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Konrad Zuse's Z3, built in Berlin from 1938 to 1941 was destroyed during World War II. The reconstruction project started in 1994. A functional replica was built and unveiled at a conference commemorating the 60th anniversary of the public presentation of the original machine in 2001. The reconstruction project includes several Java simulations of components of the whole machine and a 3D functional simulation of the Z3 and its user console. This article is our account of our journey into history, about how we carried out the reconstruction, and why it is important that historians of computing, and computer scientists, pursue such projects.
Date of Publication: July-Sept. 2005