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Eniac in ActionMaking and Remaking the Modern Computer$
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Thomas Haigh, Mark Priestley, and Crispin Rope

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262033985

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262033985.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Eniac in Action
Author(s):

Thomas Haigh

Mark Priestley

Crispin Rope

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262033985.003.0001

Introduces ENIAC and sketches its accepted place in the history of computing as a candidate for the disputed honor of “the first computer,” or as the “first general purpose electronic digital computer.” The authors argue that both views simplify ENIAC’s complexities by reducing it to a single point on a historical trajectory. Instead they introduce a number of other perspectives developed in the book: ENIAC as a material artefact, ENIAC at the origin point of computer programming, ENIAC as a site for technical analysis, and ENIAC as an object of contested historical memory.

Keywords:   ENIAC, First computer, Materiality, Williams, Michael R, Computer history

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