Left: Glen Beck * Right: Frances Elizabeth Snyder Holberton attending the ENIAC - (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) the first general-purpose electronic computer formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and announced to the public the evening of February 14, 1946. The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) is a high-speed electronic computing machine which operates on discrete variables. It is capable of performing the arithmetic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square rooting on numbers (with sign indication) expressed in decimal form. The ENIAC, furthermore, remembers numbers which it reads from punched cards, or which are stored on the switches of its so called function tables, or which are formed in the process of computation, and makes them available as needed. The ENIAC records its results on punched cards from which tables can be automatically printed. Finally, the ENIAC is automatically sequenced, i.e., once set-up to follow a routine consisting of operations in its repertoire, it carries out the routine without further human intervention. When instructed in an appropriate routine consisting of arithmetic operations, looking up numbers stored in function tables, etc., the ENIAC can carry out complex mathematical operations such as interpolation and numerical integration and differentiation.
The speed of the ENIAC is at least 500 times as great as that of any other existing computing machine. The fundamental signals used in the ENIAC are emitted by its oscillator at the rate of 100,000 per second. The interval between successive signals, 10 micro-seconds, is designated by the term pulse time. The time unit in which the operation time for various parts of the ENIAC is reckoned is the addition time. An addition time is 20 pulse times or 200 micro-seconds (1/5000 th of a second). An addition time is so named because it is the time required to complete an addition. .Other operations require an integral number of addition times *Of course this is not the notorious Beck that terrorizes the airwaves today. He has no grasp of even basic arithmetic!