Computers: The Software Snarl

The computer is running into trouble—because of shortcomings in man, not in the machine. In just two decades, the electronic marvels have grown so complex and intricate to operate that man is hard put to maintain the proper control. The problem is one of telling the machines what to do and how to do it—through an arcane shorthand of codes, languages, programs and systems known as computer "software."

The software snarl is worsening despite gargantuan outlays to end it. In the $6 billion electronic data-processing market, more money will be spent this year on software than on computers themselves. Yet...

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