Let us leave you with this thought: the calculating ability of the computer -

The table below shows the difference in calculating power between manual, mechanical, electro-

So it seems clear that, without the computer, many of the great achievements and discoveries of this century would not have been possible (or would have taken much longer to achieve). The ENIAC realised a speed increase of 100,000 times over calculations by hand. In comparison, following a further 50 years of development by the turn of the millennium, the Pentium 233 MHz was only roughly 240,000 times faster than the ENIAC itself was.

As a result the computer has provided us with the speed necessary to produce, in real time, the answers to questions and the solutions to equations that would have taken many human calculators many hundreds of years to obtain.

Imagine a problem that might take the ENIAC a day to solve… a succession of scientists and mathematicians working by hand would still be doing the calculations for that same problem one hundred years from now, and even then they would be more likely to make a mistake than any computer ever would (mistakes made by computers are generally programmed in by humans). But even now there are problems which our fastest computers cannot solve without centuries of calculation.

This history has concentrated on the first fifty years of the computer's development (1900 -

METHOD |
TIME FOR MULTIPLICATION (milliseconds) |

By Hand |
300000 |

By Calculator (1943) |
15000 |

ENIAC |
2.8 |

EDSAC |
5.4 |

Manchester Mark 1 |
10 |

Pilot ACE |
2 |

SEAC |
2.98 |