Chapter 3: The World of Simple Programs

Section 9: Register Machines

History [of register machines]

Register machines (also known as counter machines and program machines) are a fairly obvious idealization of practical computers, and have been invented in slightly different forms several times. Early uses of them were made by John Shepherdson and Howard Sturgis around 1959 and Marvin Minsky around 1960. Somewhat similar constructs were part of Kurt Gödel's 1931 work on representing logic within arithmetic (see page 1158).

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]