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Copy of a Zuse Z3, on display at Deutsches Museum in Munich

The Z3 was an electromechanical computer designed by Konrad Zuse. It was the world's first working programmable, fully automatic digital computer.[1] The Z3 was built with 2000 relays, implementing a 22 bit word length that operated at a clock frequency of about 5–10 Hz.[2] Program code and data were stored on punched film.

The Z3 was completed in Berlin in 1941. The German Aircraft Research Institute used it to perform statistical analyses of wing flutter.[3] Zuse asked the German government for funding to replace the relays with fully electronic switches, but funding was denied during World War II since such development was deemed "not war-important".[4] The original Z3 was destroyed in 1943 during an Allied bombardment of Berlin. A fully functioning replica was built in the 1960s by Zuse's company, Zuse KG, and is on permanent display in the Deutsches Museum. The Z3 was Turing-complete.

Because of this machine and its predecessors, Konrad Zuse is often regarded as the inventor of the computer.[5][6][7][8]

References[change | change source]

  1. "A Computer Pioneer Rediscovered, 50 Years On". The New York Times. April 20, 1994.
  2. Zuse, Konrad (1993). Der Computer. Mein Lebenswerk (in German) (3rd ed.). Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p. 55. ISBN 978-3-540-56292-4.
  3. "Crash! The Story of IT: Zuse". Archived from the original on 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2013-06-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. Hans-Willy Hohn (1998). Kognitive Strukturen und Steuerungsprobleme der Forschung. Kernphysik und Informatik im Vergleich (in German). Schriften des Max-Planck-Instituts für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln. p. 148. ISBN 978-3-593-36102-4.
  5. RTD Net: "From various sides Konrad Zuse was awarded with the title "Inventor of the computer"."
  6. GermanWay: "(...)German inventor of the computer"
  7. Monsters & Critics Archived 2013-05-22 at the Wayback Machine: "he(Zuse) built the world's first computer in Berlin"
  8. About.com: "Konrad Zuse earned the semiofficial title of "inventor of the modern computer""