
 
Modern software comes in a variety of flavors. First, there are applications or “apps,“ which are standalone programs that you can download, buy, install, and delete. Common applications include word processors for typing papers, web browsers for visiting [https://www.ifixit.com/|ifixit.com], and video games for relaxing. Applications can’t run without an operating system—abbreviated as “OS“—to provide the foundations. The most common operating systems for laptops and desktop computers are Windows, macOS, and Linux. Most smartphones use either iOS or Android. You can go to [http://whatsmyos.com/|this website] to see what OS you are using currently.

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