Moscow: n.p., 1989. Item #1414
481 pp.: ill. 20,5x16 cm. In original cardboards. Rubbed and bumped, some ink and pencil marks, otherwise very good and clean.
First and only edition. One of 150 copies produced. Very rare.
A Soviet typewritten textbook on the basics of system programming, compiled for higher educational institutions and published in the late Soviet Union. The lectures were edited by Igor Matskevich who later collaborated with Andrei Kalinin on the book Universal Programming Languages. Semantic Approach (1991).
The history of programming in the USSR dates back to the 1940s, despite the official disapproval of cybernetics as “bourgeois pseudoscience” during the early years of the Cold War. In 1948-1950, Sergey Lebedev conducted experiments and supervised the invention of the Small Electronic Calculating Machine (MESM). Finally, by 1952, he introduced the first version of the Big Electronic Calculating Machine (BESM). After Stalin’s death, cybernetics was widely promoted in the USSR through the publication of numerous works on the topic. In the following decades, BESM was actively used for solving the most important scientific and technical problems in the fields of thermonuclear processes, space flight, rocket technology, statistical quality control, etc. In the early 1950s, mathematician Alexei Lyapunov (1911-1973) gave the first lecture course on programming at Moscow State University. In 1953, he headed the department of programming at the Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Science.
Unlike American users of the Fortran programming language (invented in 1954), their Soviet colleagues adopted the Angol family of computer programming languages; its first version was developed in Zurich in 1958. In particular, a mixture of Algol-60 and Cobol was applied to the Minsk-22 machine in 1965. The only Soviet programming language that gained fame abroad was Refal. It was developed by Valentin Turchin in 1968. After forced emigration, Turchin continued to work on Refal in the USA. Hardware limitations forced Soviet programmers to write programs in machine code until the early 1970s. Users were expected to maintain and repair their own hardware, local modifications made it difficult to share software even between similar machines. Despite the cooperation with IBM during the Olympic Games in Moscow (1980) and the purchase of desktop computers from Japanese manufacturers, the spread of computer systems in Soviet companies was still slow in the 1980s. Computer illiteracy slightly decreased in the last decade of the 20th century.
Kalinin’s lectures provided a comprehensive introduction to the evolution of system software technology. The author reviewed the general principles of its development and interface design. The lectures primarily focused on large-scale system software, but also covered the production of application software. Some of the chapters were supplied with illustrations: diagrams, tables, and examples of entering certain values. The bibliography lists 66 sources.
No copies found in Worldcat.
Moscow: n.p., 1989. Item #1414