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.
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