ENIAC is a book by Scott McCartney. It is a detailed account of the trials and tribulations of thefirst real computer, the ENIAC. The ENIAC was thefirst true computer, shunning gears and other mechanical parts to transmit and calculate in favor of an entirely electrical system, using electrons to send and receive information. The ENIAC revolutionized the world, even though it was built too late for its initial purpose; the creation of artillery fire tables. This book details the story of the creation of the ENIAC and the aftermath. It also talks about the successes and failures of John Mauchly and Pres Eckert, the two creators of the ENIAC and several other systems, such as the EDVAC, UNIVAC, and BINAC, among numerous other inventions. Also discussed is their revocation of the ENIAC patent, which cracked the monopoly in computer technology and allowed that industry to flourish, culminating in our use of computers today.
The initial chapters deal with the history of computers. Of major interest is Jean-Marie Jacquard's punch card loom. This loom stitched a pattern based on a series of punch cards inserted into it. This punch card design inspired many of thefirst computer programs, as creators struggled with ways to make their machines actually do something. Also of particular interest are the inventions of Charles Babbage. Never actually completed, his Difference Engine and Analytical Engine proved to be ingenious in design. The design for the Analytical Engine incorporated a conditional "if…then" statement that many computers did not have, until the ENIAC. Computing did not reach a functional level until Herman Holllerith's punch card machines accurately tabulated the census of 1890. While many pundits of the era bashed the results, those who operated the machines knew how accurate and effective they truly were. Slightly before the ENIAC, came Howard Aiken's Mark I. The Mark I was a truly a!

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