We can split hairs about which early computing devices first implemented
which automatic computing ideas, but I hope I can make 2 statements without
The ENIAC was the first device to be automatic, electronic,
general-purpose, and digital. That combination contained synergies that
were more than just the sum of the features.
In particular, the ENIAC advanced the state-of-the-art in computing speed
by 3 orders of magnitude, from 5 or 6 additions per second to 5000
additions per second.
I gave a talk in 2012 about early computer history, and a substantial
portion was dedicated to the ENIAC.
Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS_yVXcK_aM
Here's the handout:
On Thu, Aug 29, 2019 at 7:30 PM Dave Horsfall <dave(a)horsfall.org> wrote:
We gained computer pioneer John Mauchly on this day in
1907; he was best
as the co-inventor of ENIAC, one of the world's first computers.
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