What Is The Meaning Of Eniac?


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Rebecca Hunt Profile
Rebecca Hunt answered
ENIAC is an initialism of Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer. It was the first general-purpose computer to be built. The computer was Turing complete and was capable of being reprogrammed to solve a huge variety of computer problems.

Originally, ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States army's ballistic research laboratory. The machine was capable of processing speeds over one thousand times faster than existing electro-mechanical machines.

  • Description
The ENIAC machine was composed of a number of different panels, each of which served their own purpose. The key breakthrough with the ENIAC was its speed but it was also remarkable because of its complexity and size. The machine weighed just under 27 tons and took up 1,800 square foot of space. While running, the ENIAC used 150 kilowatts of power.

The ENIAC consisted of 17,468 vacuum tubes, 7,200 crystal diodes, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors, 1,500 relays and over five million hand soldered joints. Twenty of the modules within this modular computer were used as accumulators.

These accumulators could add and subtract as well as store a ten digit number within its memory. Numbers were passed between these units and to achieve speed, the panels needed to be able to send, receive, trigger and calculate the numbers with no moving parts.

  • Programming
The ENIAC could be used to perform a whole range of complex sequences of operations. These operations could include loops, branches and subroutines. It could take weeks to map a problem onto the computer.

A problem that was written on paper would need to be programmed onto the computer by manipulating the machine's switches and cables. There were six women involved in most of the programming for the ENIAC and each of them gained a spot on the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.

ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, was the very first general purpose computer. Shown to the public in 1946, it is incredible how the technology has developed into the computers we have today.

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