Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Birthday ENIAC!

On this day in 1946 the electronic computer was born. Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer was created at University of Pennsylvania for the U.S. Army for their Ballistics Research Laboratory. It is really quite amazing that the modern computer started out with 17,468 vacuum tubes, weighed 27t, took up 1800 square feet, used 150kw of power (today that would be $13.50/hour to run) and needed a crew of 30 people to run it. Now some people may tell you that it wasn't the first modern computer because it didn't use binary. It used the regular decimal system and there were others using binary before ENIAC but they were not completely electronic. The German Z3 was older, 1941, than ENIAC and it was Turing-Complete (this wasn't figured out until 1998) but it wasn't completely electronic. It used mechanical switches.

In comparison with a computer available today, ENIAC would probably bore you to death. Here are some comparisons. As of 2004, a chip of silicon measuring 0.02 inches (0.5 mm) square holds the same capacity as the ENIAC, which occupied a large room. Cnet compares ENIAC to a new Intel Duo chip in this picture.



Here are some good articles on it from cnet and wikipedia as well as the history of computing

Oh I almost forgot its Valentines day today so happy Valentines day! Well I guess it wouldn't be so happy if you are single but you'll just have to suck it up like we all used to.



Now I know there were lots of links in today's post, but I can't leave well enough alone. After you've learned so many new things today make sure you take the extreme sex test. In case you are wondering here's how I scored:

Rated PG-13
Easy there! Any more notches on your bed post and it'll be the size of a toothpick. We're happy no one has walked in on your during the act (that you know of), but tone it down a bit, or you'll find you have more in common with Julia Roberts circa "Pretty Woman" than Julia Roberts circa "Stepmom."
You are 43% extreme
You are more extreme than 91% of other users
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