December 18th

[edit] Konrad Zuse

On this day in 1995, Konrad Zuse died. Zuse, an independent German inventor, developed the Z1, Z2, Z3 , and Z4 computers during the early 1940's. The first models featured mainly mechanical systems, and were destroyed by Allied bombing in WWII. The the later models used electrical relays. There is some dispute over who created the first computer, but there is no doubt Zuse's machines were among the first programmable devices.

While Allen Turing helped the allies apply new computing technology to the code breaking effort, the Nazis showed no interest when Zuse volunteered to help.

While building his computers, Konrad Zuse developed the Plankalkül computer language. Zuse wrote sample program to prove his machines would work, including a chess playing program. The language feature loops, conditional statements and a variable naming similar to Hungarian notation.

[edit] HTML 4.0

Also, on this date in 1997 the HTML 4.0 specification was first released as a W3C specification. The spec contained many features we take for granted today, such as scripting, style sheets, frames.

[edit] © 2006, Jorge Monasterio

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