Sunday, January 31, 2010
maniac, brainiac, fanatic for that....
Class is in session...Reading this blog right now means you are checking in via a PC or laptop with internet connections. Everyday words that this generation take for granite. With the privy convenience to log on and look up just about anything known to mankind, email, communicate and broadcast to others. I am a fanatic of this fast pace data processed world that we have become, however it is fascinating to think of the technological advances in such a short time that got us to the present. The other day I dropped by my firends work to say what's up, and we got to jibber jabbin about the new ipad, WOW was the word! Later that day I was thinking about how impressive the new computers are and how much we rely on them, and how they have and will be integrated in to our everyday lives. I daydreamed back to 2 specific times in my life that stood out in my hazey memory that have to do with my first encounters of sorts with the computer. The first being my best friend growing up Ronnie's house, and a commodore 64! We were tranqued by this thing, it wasn't quite as cool as our ataris but it still had this mystique about it. I think the thing that was so peculiar about it was the fact that we had no clue what we were supposed to do with it, I think his dad stumbled upon it somewhere and brought it home, and we just stared at the DOS screen and typed our little hearts away, and nothing happened( remember this was before A windows operating system and before the internet), there were a few games that came with it but the computer end of it was a big doozy! To this day I still remember the frustrated looks on our faces like what the hell is the point of this thing! The next vivid memory that comes to mind is My dad and uncles harping on the fact that I needed to get into these computers because it's going to be the future. Looking back they were right, and they had the best motives for pushing me to get familiar and partake in this new computer horizon, they were all blue collar guys with no education beyond high school, and some of them if that, that came from a family of 8 brothers, so times were usually tough and hard work was the only way they knew to make a buck, so to help avoid seeing their nephew take the same path, they always stressed getting in to computers at a young age, and learning about them. Well, I sorta took their advice freshman year of high school I signed up for computer something or other I don't remember the name the course name specifically. The only thing I remember from that class is pretty much the first computer was invented here in Philadelphia, and it was about the size of a building. It took a bunch of people to operate and service. The class project was a forerunner to graphic design, in the sense we had top layout our own newspaper pages and write about topics.blah blah blah. I lost interest soon after and didn't really establish a relationship with computers till AOL hit big, Internet, and all the chat rooms and AIM. I knew a kid in high school that was way ahead of the time he was on prodigy and used to get credit card numbers from the old manual machines were he worked and use the numbers online to buy super nintendos and segas and sell them at school. Well, I am certainly no computer scientist, I just wanted to stroll down memory lane and maybe even edutain a few folks about the history of these machines that we all love so much.
ENIAC (pronounced [ˈɛniæk]),
short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, was the first general-purpose electronic computer. It was a Turing-complete, digital computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems. ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory, but its first use was in calculations for the hydrogen bomb. When ENIAC was announced in 1946 it was heralded in the press as a "Giant Brain". It boasted speeds one thousand times faster than electro-mechanical machines, a leap in computing power that no single machine has since matched. This mathematical power, coupled with general-purpose programmability, excited scientists and industrialists. The inventors promoted the spread of these new ideas by teaching a series of lectures on computer architecture.
The ENIAC's design and construction were financed by the United States Army during World War II. The construction contract was signed on June 5, 1943, and work on the computer was begun in secret by the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering starting the following month under the code name "Project PX". The completed machine was unveiled on February 14, 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania, having cost almost $500,000 (nearly $6 m in 2008, adjusted for inflation). It was formally accepted by the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps in July 1946. ENIAC was shut down on November 9, 1946 for a refurbishment and a memory upgrade, and was transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland in 1947. There, on July 29, 1947, it was turned on and was in continuous operation until 11:45 p.m. on October 2, 1955.
ENIAC was conceived and designed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert of the University of Pennsylvania. The team of design engineers assisting the development included Robert F. Shaw (function tables), Chuan Chu (divider/square-rooter), Thomas Kite Sharpless (master programmer), Arthur Burks (multiplier), Harry Huskey (reader/printer), Jack Davis (accumulators) and Iredell Eachus Jr.[
Itune youtube we all tune for itube...Mac get at me for those royalties!