Our latest #techspiration is the German inventor, engineer and computer specialist, Konrad Zuse. Konrad is known as the very first person to build a fully operational electromechanical computer.
- Konrad Zuse was born in 1910 in Berlin, Germany
- At the age of 14 he already had an interest in finding out how things worked - this led to civil engineering
- After graduating from his civil engineering studies, he worked for different companies such as Ford Motor Company and Henschel aircraft factory in Berlin
- In 1935 he started experimenting in the construction of computers in his parents’ apartment. His first computer attempt was the Z1, built in 1936
- In 1941 he built the Z3, the first fully operational electromechanical computer
- He also invented a new computer language “Plankalkül“, but was unable to publish it because of the war at the time
- After retiring he spent time on his second passion – painting (one of his last paintings was a portrait of Bill Gates which he gave him during CEBIT in 1995)
- Konrad Zuse passed away in 1995.
What makes him great?
The Computer Museum History Centre in Mountain View, California, nicely summed up why he was such an important person:
In 1941, Konrad Zuse created the first fully-automated, program-controlled, and freely-programmable computer for binary floating-point calculations, and later, the basic programming system, Plankalkül. His contributions were so striking, and made under such adversity, that the History Centre has made an exception to its usual practice and named him a Fellow posthumously.
Why she’s a ‘techspiration’ to Claritas
The story of Konrad Zuse is an inspirational one which shows that you can achieve greatness even in tough times, like the 1940s. Konrad Zuse’s persistence led to him building the first commercial digital computer, the Z4. He later sold it to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and it was the only working computer in Europe at the time.
Our favourite quote
The danger of computers becoming like humans is not as great as the danger of humans becoming like computers.