ENIAC (/ˈini.æk/ or /ˈɛni.æk/; Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) was the first electronic general-purpose computer. It was Turing-complete, digital, and capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems.
ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory. When ENIAC was announced in 1946 it was heralded in the press as a "Giant Brain". It had a speed of one thousand times that of electro-mechanical machines. This mathematical power, coupled with general-purpose programmability, excited scientists and industrialists. The inventors promoted the spread of these new ideas by conducting a series of lectures on computer architecture. ENIAC's design and construction was financed by the United States Army, Ordnance Corps, Research and Development Command which was led by Major General Gladeon Marcus Barnes. He was Chief of Research and Engineering, the Chief of the Research and Development Service, Office of the Chief of Ordnance during World War II. The construction contract was signed on June 5, 1943, and work on the computer began in secret by the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering starting the following month under the code name "Project PX". The completed machine was announced to the public the evening of February 14, 1946 and formally dedicated the next day at the University of Pennsylvania, having cost almost $500,000 (approximately $5,900,000 today). It was formally accepted by the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps in July 1946. ENIAC was shut down on November 9, 1946 for a refurbishment and a memory upgrade, and was transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland in 1947. There, on July 29, 1947, it was turned on and was in continuous operation until 11:45 p.m. on October 2, 1955.