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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Looking back at the first controlled computer

Konrad Zuse was a German scientist, who is also mentioned as a pioneer of the computer. This nickname pinned not without reason. Zuse succeeded in creating a the Z3, a first automatic machine that can be reprogrammed and functioned freely. The Z3 used binary numbers and floating point arithmetic. The Z3 also utilized a punched film for program input.

Zuse demonstrated and presented the Z3 to the audience who are scientists, like Alfred Teichmann and C. Schmieden, in the German Aviation Laboratory (now German Aerospace Center), May 12, 1941. The demonstration was a success.
A replica of the Z3 computer that is stored in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. The Z3 computer built by Konrad Zuse, and presented for the first time on May 12, 1941. The Z3 is the first computer that the program can be controlled. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1aKrfU)
The Z3 is one of secret projects of the German government at the time. Through tight surveillance, it used by the German Aircraft Research Institute to analyze the statistical of wing flutter in the aircraft design. Joseph Jennissen, as a member of the Reich Air Ministry acted as federal supervisor.

Dr. Zuse pioneering work in the development of the computer was not widely known until 1965 when descriptions of his work were translated into English. His first computers pre-dated those built by Howard Aiken, John V. Atanasoff, as well as the ENIAC, built by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly.

Zuse was unable to obtain government funding for his computer research, however, and the war effectively blocked communications between his work and that being done in other parts of the world. His first computers were originally called V1, V2, and V3 ("V" for "Versuchsmodell" German for experimental model). Later he changed the "V" to a "Z" so as not to be confused with Germany's V rockets.
Konrad Zuse, a brilliant engineer and computer pioneer who built the Z3 computer. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1aKrm1)
In 1943, the Z3 was destroyed during the Allied bombing to Berlin (in World War II). THen, it took 17 years before the Zuse KG company that owned by Bad Hersfeld managed to build a fully functioning replica.

This computer uses 2,600 telephone relays, where 600 relays in an arithmetic unit and another 2,000 in the memory; memory of 22 bit (64 words); the Z3 frequency used was 5.3 Hertz. Practically almost all of the modern computer features contained in the Z3. One that does not exist is a 'jump' instruction. Despite not having a jump feature, Zuse believed to know, given that he implement those instructions into micro code for floating point calculations.

In 1967, the Z3 display at the Montreal Expo and received great attention. Now, the computer weighing 1 ton is kept at the Deutsches Museum, in Munich. Before building the Z3 (1941), Zuse built the Z1 (1938) and Z2 (1940). Post-World War II, Zuse updating his Z machines in the Z4 series (1950). ***  [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC INDONESIA]
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