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Unformatted text preview: compared to today's computers.
It was basically an electro-mechanical device since both mechanical and electronic
components were used in its design. Although its operations were not controlled
electronically, Aiken's machine is often classified as computer because its instructions,
which were entered by means pf punched paper tape, could be altered.
The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (1939-42).
This electronic machine w is
developed by Dr. John Atanasoff to solve certain mathematical equations. It was called
the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, or ABC, after its inventor's name and his assistant,
Clifford Berry. It used 45 vacuum tubes for internal logic and capacitors for storage.
The ENIAC (1943-46). The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator
(ENIAC) was the first' all electronic computer. It was constructed at the Moore School of
Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A. by a design team led by Professors
J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. ENIAC was developed as a result of military need. It took up the wall space in a 20 x 40
square feet room and used 18,000 vacuum tubes. The addition of two numbers was
achieved in 200 microseconds, and multiplication in 2000 microseconds.
Although, much faster in speed as compared to Mark I computer, ENIAC had two major
shortcomings: it could store and manipulate only a very limited amount of information,
and its programs were wired on boards. These limitations made it difficult to detect errors
and to change the programs. Hence, its use was limited. However, whatever be the
shortcomings of ENIAC, it represented an impressive feat of electronic engineering and
was used for many years to solve ballistic problems.
4. The EDVAC (1946-52). The operation of ENIAC was seriously handicapped by the
wiring board. This problem was later overcome by the new concept of "stored program"
developed by Dr. John Von Neumann. The basic idea behind the stored program concept
is that a sequence of instructions as well as data can be stored in the memory of the
computer for the purpose of automat...
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This document was uploaded on 04/07/2014.
- Spring '14