Konrad Zuse

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Konrad Zuse (pronounced [ˈkɔnʁat ˈtsuːzə] KON-rad ZUE-zuh. ; 22 June 1910 Berlin – 18 December 1995 Hünfeld near Fulda) was a German engineer and computer pioneer.

His greatest achievement was the world's first functional program-controlled Turing-complete computer, the Z3, which became operational in May 1941. He received the Werner-von-Siemens-Ring in 1964 for the Z3.[1] Much of his early work was financed by his family and commerce, and he received little support from the German Government.[2]

Zuse's S2 computing machine is considered to be the first process-controlled computer. In 1946 he designed the first high-level programming language, Plankalkül.[2] Zuse founded one of the earliest computer businesses on the 1st of April 1941 (Zuse Ingenieurbüro und Apparatebau).[3] This company built the Z4, which became the world's first commercial computer.

Due to World War II, however, Zuse's work went largely unnoticed in the UK and the US; possibly his first documented influence on a US company was IBM's option on his patents in 1946. 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 has an exhibition devoted to Zuse, displaying twelve of his machines, including a replica of the Z1, some original documents, including the specifications of Plankalkül, and several of Zuse's paintings.

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