[FOM] Konrad Zuse and the stored program computer

Alasdair Urquhart urquhart at cs.toronto.edu
Fri May 15 13:43:26 EDT 2009

The Annals of the History of Computing contains quite a lot of
material about Konrad Zuse, at least 12 substantial contributions
from 1981 to 2005.  Volume 27 (2005) gives a most interesting
report on the reconstruction of Zuse's machine Z3 (destroyed
in World War II).

His obituary (Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 18 (1996)),
contains the following passage:

 	Because of his war-time isolation, his own reluctance
 	to publish his work, for a long time, was largely unknown.
 	Like Atanasoff, his early machines had essentially no
 	influence on the field, though they included, in an
 	elementary way, many of the features of modern computers.

So, the answer to John Baldwin's question

> Does anyone know of any connections between Zuse and Turing or Von
> Neumann?

seems to be -- there were none.  Von Neumann always credited Turing
with the basic idea of stored program computing.

Zuse's autobiography was published in English translation by Springer
in 1993 (German original 1970).

Alasdair Urquhart

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