The first computer in the world


We are all in front of a computer at the moment to read this article, and everything is very easy.

But have you ever wondered what the first computer in the world was and what it looks like?

At the moment we are looking for computers/laptops, technology has long exceeded any possible limit that man could think of. Thousands of models from a multitude of companies have appeared on the market and are hunted by people with exorbitant prices.

Before, things were completely different. On February 14, 1946, the first electronic computer for general use, called ENIAC (“Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer”), was officially launched, with its presentation at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.

The first computer in the worldOn February 15, 1946, ENIAC appeared on the front page of The New York Times. For many, the event marks the beginning of the electronic age of the computer.
ENIAC was conceived and designed by John Mauchly (b. 1907 – d. 1980), physicist and engineer, and John Presper Eckert (b. 1919 – d. 1995), engineer and professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

The process for the first computer in the world

Having no money to implement this computer, which had a database and a different system than today, they needed an extraordinarily large sum to try their luck in the new project that will revolutionize humanity.

Thus, the two sent a proposal to the government to provide funds for the construction of a machine to calculate the artillery firing tables. On April 9, 1943, the government awarded a $ 400,000 contract to build an “Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer.”

The team of design engineers consisted of, among others, Bob Shaw (functional paintings), Chuan Chu (division / square root), Kite Sharpless (main programmer), Arthur Burks (multiplication), Harry Huskey (reading/printing), Jack Davis (batteries) and Iredell Eachus Jr.

The ENIAC computer could be considered a car given the way it looks: it was very large, weighing 30 tons, occupying an entire room. It contained over 100,000 electronic components, including 17,468 electronic tubes, 70,000 resistors and 10,000 capacitors. He used the decimal system, which allowed people to easily read punched cards.

Therefore, it is very different from what we have at the moment.

A big disadvantage is that it was very difficult to change the instructions because to be programmed again the wire positions had to be changed manually. About 2,000 computer vacuum tubes have been replaced each month by a team of six technicians. Many of ENIAC’s first tasks were for military purposes, not for games or social networks that began to appear over time.

The machine could perform 5,000 assemblies and 300 multiplications per second (for comparison, microprocessors can now perform 100 million assemblies per second). Although the vacuum tubes took up a lot of space, their use increased the computing speed by a thousand times compared to other devices used until then.

The machine did not become fully operational until 1952, and the project was abandoned by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, who founded a computer company in 1948, and in 1949 developed the Binal Automatic Computer – BINAC, which used magnetic tape, instead of punched cards, for data storage.

When completed, ENIAC contained approximately 4,000 vacuum tubes and 10,000 crystal diodes.

Completed too late to be used in warfare, the machine was used for weather forecasting, wind tunnel design, and the study of the cosmos. Because it took two days to switch the wires to change the instructions, ENIAC was not an efficient general-purpose computing machine.

Mauchly and Eckert stated that ENIAC was the first digital, electronic, general-purpose computer, but on October 19, 1973, a court ruling that this title belonged to the Atanasoff-Berry (ABC) computer.


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