Cherney came of age during WWII, enlisting in the US Navy on graduation from high school in 1944. He trained as an electronic technician servicing radio, radar, and other shipboard high frequency electronic systems. In 1950, the Korean War hostilities began and Cherney was offered a position at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, home to the US Army’s ballistics research facilities. While there, he was responsible for maintenance of the ENIAC computing system until its decommissioning in 1955. In this account, Cherney describes in detail the vacuum tube technology behind the computer as well as the many challenges of keeping such a complex system operational.
US Navy; South Dakota State College; ENIAC; EDVAC; ORDVAC; VERDAN; FADAC