Contexts and Conclusions
This chapter examines von Neumann’s programming work in the period 1945–8 in the large and in wider historiographical contexts. The role of ‘all-purpose’ machines is discussed and differentiated from the concept of the ‘stored-program computer’. The history of programming is distinguished from the history of computing, and the parallel yet independent histories of hardware and software illustrated. The importance of the concepts of planning and substitution to von Neumann’s work on software development are highlighted.