Six Primitives to be Turing Complete

I’m going through a free online CS program (OSSU) and Im currently reviewing the basics in a CS 101 class. I’m sure I’ve heard this before, but it caught my attention the second time around.

Alan Turing mimicked human “computing” with the idea that a computer could also “compute” anything with six primitive actions:


1. Go left
2. Go right
3. Scan
4. Read
5. Write
6. Do nothing

Of course, if you Google this idea, you will find that there is debate about how complete this set of actions is for computing any calculation, but the principle here is the foundation of executing a computer program.

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