Last modified: February 14, 2006 10:02 AM PST
What it takes to be a computer
In response to the special report written by Michael Kanellos, "ENIAC: A computer is born":
I want to thank you for the fine articles on the ENIAC that are featured in CNET today. Nice reporting, and thanks for the videos and audio support, which is hard to find online.
My father, John Mauchly, has been taking a bit of a beating from the fans of the ABC computer. (I expect you'll be hearing from them shortly.) You seemed to treat the patent issue fairly, I thought. I have found it difficult to find reports that don't kowtow to the judges ruling about the ENIAC being "derived" from the ABC and the ABC being the first "electronic computer." He was wrong. But somehow his opinion carries more weight (with some) than thousands of computer scientists, who insist that to be a computer, a machine has to run a program. The ABC simply didn't.
But you know this. I just wanted to thank you for saying it loudly and clearly.
John William (Bill) Mauchly, Jr.