Clifford Stolls History of the Curta Calculator

Gepostet vor 5 Jahren, 11 Monaten in #Misc #DIY #History #Machines #Mathematics #Vintage #WWII

Share: Twitter Facebook Mail

Zu Curt Herzstarks Curta Calculator, dem ersten Taschenrechner der Welt, den er im Konzentrationslager Buchenwald zumindest konzeptionell fertigstellte und der 1948 auf den Markt kam, hatte ich schonmal was vor ein paar Jahren. Aber damals kannte ich die Geschichte hinter der Maschine noch nicht und jetzt hat AT&Ts Techchannel ein weiteres Video von meinem Lieblingsirren Clifford Stoll online gestellt, in dem er diese erzählt.

(Youtube Direktcurta)

Auf The CURTA Calculator Page findet man so ziemlich alles zum Thema, die Bilder habe ich von dort, Snip von Wikipedia:

The Curta was conceived by Curt Herzstark (1902–1988) in the 1930s in Vienna. By 1938, he had filed a key patent, covering his complemented stepped drum, Deutsches Reichspatent (German Empire Patent) No. 747073. This single drum replaced the multiple drums, typically around 10 or so, of contemporary calculators, and it enabled not only addition, but subtraction through nines complement math, essentially subtracting by adding. The nines' complement math breakthrough eliminated the significant mechanical complexity created when "borrowing" during subtraction. This drum would prove to be the key to the small, hand-held mechanical calculator the Curta would become.

His work on the pocket calculator stopped in 1938 when the Nazis forced him and his company to concentrate on manufacturing measuring instruments and distance gauges for the German army.

Herzstark, the son of a Catholic mother but Jewish father, was taken into custody in 1943, eventually finding himself at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Ironically, it was in the concentration camp that he was encouraged to continue his earlier research: "While I was imprisoned inside [Buchenwald] I had, after a few days, told the [people] in the work production scheduling department of my ideas. The head of the department, Mr. Munich said, 'See, Herzstark, I understand you've been working on a new thing, a small calculating machine. Do you know, I can give you a tip. We will allow you to make and draw everything. If it is really worth something, then we will give it to the Führer as a present after we win the war. Then, surely, you will be made an Aryan.' For me, that was the first time I thought to myself, my God, if you do this, you can extend your life. And then and there I started to draw the CURTA, the way I had imagined it."

Cellular Automata Cube

Cubes.io: Conways Game of Life als 3D-Spielzeug mit Cubes und Spheres und Schnickschnack als Evolution-Nullpunkt, von wo aus die ganzen…

Typewriter Machine-Guns

Éric Nado baut Maschinengewehre aus Schreibmaschinen. Die Teile verschießen allerdings keine Bleilettern, soweit ich das sehe.

Superconducting Quantum Levitation on a 3π Möbius Strip

„Quantum levitation on a 3π Möbius strip track! Watch the superconductor levitate above the track and suspend below the track,…

Stereographic Torus Knot

I'm not sure what's going on here but I like it: „This is very similar to Rise Up, though with…

Sounds of the Nightmare Machine

Mark Korven (Soundtracks für Awakening the Zodiac, The Witch, Cube) über seine Nightmare Machibe: What happens when a horror movie…

Infinite Jest Hashpipe

Wie Mira Gonzalez mal eine Pfeife aus David Foster Wallace Infinite Jest bastelte. Und wahrscheinlich passt der Weezer-Song nirgends hervorragender,…

Podcasts: Deutschland 2071, Ambrose Bierce, die Freimaurer und 20 Jahre OK Computer

Zwei handvoll Podcasts und Hörspiele, die ich in der letzten Woche weggehört habe oder grade weghöre, unter anderem mit 'nem…

4D Monkey Dust

Henry Segerman erklärt vierdimensionale Affen und Stereoprojektion: Die 3D-Prints von Segerman habt ihr sicher schon irgendwo gesehen, er macht diese…

4D Toys

4D Toys, eine nette iPhone-App (hab sie noch nicht installiert, DL läuft grade), ein Spielplatz voller Bauklötze aus der vierten…

Mandelworlds

I cringe at (most of) this guys music choice and pretentious infotext gibberish, but his 3D-fractals kick some serious ass,…

Knitted Moths

Lovely knitted Moths and Butterflies by Max Alexander, who „started knitting moths in 2014 for an exhibition at Prick Your…