ENIAC: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer

ENIAC: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer

ENIAC: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer

ENIAC: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer

Synopsis

Based on original interviews with surviving participants and the first study of John Mauchly and Presper Eckert's personal papers, "ENIAC" tells the story of the three-year race to complete the world's first computer--and of the three-decade struggle to take credit for it. 10 illustrations.

Excerpt

In early 1997, Garry Kasparov, the Russian grand master of chess, squared off against "Deep Blue," an International Business Machines Corporation computer built with circuits designed specifically for the kind of computations -- the kind of "thinking" -- that goes on during chess. A year earlier, the chess champion had defeated Deep Blue, taking advantage of its lack of artistry. This time Kasparov, flustered by the craftiness of the upgraded machine and worn out by its speed, lost the six-game test of man versus machine.

Chess is a game not just of strategy but of struggle. It has captivated intellects for ages because it requires not just smarts but passion. It is an emotional battle, a creative challenge, a strategic war, and often a test of ego and fortitude. It is a human game, not a counting game. How could an . . .

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