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Konrad Zuse Zentrum , Berlin

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Konrad Zuse Zentrum , Berlin

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Date Posted:October 17th, 2005
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Description: Konrad Zuse (June 22, 1910 in Berlin – December 18, 1995) was a German engineer and computer pioneer. His greatest achievement was the completion of the first functional tape-stored-program-controlled computer, the Z3, in 1941. The Z3 is sometimes claimed to be "first computer" as such, though this depends on complex and subtle definitional issues, as the machine was not truly general-purpose in the manner of later machines (see the article of history of computing for a thorough discussion). Zuse also designed a high-level programming language, the Plankalkül, allegedly in 1945, although this was a theoretical contribution, since the language was never actually implemented within his lifetime and did not directly influence early implemented languages. In addition to his technical work, Zuse founded the first computer startup company in 1946. This company built the Z4, which became the first commercial computer, leased to ETH Zürich in 1950. Due to the circumstances of World War II, however, Zuse's work initially went largely unnoticed in the UK and the US; possibly his first documented influence on a US company was IBM's 1946 option on his patents. In the late 1960s, Zuse suggested the concept of a Calculating Space (a computation-based universe). There is a replica of the Z3, as well as the Z4, in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. The Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin in Berlin devotes a special exhibition to Konrad Zuse and his works. Shown are twelve of his machines, including the replicated Z1, original documents, including the Plankalkül, and several of Zuse's paintings.

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