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70 years ago, six Philly women became the world's first digital computer programmers

For most of us born with both feet firmly planted in the information age, it's far too easy to take modern computers and the internet for granted. We'll complain about the latest comic book movie's less-than-perfect CGI, sigh loudly if our movie doesn't load instantly on Netflix, and we can't even imagine life without smartphones anymore. But in the early 1940s, before the dawn of the Digital Revolution, only a handful of computers existed in the entire world. These were built and owned by large research institutions like Harvard University and Bell Laboratories, and ran about a billion times slower than today's computers. Even the word “computers” back then commonly referred not to machines, but to people — mostly women who used adding machines to calculate ballistics trajectories during wartime. Some of those calculations could take up to 12 hours on an adding machine. ENIAC would reduce that to 30 seconds. http://www.phillyvoice.com/70-years-ago-six-philly-women-eniac-digital-computer-programmers/
posted in Digital/Virtual by Lucille Conde Jun 21,2016 03:16 am

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