Betty’s hand shook over the ‘go’ button. And it wasn’t just the chill from the air conditioner. The gigantic machine before her was purring like a sleeping tiger. Just running around it, programming the thousand switches had totally tired her. Now, that they were all set, Betty was jittery.
“Do it,” encouraged Kay, “it’ll not bite you!”
“Have you double-checked everything? One wrong flip and our efforts will go waste.”
Betty was concerned. They had already spent weeks in programming this computer. An error would ruin everything. Nervously she pushed the button. A couple days later the process completed fine, much to Betty’s relief. Would you believe if I told you that Betty’s computer was so huge it could occupy your entire house? Or that it weighed equal to 30 cars! Or even that it took days, not seconds, to complete a task? Yes, it is all true. Yet the ENIAC computer, in 1941, was a thousand times faster than other similar machines!
Thankfully microprocessors (mahy-kroh-pros-es-ers) were invented and by the 1970’s computers became small enough to fit your desk. The computer has only become smaller and faster since then. Laptops came into being about 25 years ago. They were invented so people could work at different locations. The first laptop weighed as much as a one year old baby! Maybe the users carried them around in baby-strollers.
The true power of computers was realized with the internet. Internet lets you connect computers with each other and share information. If there was no internet, there would be no kinooze.com either!
Two years back the iPad was introduced. Tablets like iPad can easily fit in your hands.
Today computers are an important part of our lives. Can you imagine your world without it? We’ve come a long way since the days of “The ENIAC”. And there’s still so much more to come!
Did you know?
– The idea of computers came from abacus, a toy used for counting.
– Charles Babbage invented the first computer about 200 years ago.
– Pictures were introduced only in 1984. Imagine this page with none. How boring!
*Note – the two names used in this article are of actual team members who did most of the programming on the ENIAC- Kay McNulty, Betty Jennings, and Betty Snyder.