Explores the origins of ENIAC, beginning with its two primary inventors John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert. Examines ENIAC’s original 1942 and 1943 proposals, the process by which the machine was approved, and the initial assembly of a team to work on the project. Documents connections between ENIAC and earlier work on differential analyzers, including a machine constructed during the 1930s and a 1940 proposal by Irven Travis for the creation of a digital electronic version. Analysis focuses particularly the relationship between the problem for which ENIAC was commissioned, the computation of artillery trajectories, and the proposed design. It concludes with a description of early planning work to determine the basic capabilities of ENIAC’s accumulators, its standard building block.
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