A century of Invention – The first Computer

There’s been a controversy in the computing world when discussing what was the 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 advancement was one worthy for tabloids and television.

As World War II was coming how to submit a patent a close, the Army had run in need of mathematicians and were willing to recruit women. Six women were accepted efficient on “Project PX” at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering, under John Mauchly and K. Presper Eckert. The women’s job was how to get a patent on an idea program firing tables and ballistic trajectories using ENIAC. Their work laid the groundwork for selection. The completed machine was unveiled on Feb. 14, 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania. Within the armed forces had funded certainly 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 be the 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 Inc. refused to pay and challenged the patent in 1968. It was learned that Mauchly, new product ideas one of the many leaders of the Project PX in the University of Pennsylvania, had seen an initial 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 on top of the ABC in 1937 and it always been developed until 1942 at the Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). Eventually, 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 along with the ABC was actually the first computer devised. However, the ABC was never fully functional, so the best selling opinion to equipment has the ENIAC as the first electronic computing appliance. The Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History in Washington displays most of the remains of the ENIAC, alongside bits of the ABC.

However, there’s another twist to this tale. The most basic computer is an electronic digital device designed to acknowledge data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations and display the results. Germany’s Konrad Zuse created what was fundamentally 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 suitable punch tape reader and then receive his results via a punch tape dispenser – making it possibly the first computer invented.