Jump to content

Computer pioneer who worked on ENIAC dies


Recommended Posts

RIP Dr. Huskey. But let us never forget that ENIAC would never have been built without the genius of Alan Turing. Who arguably deserves the title as "Father of the Computer" more than any other. Not only that, he was a war hero. (sorry for the tangent--but Turing was so heinously mistreated and under-appreciated that I give a shout-out to him whenever possible.)


Some interesting facts about ENIAC (which, btw, had less memory and computing power than your Smart Phone!) This list pasted from an online site about ENIAC..............................



Random ENIAC Facts!?!

15 random points about the computer you never heard of:

1) Short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

2) The first general-purpose electronic computer.

3) ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the U.S. Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory.

4) The ENIAC contained 17,468 vacuum tubes, along with 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors, 1,500 relays, 6,000 manual switches and 5 million soldered joints. It covered 1,800 square feet of floor space, weighed 30 tons, and consumed 160,000 Watts of electrical power.

5) ENIAC was conceived and designed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly of the University of Pennsylvania.

6) The six women who did most of the programming of ENIAC were inducted in 1997 into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.

7) At 11:45 p.m., October 2, 1955, with the power finally shut off, the ENIAC retired.

8) In one second, the ENIAC (one thousand times faster than any other calculating machine to date) could perform 5,000 additions, 357 multiplications or 38 divisions.

9) The ENIAC was not originally designed as an internally programmed computer. The program was set up manually by varying switches and cable connections. However, means for altering the program and repeating its iterative steps were built into the master programmer.

10) For example, a skilled person with a desk calculator could compute a 60- second trajectory in about 20 hours. The analog differential analyzer produced the same result in 15 minutes. ENIAC required 30 seconds–just half the time of the projectile’s flight.

11) In addition to ballistics, the ENIAC’s field of application included weather prediction, atomic-energy calculations, cosmic-ray studies, thermal ignition, random-number studies, wind-tunnel design, and other scientific uses. It is recalled that no electronic computers were being applied to commercial problems until about 1951.

12) A classified military project known only as Project PX.

13) Some of ENIAC’s competitors, namely the ABC and Z3, were far slower and could tackle only small problems.

14) Used a word of 10 decimal digits instead of binary ones like previous automated calculators/computers.

15) A controversy developed in 1971, however, over the patentability of ENIAC’s basic digital concepts, the claim being made that another U.S. physicist, John V. Atanasoff, had already used the same ideas in a simpler vacuum-tube device he built in the 1930s while at Iowa State College. In 1973, the court found in favor of the company using Atanasoff claim and Atanasoff received the acclaim he rightly deserved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


RIP Dr. Huskey. But let us never forget that ENIAC would never have been built without the genius of Alan Turing.



I am not sure I agree with that statement. While Colussus predated ENIAC, both collaborated only later on the Pilot ACE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.