How much did the world’s first computer weigh? On February 14, 1946, the world’s first electronic digital computer, ENIAC, was born at the University of Pennsylvania. This computer consists of 17,468 electron tubes, 60,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors and 6,000 switches, consumes 140 kilowatts of power, and costs US$450,000. Its total volume is about 90 cubic meters, it weighs 30 tons, and it covers an area of 170 square meters. It requires a large room more than 30 meters long to store it. It is a truly huge thing.
This computer can perform 5,000 additions or 400 multiplications per second, which is 1,000 times faster than a mechanical relay computer. It can complete tens of millions of multiplications in a day, which is roughly equivalent to the workload of a person using a desktop computer for 40 years. However, sometimes several or dozens of calculations require several hours or 1 to 2 days to prepare for line connection, which is a fatal weakness.
Another weakness is that its storage capacity is too small, and it can only store 20 10-digit decimal numbers at most. General Mountbatten of the British Institute of Radio Engineers hailed the emergence of “Eniak” as “the birth of an electronic brain”, and the name “computer” spread from this. On February 15, 1946, this fully automatic computer ENIAC (the “Electronic Mathematical Integral Computer”) was officially put into use. It served for 9 years until the power was finally cut off in October 1955.