by Matt Dunham

Introduction

Computers are everywhere, and growing faster, smaller, and more plentiful every day.

If you have a new iPhone 4 then you have a computer in your pocket with a processor more than 400 to 500 times1 faster than the Apollo Guidance Computer, which first put a man on the moon in 1969, and with nearly half a million times as much memory! 

Where did it all begin? It is highly debatable as to what counts as the first computer. Modern desktop computers have only been around for about 30 years; large mainframe computers were developed around the second world war, but some would argue that the first computer is actually much, much older. You're going to find out for yourself. 

 

Below is news footage introducing ENIAC, considered by many, (but not all!) to be one of the first modern computers. 

 

 

Great effort has been expended to perfect the 'retro' feel of this website. Let its 90s design and appearance inspire you to ponder the history of computing and where it all began. 

 

 

 (1) In fact, the iPhone processor is much, much faster than even this; what we are comparing here is only the clock speed. The AGP had a clock speed of about 2 Mhz, whereas your iPhone 4 has a clock speed of 800 - 1000 Mhz.