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Issue No.01 - Spring (1994 vol.16)
pp: 25-45
ABSTRACT
<p>This article provides a firsthand perspective on the use of ENIAC as a problem solver during its 10 years of successful operation as a working computer from November 1945 until October 1955. It provides a view of ENIAC's place in history as well as information covering the people, the operation, the reliability, and aspects of the problem preparation process. A major appendix covers the complete range of problems handled by ENIAC.</p>
CITATION
W. Barkley Fritz, "ENIAC-A Problem Solver", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.16, no. 1, pp. 25-45, Spring 1994, doi:10.1109/85.251853
REFERENCES
1. H.H. Goldstine,The Computer from Pascal to van Neumann, Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, N.J., 1972 (paperback 1980).
2. B. Randell, ed.,The Origins of Digital Computers: Selected Papers, third edition, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1982. Of special interest are the editor's comments on pp. 297-299, an August 1942 paper entitled "The Use of High Speed Vacuum Tube Devices for Calculating," by John W. Mauchly, pp. 355-358, and a 1946 paper entitled "The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC)," by Adele and Herman Goldstine (reproduced fromMTAC, Vol. 2, pp. 97-110), pp.359-373.
3. N. Metropolis, J. Howlett, and G.-C. Rota, eds.,A History of Computing in the Twentieth Century, Academic Press, New York, 1980. A series of 39 papers, the original versions of which were presented at the 1976 International Research Conference on the History of Computing held at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. Four papers, authored by Burks, Lehmer, Eckert, and Mauchly, are pertinent.
4. N. Stern,From ENIAC to UNIVAC: An Appraisal of the Eckert-Mauchly Computers, Digital Press, Bedford, Mass., 1981.
5. J. von Neumann, "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC," reprinted inIEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 15, No. 4., 1993, pp. 27-75; and in ref. 4, pp. 181-246.
6. G.W. Patterson, ed.,Theory and Techniques for Design of Electronic Digital Computers, Moore School of Electrical Eng., Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Vol. 1, Sept. 1947; Vol. 2, Nov. 1947; Vol. 3 and Vol. 4, June 1948. This important set of 48 lectures was given from July 8 to August 31, 1946, and has been reprinted asThe Moore School Lectures, M. Campbell-Kelly and M.R. Williams, eds., Charles Babbage Inst. Reprint Series for the History of Computing, Vol. 9, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., and Tomash Publishers, Los Angeles, 1986.
7. M.R. Williams, "The Origins, Uses, and Fate of the EDVAC,"IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1993, pp. 22-38.
8. H.H. Goldstine and J. von Neumann,Planning and Coding of Problems for an Electronic Computing Instrument, Inst. for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., Part 2, Vol. 1, Apr. 1947; Vol. 2, Apr. 1948; Vol. 3, Aug. 1948.
9. A.W. Burks and H.D. Huskey, "Report on the ENIAC, Operating Manual," Moore School, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, June 1, 1946. An 11"×17" book of front panel and view drawings, block diagrams, cross-section diagrams, and detail drawings, preceded by a few pages of explanatory material.
10. A.K. Goldstine, "Report on the ENIAC, Technical Report I," published in 2 volumes, Moore School, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, June 1, 1946.
11. A.W. Burks and A.R. Burks, "The ENIAC: First General-Purpose Electronic Computer,"Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 3, No. 4, Oct. 1981.
12. R.F. Clippinger, "A Logical Coding System Applied to the ENIAC," BRL 673, Ballistics Research Lab., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Sept. 1948.
13. W.B. Fritz, "Report on the Third Annual Meeting of the ACM - Oak Ridge, Tennessee, April 18-20, 1949." BRL TN 30, Ballistics Research Lab., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., 1949.
14. W.B. Fritz, "Description and Use of the ENIAC Converter Code," BRL TN 141, Ballistics Research Lab., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Nov. 1949. A June 1950 update describes modifications and improvements (5 pages). Another document dated Oct. 19, 1951, entitled "Detailed Programming of Orders, ENIAC Converter Code" (10 pages) provides information on the use of the accumulators, the high-speed multiplier, the master programmer, the basic sequence, and function table control, and explains how to interpret the detailed material describing how each of the orders of the Converter Code is implemented.
15. W.B. Fritz, "Description of the ENIAC Converter Code," BRLM 582, Ballistics Research Lab., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Dec. 1951. Modifications were added on March 11, 1952 (1 page) and again on June 1, 1954 (4 pages).
16. Baltimore Sun, July 7, 1953, p. 17.
17. W.B. Fritz, "A Survey of ENIAC Operations and Problems: 1946-1952," BRLM 617, Ballistics Research Lab., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Aug. 1952. A portion of this material was presented as "The ENIAC - A Five Year Operating Survey," ACM Annual Meeting, Wayne University, Detroit, Mar. 1951. The ACM abstract and the complete ACM paper as well as BRLM 617 are available at the Charles Babbage Institute.
18. H. Spence, "Systematization of Tube Surveillance in Large Scale Computers,"AIEE Trans., Vol. 70, 1951.
19. S. Gorn, "Planning Universal Semi-Automatic Coding,"Proc. ONR Symp., May 13-14, 1954.
20. A.R. Brown, Jr., and W.B. Fritz, "A Guide to the Use of the BRL Computers," BRLM 778, Ballistics Research Lab., Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., 1954.
21. M.H. Weik, "The ENIAC Story," American Ordnance Assoc., Jan.-Feb., 1961, pp. 3-7.
22. M. Williams,A History of Computing Technology, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1985.
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