In a fast-paced world that is dominated by computer technology, it is easy to lose sight of how it all began. Younger generations are so tech savvy that it is almost second nature to power on a computer and log-in-into a numerous’ amount of social media sites, online schools and courses, blogs or even off-site jobs. All this technology and most people have no idea how it got started. The notion of a computer system has been in existence as early as the 1700s. J. H. Smith came up with the first real concept in 1782. However, he never built the computer.
It is true that computers seem like a recent invention of the last fifty years, but in actuality the first computer was built in the 1930s and has been accredited to Konrad Zuse. Konrad Zuse (1910-1995) was trained as an engineer and worked for Henschel aircraft factory in Germany. Zuse graduated in civil engineering from the Technische Hochschule Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1935. Zuse dreamt about performing calculations by machine during his engineering studies, due to having to perform many routine calculations by hand. While working at the factory Zuse became tired of repeating calculation procedures and resigned from his job as an engineer after one year to build the world’s first program-controlled computer (Z1) in 1938. Zuse combined the thinking of both mathematics and computer science in an ideal manner to create the Z1. The Z1, also known as the first mechanical calculator, had all the basics of our modern day machines, such as use of the binary system and separation of storage and control. Though this test model never functioned for any practical use due to imperfections it was the beginning of the development of a series of Z machines that soon led to the development of the Z3.
It is alleged that Zuse created and installed the Z3 in his parents living room. The Z3 was the first functioning computer that was freely programmable and fully automatic. The Z3 was developed in 1941 and was the first realization of a program control using binary digits. The original Z3 was unfortunately destroyed in 1945 during the war and a new Z model (Z4) was developed. Konrad Zuse has been given the title “Inventor of the computer”. When asked about it Konrad Zuse replied “Well, I guess, it took many inventors besides me to develop the computer as we know it nowadays. I wish the following generation the best for their work with the computer. May this instrument help you solve the problems which we old folks have left behind.”