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What famous computer was announced on Valentine's Day?



  Black and white photo showing the ENIAC computer.
U.S. Army / Public Domain

Answer: ENIAC

ENIAC, or the electronic numeric integrator and computer, was the first public electronic computer. The general part of the designation depended on its programmability ̵

1; rather than being built for a single task, it was built for all tasks for which the operator could submit a program. Although costly, bulky and difficult to program, the ENIAC platform was extremely valuable to military and scientific communities.

Although the design process for the machine started in 1943, the final product was not revealed to the public until formal demonstration of its capacity on February 14, 1946. The demonstration made quite an impression and it was considered by the press and the public as a giant brain and a marvel of design.

ENIAC would prove to be very influential in military development and operations where it was used to calculate artillery firing tables and, better known, to crunch figures for the Manhattan Project. Although the program is sponsored by the Ballistic Research Laboratory (and thus the interest in the use of computers for artillery tables), prominent hydrogen bomb scientist John von Neumann enlisted the computer's help as soon as he became aware of its capabilities. The first calculations run on the machine were for the hydrogen bomb and the total input / output from the operation consisted of an astonishing one million punch cards.


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