News.com has a package commemorating the 60th anniversary of ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first electronic computer that could handle large scale calculations. The 28-ton device, with nearly 18,000 vacuum tubes, could crank 5,000 addition problems in a second, and was used on projects relating to hydrogen bomb development. For comparison, an Intel Core Duo chip does about 21.5 billion operations per second.
Fine-tuning ENIAC. J. Presper Eckert (the man in the foreground turning a knob) served and John Mauchly (center) designed ENIAC to calculate the trajectory of artillery shells. The machine didn't debut until February 1946, after the end of World War II, but it did launch the computer revolution. Courtesy of the Computer History Museum
On Valentine's Day sixty years ago, the world read the first newspaper accounts of a mysterious, new computing machine in Philadelphia. It wasn't the first computer ever made, but on that day, public awareness of modern technology took its first great post-war jump forward.
John Mauchly, co-inventor of the ENIAC, first unveiled the ENIAC at University of Pennsylvania in 1946. Here are excerpts from Blastoffmedia's 98-minute documentary, "The Computer and the Skateboard."