There’s been talking about sunscreen in the computing world when discussing what was the very first computer invented.
For years, the accepted pioneer belonging to the digital age was the ENIAC, short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, perhaps because the story associated with growth was one worthy for What To Do With An Invention Idea tabloids and television.
As World War II was coming to a close, the Army had run less than mathematicians and were willing to recruit women. Six women were accepted to work on “Project PX” at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering, under John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert. The women’s job would have been to program firing tables and ballistic trajectories using ENIAC. Their work laid the groundwork for programming. The completed machine was unveiled on Feb. 14, 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania. Within the armed forces had funded the cost of almost $500,000. It occupied about 1,800 square feet and used about 18,000 vacuum tubes, weighing almost 50 tons. It is widely considered to work as first computer invented, considering its highly functional status along with the late 1950s.
However, its “first” status was challenged in court when Rand Corp. bought the ENIAC patent and started charging royalties. Honeywell Corporation. refused to pay and challenged the patent in 1968. It was learned that Mauchly, amongst the leaders of the Project PX in the University of Pennsylvania, had seen a beginning prototype of a device being built at the Iowa State College called the Atanasoff-Berry Computer.
Professor John Vincent Atanasoff and graduate student Cliff Berry began development along at the ABC in 1937 and it remained developed until 1942 at the Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). Eventually, wilsonkelly.weebly.com it could solve equations containing 29 variables.
In 1973, Ough.S. Federal Judge Earl R. Larson released his decision that the ENIAC patent by Mauchly and Eckert was invalid and also the ABC was the first computer invented. However, the ABC was never fully functional, so the popular opinion to the present day has the ENIAC as the first electronic computing piece of equipment. The Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History in Washington displays most from the remains of the ENIAC, alongside waste the ABC.
However, there’s another twist to this tale. The easiest computer is patenting an idea electronic digital device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations and display the results. Germany’s Konrad Zuse created what was essentially the first programmable calculator in the mid-1930s in his parent’s living room. Zuse’s Z1 had 64-word memory and a clock speed of 1 Hz. Programming the the Z1 required the user to insert tape into a punch tape reader and then receive his results the punch tape dispenser – making it possibly the first computer invented.