There was no real known reason why our essay for the course History of Computing was overdue, but Bas and I finally managed to finish it yesterday. Almost two years we have been postponing writing it, slowly collecting and reading more material, but after a few weekends of hard work, it is done:

John Vincent Atanasoff: The Inventor of the Digital Computer (copyrighted under CC SharedAlike 2.5)

The essay tries to acknowledge Atanasoff’s accomplishments, the ABC, and ideas that we still find in our computers today (binary system, regenerative memory, separation of calculation and memory and calculation by electronics and logic). Without these ideas and the derivations that found its way into the ENIAC, the world would’ve been a different place for sure.

I was surprised by the increased amount of work it requires to write a work covering a historical topic. For each sentence you write down, you either have to do a lot of research, you have to make sure it is objective or if it is not objective you have to find a source backing up what you are stating. This way, writing 1,5 pages on an average Saturday is a lot, comparing to writing a report about some practical assignment, which is fairly easy and straightforward. Even more so since our topic is surrounded by controversy.