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Monday, June 07, 2004

Zuse's Z3 Was Crunching Numbers Before Colossus and ENIAC
Several years before the Colossus in the U.K. and the ENIAC in the U.S., the Z3, built by Konrad Zuse in 1941, was crunching numbers in Germany. In a short article, the Register says the Z3 was the first programmable computer.

Based on a binary floating-point number and switching system, it had all the attributes of today's computers, such as a control block, a memory, and a calculator. But it didn't have the ability to store the program in the memory together with the data because the memory was too small. It had a 64-word memory of 22 bits each and was able to handle four additions per second and to do a multiplication in about five seconds. And it was pretty big: five meters long, two meters high, and 80 centimeters wide.

It was destroyed during WWII, and later rebuilt in 1960/1961. You'll find more details, pictures and references in this analysis of this ancestor of modern computing.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 2:39 PM Comments (0)
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