Konrad Zuse

zuse2Born June 22, 1910, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, German scientist Konrad Zuse built the first of two electromechanical computers, the Z1 and Z2. A civil engineering student in 1934, he quickly saw the potential value of a machine that solved tedious algebra in minutes. He built them using binary, setting the use of the Base 2 numbering system for computing in stone. The German Experimental Aerodynamics Institute funded his subsequent work, but the original Z1 was destroyed in an Allied attack. Unfortunately, due to isolation caused by the war, his designs did not influence American and English computer development, where electronics was paving the way for real computing.

Eventually he fled with the Z3 to Zurich when he was unable to convince the Nazi party to continue financing his work, where he later developed the Z4. He formed a company of his own after the war, constructing and selling his designs. In addition to his computers he also invented a programming language called Plankalk.

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