[TUHS] The birth of the Z3
clemc at ccc.com
Sun May 13 01:04:26 AEST 2018
On Fri, May 11, 2018 at 6:21 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:
> Way back on this day in 1941, Conrad Zuse unveiled the Z3; it was the
> first programmable automatic computer as we know it (Colossus 1 was not
> general-purpose). The last news I heard about the Z3 was that she was
> destroyed in an air-raid...
> This pretty much started computing, as we know it.
Again be careful -- we don't want to go down that rat hole. There has
been always been an argument since it (as well as Atanasoff and Aiken's
machines all) lacks a conditional branch. Although, I do believe some
one the UK proved the Z3 to be Turing complete; but the argument will
always be there.
What I tell people is that Babbage theorized the computational device and
Lady Ada extended the theorized to general programmability (to play music
I believe) but it was never built and she and Babbage argued a bit about
it. The Loom folks demonstrated that the idea programmability was
possible. Zuse put the two idea together and reduce it practice.
But .. until we also include a conditional branch the ability to do self
modify code we don't really have the machine with think of as the automatic
http://page.mi.fu-berlin.de/rojas/1993/Who_invented_the_computer.pdf its a
There is a nice table in it:
Machine Memory & CPU Separated Conditional Branching
Soft or Hard Programming Support Self Modify Indirect
Aiken Mark1 no
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