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Oral history interview with J. Presper Eckert, 1975.

Author: J Presper Eckert; Christopher Riche Evans
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Eckert briefly describes his education in electrical engineering as preface to his discussion about the design and construction of the ENIAC, EDVAC, and BINAC computers. He describes the evolution of the ENIAC from improvements on a differential analyzer at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, the Army's need for quick and accurate calculations and its funding of the project. Eckert provides technical
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Details

Genre/Form: Oral histories
Named Person: John W Mauchly
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: J Presper Eckert; Christopher Riche Evans
OCLC Number: 63307028
In: Christopher Riche Evans, Pioneers of computing
Notes: Recorded in Philadelphia, Pa.
Description: Sound cassette : 1 (60 min.) : analog, mono. Transcript : 27 p. Computer data (1 file : 59K)

Abstract:

Eckert briefly describes his education in electrical engineering as preface to his discussion about the design and construction of the ENIAC, EDVAC, and BINAC computers. He describes the evolution of the ENIAC from improvements on a differential analyzer at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, the Army's need for quick and accurate calculations and its funding of the project. Eckert provides technical information about the early design of the ENIAC and discusses the decision to use vacuum tubes. He outlines criticisms about possible statistical errors and the large number of vacuum tubes the ENIAC used and describes the contribution of the Radio Corporation of America in advice for the use of components, especially vacuum tubes.

Eckert credits John Mauchly with much of the intellectual development of the ENIAC while he concentrated on hardware problems. Eckert concludes the interview with a discussion of the development of mercury memory, the internal programming of the EDVAC and BINAC, the use of multiple memory systems and subroutines in all three computers, and speculates on future breakthroughs in the field.

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