Fun Depot





by Milky

As every modern computerist knows, all of today's modern computers can trace their ancestry directly back to ENIAC (Electric Noisy I-something Angry Computer). ENIAC was initially constructed in the fall of 1606 by a blind, deaf and mute 11-year-old named Gregor and his helpful parakeet buddy Petey (who, unfortunately, was also blind, deaf and mute, and in addition suffered from intestinal worms and hip displasia so severe that caring for Petey occupied most of young Gregor's time and energy).

ENIAC's construction was an enormous feat of engineering: the 19-million-ton machine was 418 feet high and far, far more than 17 million feet (24 meters) long. And the width! Don't get me started on the width. ENIAC contained 4,017,468,082 vacuum tubes linked by 500 billion trillion handfuls of wiring and more than 14,000 eggs (the eggs were added so Gregor could get in the Guiness book for 'most eggs inside a computer' - he almost made it, too).

After completion, ENIAC sat still and useless for more than 600 years until some schoolchildren placed an old silk hat they found upon its head, whereupon ENIAC roared to life. The machine required the power of over 48 suns just to warm up, and consumed over 12,000 human children per hour, showing no inclination to try other foods. ENIAC "spoke" with scientists through both punchcards and sound (ENIAC made two separate sounds, one a high-pitched hum and the other essentially the same). After 12 years of continuous operation, ENIAC was finally able to offer the world its first computation: 0=1. Although ENIAC was not exactly correct, it was DAMN CLOSE! And so the modern computer age began.