[SIGCIS-Members] Call for "paper"

Melanie Swalwell melanie.swalwell at flinders.edu.au
Wed Sep 2 04:27:50 PDT 2015

Hi Stefan,

What a fabulous project!

I have two people I can put you in touch with locally in Australia who – while schoolboys -- wrote their code for microcomputer games on paper (often at school) before being able to enter it in the computer.  One actually sold (signed) paper copies of his code, which he’d run off roneo’ed copies of (after sneaking into the school principal’s office to use the copier…)

I will see what I can sort out for you.



From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] On Behalf Of "Dr. Stefan Höltgen"
Sent: Wednesday, 2 September 2015 6:03 PM
To: members at lists.sigcis.org
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Call for "paper"

Dear SIGCIS members,

I am planning to publish a book on handwritten programming code (means: written without computer, only with pencil and paper). That kind of „programming“ has been manily practiced in the 1970s and 1980s when kids without own computers planned their programs on paper to type them in later (at school, in computer ware houses, at friends, …) But that kind of programming is as old as programmable computers themselves, I guess. Every programmer surely had written short algorithms as drafts by hand or had corrected and commented program printouts by hand. Handwritten code, I think, today is almost extinguished. So the book will show today’s computational scientist that special kind of programming history and will also give a slightly insight into how the programmer anticipates the work of machine works while he is trying to think as the machine that runs his/her code.

The book will show such handwritten codes and code fragments (of any programming language) as scans, gives informations about the author, date of origin, programming language, computer where it was typed in (if so) and a about the planned function of the code or fragment. If the system and language are available and the code is readable and (sort of) complete, it will be tested and a screenshot of the output will addet to the text.

The book will be published in 2017 and there will be an exhibition at the „Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum“ in Paderborn (Germany) - one of the largest computer museums in Europe.


1. Original paper* with handwritten code or reprintable scans of such papers (300 dpi, color, TIFF, with the edges of the paper in the picture).
2. A permission to reprint that code from its author.
3. Informations about the origin of the paper (author name, date of origin, programming language and system, if remembered: anecdotes about that code and its genesis)

* If you want your paper to be shown at the exhibition at „Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum“ in 2017 you have to send in the original.

Before you send in anything please contact me (se below)!

Sent-in original papers will be scanned and kept safely until they are not needed anymore and than will be returened to the owner. Shipping fees from the sender to me can’t be refunded, since the project is completely unsalaried. But those who’s code has been reprinted or shown at the exhibition will get a free copy of the book.

The book with the working title „Papier-Maschinen“ (engl. „Paper Machines“) will be published in summer 2017 in our series „Computerarchäologie“ (engl.: „Computer Archaeology“) at the German „Projekt-Verlag").

If you need more informations do not hesitate to contact me at: email at computerarchaeologie.de<mailto:email at computerarchaeologie.de> or visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/computerarchaeologie

I would appreciate it if you would spread my call for „paper“!

Stefan Hoeltgen
Dr. Stefan Höltgen
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Medienwissenschaft
Fachgebiet Medienwissenschaft
Zimmer 2.33
Georgenstraße 47
D-10117 Berlin

Studienfachberater für Medienwissenschaft

Telefon: (+49) (0)30 2093-66-185
Telefax: (+49) (0)30 2093-66-181 (Sekretariat)
Mobil: (+49) (0)173 9025982

E-Mail: stefan.hoeltgen at hu-berlin.de<mailto:stefan.hoeltgen at hu-berlin.de>
Web: http://u.hu-berlin.de/hoeltgen

Sprechstunde: Mittwochs, 13-14 Uhr

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