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According to J.A.N. Lee in 1996, computer scientists "are reaching the stage of development where each new generation of participants is unaware both of their overall technological ancestry and the history of the development of their speciality, and have no past to build upon" [1, p.54]. A technically and historically accurate account, as attempted here, can help us, computer scientists, grasp some of the fundamental ideas underlying our discipline. This paper describes some early contributionsdoi:10.1093/comjnl/bxr002 fatcat:25w2otqyoffvfkdvcj6nw4bscu