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The Computer - My Life

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Konrad Zuse is one of the great pioneers of the computer age. He created thefirst fully automated, program controlled, freely programmable computer using binary floating-point calculation. It was operational in 1941. He built his first machines in Berlin during the Second World War, with bombs falling all around, and after the war he built up a company that was taken over Konrad Zuse is one of the great pioneers of the computer age. He created thefirst fully automated, program controlled, freely programmable computer using binary floating-point calculation. It was operational in 1941. He built his first machines in Berlin during the Second World War, with bombs falling all around, and after the war he built up a company that was taken over by Siemens in 1967. Zuse was an inventor in the traditional style, full of phantastic ideas, but also gifted with a powerful analytical mind. Single-handedly, he developed one of the first programming languages, the Plan Calculus, including features copied only decades later in other languages. He wrote numerousbooks and articles and won many honors and awards. This is his autobiography, written in an engagingly lively and pleasant style, full of anecdotes, reminiscences, and philosophical asides. It traces his life from his childhood in East Prussia, through tense wartime experiences and hard times building up his business after the war, to a ripe old age andwell-earned celebrity.


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Konrad Zuse is one of the great pioneers of the computer age. He created thefirst fully automated, program controlled, freely programmable computer using binary floating-point calculation. It was operational in 1941. He built his first machines in Berlin during the Second World War, with bombs falling all around, and after the war he built up a company that was taken over Konrad Zuse is one of the great pioneers of the computer age. He created thefirst fully automated, program controlled, freely programmable computer using binary floating-point calculation. It was operational in 1941. He built his first machines in Berlin during the Second World War, with bombs falling all around, and after the war he built up a company that was taken over by Siemens in 1967. Zuse was an inventor in the traditional style, full of phantastic ideas, but also gifted with a powerful analytical mind. Single-handedly, he developed one of the first programming languages, the Plan Calculus, including features copied only decades later in other languages. He wrote numerousbooks and articles and won many honors and awards. This is his autobiography, written in an engagingly lively and pleasant style, full of anecdotes, reminiscences, and philosophical asides. It traces his life from his childhood in East Prussia, through tense wartime experiences and hard times building up his business after the war, to a ripe old age andwell-earned celebrity.

43 review for The Computer - My Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fabrice

    A unique book, a story from the birth of the computer era, written by one of his major actors. Unfortunately, the English version suffers from the translation. There are several references that are really hard to understand without some knowledge about the German language and Germany. As an example, Zuse talks about the computing needs of Hamburg's "Hochbahn Gesellschaft", but there is no information in the text that helps the reader figure out that it's the national railway company, nor why the A unique book, a story from the birth of the computer era, written by one of his major actors. Unfortunately, the English version suffers from the translation. There are several references that are really hard to understand without some knowledge about the German language and Germany. As an example, Zuse talks about the computing needs of Hamburg's "Hochbahn Gesellschaft", but there is no information in the text that helps the reader figure out that it's the national railway company, nor why the needs of Hamburg in the middle of last century were particular. And this happens all through the text, lots of German names for various companies and administrations, and no context to help figure out what they are. Expect to spend a lot of time on Google while reading this book. Another issue is that the chronology is all over the place, Zuse constantly goes from one model to another, from one trip to another, going back and forth through his career. It is almost impossible to keep track of which era he's talking about at any given time. Was that bit in the 50s? The 60s? The 70s? On one page he's completely broke and sheltering in a small village during the war without the ability to place a phone call, on the next he's a successful businessman running a multinational company, and even after reading the whole book I still don't have a clear understanding of what happened between the two. Finally, the fact that all Zuse computers where numbered (in a non-sequential way), makes it also pretty hard to keep track of what's happening. There is at least one obvious error where he's talking about one model but mixes it up with another one. Still a fantastic book, but it's a bit rough.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vinay

    Konrad Zuse was a german civil engineer who, during WWII, essentially invented the computer & some programming theory in parallel with similar inventions from the Allied nations. He gives some focus to the effects of the war on his work; especially the prototypes destroyed due to it. He also spent a good amount of time talking about a theory of programming languages. He designed a language called the "plan calculus" that is more thoroughly grounded in boolean algebra (instead of numeric operation Konrad Zuse was a german civil engineer who, during WWII, essentially invented the computer & some programming theory in parallel with similar inventions from the Allied nations. He gives some focus to the effects of the war on his work; especially the prototypes destroyed due to it. He also spent a good amount of time talking about a theory of programming languages. He designed a language called the "plan calculus" that is more thoroughly grounded in boolean algebra (instead of numeric operations). Overall, the book is a fascinating look at Zuse. It's both amazing (in the 1930's, he theorized that one day his computing machines would be able to play chess, and win!) and sad (even up to his death in 1995, some of his ideas received short thrift).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christoph

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erik "Bitbanger"

  5. 5 out of 5

    Azzaz

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hemanth Kumar

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thorsten

  8. 5 out of 5

    Georvic

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jovany Agathe

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lutz

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hessel Schut

  12. 5 out of 5

    HairyFotr

  13. 5 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

  14. 4 out of 5

    Johan Linde

  15. 5 out of 5

    V

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stefan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alberto

  19. 5 out of 5

    John

  20. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aistis

  22. 4 out of 5

    Raven

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adriana

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alyanna Gandia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  26. 5 out of 5

    Whoof

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peejeedee

  29. 4 out of 5

    Murali Behara

  30. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Fawwaz

  31. 4 out of 5

    Limpygnome

  32. 5 out of 5

    David Koster

  33. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  34. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  35. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  36. 5 out of 5

    Guruguru

  37. 5 out of 5

    Maarten van der Aart

  38. 4 out of 5

    Gábor

  39. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed

  40. 5 out of 5

    Holly

  41. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  42. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell

  43. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

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