Fun_People Archive
20 Dec
A Day in History of Computer Science - 12/18/95

Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 12:24:38 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: A Day in History of Computer Science - 12/18/95

Forwarded-by: (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Jan-Simon Pendry <>
From: "Georg Neumann (neu)" <>

In 1938, Konrad Zuse, a German engineer for building construction, developed
the so called Z1, the first program controlled computing machine to ease
computing of statical rules.

In 1941, the followup Z3 was the first computer which became productive.
It had 600 relays and a storage capacity of 64 places (the word "byte" was
not known at that time).  For all our luck, the Z3 was never used by the
NAZIS, because they were laughing at this "crazy inventor".

At that time Alan Turing invented his famous "Turing Machine", a theoretical
base model for all computers of today and the future.  But Zuse did not know
anything about the team at Bletchley Park, UK, where Turing developed the
ENIGMA, a computer which helped him and his team to crack the code of the
Deutsche Wehrmacht in 1944.

Also in 1944, the American Howard Aiken built up the MARK 1, which was
needed for the Manhattan Project (development of the first Atomic Bomb).
This computer was the beginning of the great era of IBM, by the way.

Until his retirement in 1966, Zuse invented more than 50 patents. His
theoretical works were a leading edge of computer science and hardware
development.  Without him, our business today would not be the same.

On Monday, the 18th December 1995, Konrad Zuse, the developer of the first
programable electronic computer, died at the age of 85.

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []