This handbook is written mainly for the benefit of those who will actually do programming for the Mark II machine. It is not intended to be an introduction to computing machinery, nor is it intended to explain the engineering techniques used in the machine. Although it is believed that the handbook is complete in itself, and eventually could be understood by anyone with a mathematical training, it is recommended that the reading be supplemented by some closer contact with the machine itself.
At the time of writing, comparatively little programming has been done with the Mark II machine. It is hoped to issue supplements consisting of particular routines from time to time. The conventions and suggestions about programming that are given are largely based on experience gained from the Mark I machine.