There’s been a controversy in the computing world when discussing what was the first computer invented.
For years, the accepted pioneer of the digital age was the ENIAC, short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, perhaps because tale became media frenzy associated with the development was one worthy for tabloids and tv.
As World War II was coming to a close, the Army had run short of mathematicians and were willing to recruit women. Six women were accepted function with on “Project PX” at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering, under John Mauchly and T. Presper Eckert. The women’s job would have been how to patent an idea program firing tables and ballistic trajectories using ENIAC. Their work laid the groundwork for shows. The completed machine was unveiled on Feb. 14, market an invention idea 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania. The military had funded the price almost $500,000. It occupied about 1,800 square feet and used about 18,000 vacuum tubes, weighing almost 50 a good deal. It is widely considered to work as first computer invented, considering its highly functional status from the late 1950s.
However, its “first” status was challenged in court when Rand Corp. bought the ENIAC patent and started charging royalties. Honeywell Corporation. refused to pay and challenged the patent in 1968. It was learned that Mauchly, among the leaders of the Project PX in the University of Pennsylvania, had seen an initial prototype of a system being built in the Iowa State College called the Atanasoff-Berry Computer.
Professor John Vincent Atanasoff and graduate student Cliff Berry began development on the ABC in 1937 and it remained developed until 1942 at the Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). Eventually, it could solve equations containing 29 variables.
In 1973, U.S. Federal Judge Earl R. Larson released his decision how do you get a patent the ENIAC patent by Mauchly and Eckert was invalid along with the ABC was the first computer came up with. However, the ABC was never fully functional, so the popular opinion to the present day has the ENIAC as the first electronic computing machine. The Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History in Washington displays most of the remains of the ENIAC, alongside pieces of the ABC.
However, there’s another twist to this tale. The most rudimentry computer is an electronic digital device designed to just accept 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 towards a punch tape reader and then receive his results through a punch tape dispenser – making it possibly the first computer invented.