This terrible piece of hardware is the reason BCPL and then C existed:
That presentation also shows the software development process at the time. Looks so relaxing haha.
There is nothing terrible about EDSAC, C’mon. Such an aesthetic machine .. I challenge anyone to build another like it.
(Disclaimer: bit of a BCPL fainboix.. a lot of fun stuff was written then!)
See the vid. Richards wanted to build an ALGOL with some lambda stuff extra called CPL. The machine’s specs couldn’t handle the compiler. He basically kept chopping off features that improved safety, maintainability, etc until he arrived at one EDSAC could compile. Also, for performance, did “the programmer is in control” with it dealing with raw memory. This language, BCPL, being ported to a PDP-11 is why we’re stuck with C on everything.
Just imagine if he had a better machine. We might be using a better language. Or a different crappy one…