[SIGCIS-Members] Zuse / binary

Jesper Juul j at jesperjuul.net
Sat Jul 8 05:05:11 PDT 2023

In Raúl Rojas' paper on the Z1/Z3(1), he writes that "instead of using
gears (as Babbage had done in the previous century), Zuse implemented
logical and arithmetical operations using sliding metallic rods. The rods
could move in only one of two directions (forward or backward) and
therefore were appropriate for a binary machine." The Z1 is 1936-38.

This doesn't quite explain if rods or binary arithmetic came first, but
there is a footnote to Zuse's book "Der Computer mein Lebenswerk".

As a side note, I can recommend seeing the Z1 in the Technical Museum in
Berlin if you are near.

Jesper Juul

1) https://ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/Zuse_Z1_and_Z3.pdf

On Fri, 7 Jul 2023 at 18:34, Evan Koblentz via Members <
members at lists.sigcis.org> wrote:

> What are some good articles addressing why Zuse, Aiken, Stibitz, etc.
> decided to use binary (or not)?
> --
> Evan Koblentz
> New Jersey Institute of Technology
> - Senior Writer, Office of Communications and Marketing
> - Adjunct Instructor, Ying Wu College of Computing
> - Faculty/Staff Advisor, NJIT Lego Club
> evank at njit.edu
> (973) 596-3065
> https://web.njit.edu/~evank
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