Caroll. Still, I suppose “Declare the things that are to come hereafter” is rather
appropriate in a book about formal approaches to programming !
There are three preliminary chapters introducing the basics of computing, and the
book then moves on into discussion of algorithmic methods, correctness of
algorithms and efficiency of algorithms. There is then a section on the limitations
of computing, which is very interesting. It is concerned with the fact that some
programs will take almost forever, some can not even be written, and some will run
on incredibly simple machines. At the end of each chapter is a short description of
recent (this was printed in 1987) research work on the particular subject of the
The final section concerns itself with getting answers to apparently intractable
problems by using parallelism, probabilistic (coin tossing) algorithmics, and other
fiendish methods, And finally there is a chapter on AI, which gives a good idea of
some of the many difficulties that stand in the way of those who would like their
Nascom 1 to explain the Universe to them. I found this an excellent book, as the
mathematical aspects of many programming problems are explained very clearly.
The chapter on what computers can not do is an excellent antidote to those who
believe that “computers can be programmed to do anything that you want them to”.
I admit that I used to believe that, but it has been proved to be a silly idea. Even
worse, the proof goes all the way back to Alan Turing, and ought to be common
For Sale (still)
I was going to repeat my list of computer bits that are still for sale, but the lack of
response to the previous version has convinced me that there is nobody left who
wants a printer for almost nothing. Oh alright then. Belectra board with Pascal to
work it, Gemini MODEM board with Prestel software,
Iotec Iona (contains switching psu), Ohio Challenger, Spectrum and VTX5000.
Nascom programs on tape ! __________.
Private Adverts – 2
For Sale. Gemini
I/O Card. With manuals, software,
etc. Offers: C. Bowden, ____ – ______ (evenings).