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John Vincent Atanasoff (1903-1995), amerikanischer Physiker. Er entwickelte eine nicht programmierbare Rechenmaschine für einen besonderen Zweck (Atanasoff-Berry-Computer), wofür ihm zu lasten von J. Mauchly 1973 im Patentstreit Honeywell Inc. gegen Sperry Rand die Erfindung des elektronischen digitalen Rechners zugesprochen wurde.


W. Aspray schreibt in "John von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing MIT Press, Massachusetts 1990":
If Atanasoff is the inventor of the electronic digital computer, as the courts judged in 1973, then it is in the restricted sense outlined here. At the same time […] Mauchly had only vague and ill-defined ideas about how to use vacuum tubes to build circuits that could perform digital calculation. Atanasoff, by contrast, was skilled at circuit design and had a thorough understanding of the difference between electronic circuits used for analog as opposed to digital applications. Indeed, Atanasoff was the first to use the word “analogue” to describe that type of computer; “digital” was first used by George Stibitz in 1942.