How the World’s First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

I am a sucker for history and historical artifacts. The IT industry does not tend to have a lot of items most people would consider relics but this “Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer” (ENIAC) has to qualify if ever a computer related device did. According to the article, the machine could “execute 5,000 instructions per second”. That is dismal compared to today’s computers and even our smart phones. The article points out “an iPhone 6, by contrast, can zip through 25 billion instructions per second”.

What really caught my eye was this account:

“Craft, who was the person most responsible for tracking down what remained of ENIAC, was on the verge of ending her search when an Army functionary dug up documents indicating that some panels had once been shipped from the Aberdeen (MD) Proving Ground to Oklahoma’s Fort Sill, home to the Army’s field artillery museum.”

I went to basic training at Fort Sill! What a cool connection. I might need to make my way back there now. God knows I have not had any reason to up until now!

An ENIAC technician changes a tube.

Read the full article here.

Scientists can now make lithium-ion batteries last a lifetime

So researchers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) were just playing around one day and figured out how to make lithium-ion batteries last for over 200,000 charge cycles with no loss of capacity or power and without any damage to the battery.

This just fascinates me! Can you imagine never having to replace your cell phone, tablet, or laptop battery again? Not to mention the other applications such a battery would have in electric cars and for homes!

One of the most intriguing things about this new technology is it should not add any significant costs to the same batteries we use today. What an incredible time to be alive!

nanowires lithium-ion batteries

University of California doctoral student Mya Le Thai holds a nanowire device that has the potential to enable hundreds of thousands of recharges in a lithium-ion battery. Credit: Steve Zylius/UCI


Read the full article here.