ENIAC: Celebrating Penn Engineering History

The ENIAC Effect: Dawn of the Information Age

The first contribution of the ENIAC beyond its operational capacity was that it proved you could build a computer. There had been many detractors of computing technologies, but the success of Mauchly and Eckert inspired others to build improved computers. As a result, over the years computers were developed to be both smaller, more capable, and more affordable.

ENIAC led to EDVAC, and soon IBM began making computers. Vacuum tubes gave way to transistors, and in turn led to smaller, faster, cheaper computers. The integrated circuit paved the way for the microprocessor. By the mid-1970's, computers were starting to become affordable by average individuals.

Later, computing networks formed. IBM eventually produced the PC in 1981. The World Wide Web exploded onto the world in the mid-1990's, and now wireless computing is ubiquitous. New handheld devices are being developed to be smaller, smarter and more powerful. The march of technology continues on. All thanks to the ENIAC!