Dusty Decks: Preserving historic software

John Backus

John Backus initiated and led the project that designed and implemented Fortran, the first high-level programming language.

I hadn’t talked to John for many years*, but tonight I called him up to say hello, and to see if he had a copy of the original Fortran compiler source code. He didn’t but suggested I contact Irv Ziller, who was the first person to join John’s Fortran project.

* In 1974 I worked for John Backus at IBM San Jose Research (before the Almaden Research Center was built) .