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As far as the approaches to computer architecture are concerned, most of the early machines were accumulator-based processors, as has already been mentioned. The first computer based on a general register architecture was the Pegasus, built by Ferranti Ltd. in 1956. This machine had eight general- purpose registers (although one of them, R0, was fixed as zero). The first machine with a stack-based architecture was the B5000 developed by Burroughs and marketed in 1963. This was something of a radical machine in its day as the architecture was designed to support the new high-level languages of the day such as ALGOL, and the operating system was written in a high-level language. In addition, the B5000 was the first American computer to use virtual memory. Of course, all of these are now commonplace features of computer architectures and operating systems. The stack-based approach to architecture design never really caught on because of reservations about its performance and it has essentially disappeared today.

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