This concluding chapter engages with key ideas from treatments of ENIAC by authors such as Jennifer S. Light and Nathan Ensmenger to explore ENIAC’s legacy in areas such as computer programming, computer center organization, and computer simulation. It is inspired by the treatment of ENIAC’s historiographic role by the late Michael S. Mahoney in his provocative essay “The Histories of Computing(s).” Mahoney challenged the assumed centrality of ENIAC to all history of computing narratives. Having shown in the previous chapter how this perceived position developed over time we can now make a balanced reappraisal, arguing that ENIAC’s influence was profound and underappreciated in some areas but has been overstated or misinterpreted in others. One important topic is the idea that ENIAC’s operators were the “first computer programmers,” a description that distorts their actual relationship to the machines.
MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.