5 episodes

Aleks Krotoski tells the story of the languages that have been used to talk to machines.

Codes that Changed the World BBC

    • Science

Aleks Krotoski tells the story of the languages that have been used to talk to machines.

    The Tower of Babel

    The Tower of Babel

    Today's digital world is a reverse tower of Babel. It takes all sorts of different languages to build it. It is this phenomenon that Aleks Krotoski explores in this final edition.

    • 13 min
    Java

    Java

    Aleks Krotoski introduces the programming language that people probably interact with on a daily basis more than any other.

    • 13 min
    Basic

    Basic

    Basic is the little language that could. As language of choice for home computing in the 1980s, it became iconic.

    • 13 min
    Cobol

    Cobol

    Inefficient, verbose and ugly, yet by the 1990s, 80 per cent of the world's business software was written in Cobol. Aleks Krotoski explores why.

    • 13 min
    Fortran

    Fortran

    The history of computing is dominated by the hardware; the race for speed and power has overshadowed how we've devised ways to instruct these machines to do useful tasks.

    In this 5 part series Aleks Krotoski tells the story of the languages we've used to talk to the machines. FORTRAN is the oldest of what are called high level languages and marked a revolution in computing. With its invention programmers no longer had to work at the level of the machine in ones and zeroes but could talk in terms of the problem they wanted solved. And those problems were the calculations that allowed everything from the space race to nuclear power to become a reality.

    • 13 min

Top Podcasts In Science

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC