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1946 – ENIAC

1946 – ENIAC

In 1947, the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC) became the first general purpose electronic computer. It cost $500,000 to build, used 19,000 vacuum tubes, measured 30 feet by 50 feet and weighed 30 tons. There was no software for the machine. It operated like a large array of adding machines wired together. Programming was accomplished by manually changing 40 banks of plugboard wiring. Numbers were entered into the computer using 1,200 ten way switches.

PRECURSOR:
-3,000 – abacus
1232 – Llull
1709 – Vaucanson
1791 – Babbage
1815 – Boole
1855 – vacuum tube
1906 – amplifier tube

CONCURRENT:
1941 – Z3 electromechanical computer
1941 – Atanasoff-Berry Computer for solving linear equations
1943 – Collossus computers for code breaking
1944 – Harvard Mark I for general arithmetic
1946- Williams tube became first electrostatic vacuum tube random access memory device

SUBSEQUENT:
1947 – transistor
1958 – integrated circuit

SEE ALSO:
ENIAC: Celebrating Penn Engineering History – [upenn.edu]
timeline of artificial intelligence
Suction pump to transistor

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