“A look at the ENIAC Operating Manual, published 75 years ago this month, reveals just how difficult it was to program the world’s first electronic general-purpose computer and how frustrating it must have been for its programmers.
When did you last read the operating manual of a computer, or any other electronic device for that matter? As programmers we tend to ignore any type of guidance, at least until something goes wrong and these days that rarely happens. But 75 years ago ENIAC’s programmers probably did need to consult printed documentation to instruct them which switches to use and in which order. In this photo both Glen Beck and Betty Snyder, who are engaged in the task of programming ENIAC, appear to be holding documentation.”