The 14th of February is coming and what does it mean? Yes, we celebrate Valentine’s Day but also on February 14, 1946, the world's first realistically programmable electronic computer ENIAC was launched in America. Can we say that the 14th of February is the day dedicated to all people in love with computers? Yes, we can.
So what about the very first computer?
The world's first realistically programmable general-purpose electronic computer to run at electronic speed without being slowed by any mechanical parts was the ENIAC, an acronym for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer. NIAC weighed 30 tons and consisted of 18 thousand electronic tubes. Developed in the 1940s by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, the ENIAC was the first large-scale digital computer that was able to run a wide variety of tasks. The machine was something less than the dream of a universal computer. Developed specifically for computing values for artillery range tables, it lacked some features necessary to become a generally useful machine.
The ENIAC was designed to perform mathematical calculations faster than a human could. It could calculate at speeds of up to 5,000 operations per second, and it was able to store 20 ten-digit numbers in its memory. It was also capable of performing complex calculations and storing the results. Well, actually it was a revolution for those days but ENIAC seems to be super slow compared to a modern PC.
The ENIAC was a revolutionary machine for its time. It was the first computer to use vacuum tubes, which enabled it to perform its calculations much faster than any other machine of its era. It was also the first computer to be programmed. This meant that it could be programmed to perform specific tasks and calculations that could not be done by humans.
Although the ENIAC was revolutionary for its time, it had some drawbacks. It was an expensive machine to build and maintain, and its programming was difficult and time-consuming. For example, it took days to rewire the machine for each new problem so working with the computer wasn’t really as quick as you may think. It was also limited in its storage capacity, and it could only be used for certain types of calculations.
Despite its limitations, the ENIAC was a major breakthrough in computing. Even though the machine was initially built for specific tasks, it could be used for a wider range of purposes too. Needless to say that ENIAC ushered in the age of modern computing, and it laid the foundation for the development of ever more powerful computers. The computer was in operation for nine years until 1955 having performed more calculations than all mankind had ever done up to that point.
Here are a few interesting facts about ENIAC for you to know:
ENIAC took up 1,800 square feet (170 m2), the equivalent of a vast room
ENIAC ran constantly to extend the life of its 18,000 vacuum tubes, and it generated large amounts of heat so the room had to have its own air conditioning system to prevent the computer from overheating
The total cost of the machine was about $400,000
A number of the first programmers working on the ENIAC creation were women. All of them have entered the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame
After 1955 ENIAC was replaced by its successor, dubbed EDVAC - a binary computer
ENIAC was a huge leap in technology development
The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was an early form of a computer that revolutionized the world of technology and computing and allowed for new possibilities in the world of computers. It was faster, more powerful, and more versatile than any computer that had come before it. This made the machine an invaluable tool for scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. ENIAC also allowed for the development of new programming languages, making it easier to create powerful programs that could be used to solve even more complex problems.
ENIAC was a major step forward for computing. It paved the way for further innovations and advances in the field, such as the development of the transistor and integrated circuits, which would eventually lead to the creation of the modern computer as well as the development of the first software programs, which would revolutionize the way computers were used.
ENIAC as an incredible achievement changed the world of technology and computing in a profound way. Its legacy lives on today in the modern computers we use every day.
So to all the computer geeks and video games lovers out there, may you have the happiest ENIAC day!
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