The beginning of generation codes used to program computers, was called machine language or machine code, it is the only language a computer really understands. It is a sequence of 0s and 1s that the computer’s controllers electrically interpret as instructions. The second generation of codes was called assembly language. assembly language turns the foreign language of 0s and 1s into human words like ‘add’. Assembly language is always translated back into machine code by computer programs called assemblers.
The third generation of code, was called high level language or HLL, which has human sounding words as well as words put into sentences. In order for the computer to understand any HLL, a compiler interprets the high level language into either assembly language or machine code. All software programming languages need to be eventually translated into machine code for a computer to use the instructions they contain.
As the user you do not see the code used to create computer software programs. However, you do use the results and the end products of software programming which are soft programs that are easy to use by the consumer. Below is an article discussing the history of software programming of Computer Chess and the lives of the software programmer behind one of your favorite software programs.
Dr. Dietrich Prinz wrote the original computer chess program for a universal functioning computer. The program was released in November 1951. Previously, special purpose machines which were designed only for playing chess had been invented, but Prinz decided to invent a program that could be played on any general computer. Since computers of the 1950’s had very little memory power compared to today’s computers, his program could only examine every possible move until a solution was found which took an average of fifteen minutes (a move that can be accomplished by a modern computer in a fraction of a second!) However, for its time this was considered a miracle.
Dr. Dietrich G. Prinz was born on 29 March, 1903. He was educated at Berlin University, where his teachers included genius’s Planck and Einstein and graduated with a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He left for England in 1935 where he began working at Ferranti Ltd., a major computer business. He soon became the companies head programmer and in 1957, after his original chess program, a full-fledged chess program introduced by Bernstein for an IMB. In 1983, a chess program called Belle was designed by AT&T and became the first to reach the U.S.A. Since, Chess programs have become widely popular to a large group of people, including master chess players as well as novices.