Feeds

A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 1

From the 17th Century to the 1970s

Top three mobile application threats

The War Years...

Zuse Z3

Zuse Z3 reconstruction at Deutsches Museum, München

Source: Venusianer/WikiMedia

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Devised by Konrad Zuse (1910–1995) in 1941, the Z3 was the world's first programmable electromechanical digital computer. It was built in Berlin and was used to analyse aircraft wing designs. Nominally a general-purpose machine, it nonetheless featured an instruction set heavily oriented to solving engineering problems. The Z3 comprised 2000 electric relay switches to store and operate on binary numbers. Programs and data were stored on punched film, and it was able to crunch five to ten numbers a second. The Z3 continued in operation until 1943 when it was destroyed in an Allied air raid. Zuse went on to develop the Z4, a more advanced version of the Z3, and to pioneer computer design on through the 1950s and 1960s.

Colossus

Colossus

Source: Timitrius

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Colossus, the first electronic programmable digital computer, was created in 1943 by Post Office engineer Tommy Flowers (1905-1998) and others as a faster, more reliable alternative to the electro-mechanical rigs then being used to compare German coded military messages with the entire possible output of the Nazis’ Lorentz cypher machine. Flowers believed his electronic machine could don the job more quickly and more reliably, and when it was put to work in 1944 it quickly proved itself a success. It was able to compare message at 5000 characters per second, almost three times the speed of the electro-mechanical system. Flowers immediately began work on an improved model which formed the basis for nine more machines installed in code-breaking centre Bletchley Park throughout the remainder of the War. Flowers’ work remained a secret until the 1970s.

ENIAC

ENIAC programmers, photo: US Army
Reg Hardware retro numbers

ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) began life in 1943 as a University of Pennsylvania project to devise a machine capable of calculating ballistic firing solutions for the US Army, though it was first used for hydrogen bomb design calculations. Conceived by John Mauchly and J Presper Eckert, ENIAC was completed after World War II in 1946 and so its existence 1946 was made public in a way Colossus and the Z3 never could be. Designed as a general purpose computing machine, ENIAC contained almost 17,500 vacuum tubes, and used IBM punch cards to present results and to take in input data. Data was stored not in binary form but as decimal numbers. Like Colossus, ENIAC was programmed by setting switches and wiring.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.