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Posted (edited)

The luvvies and politicians love to prattle on about how they are the elite that runs everything.

But it would be nothing without the engineers of this world.

In 1943 Tommy Flowers built Colossus, the first digital computer, in just 11 months to decrypt the notoriously complex Lorenz cyphers - an attack on the cypher itself had been demonstrated by Polish mathematicians. Just before D-Day 1944 Flower's Colossus II was switched on an immediately started producing decrypts. On the 5th of June one of the Colossus decrypts was handed to Eisenhower, it confirmed that Hitler was obviously to the intended target of Operation Overlord. Eisenhower read the decrypt and said "we go tomorrow".

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e4/Frontal_view_of_the_reconstructed_Colossus_at_The_National_Museum_of_Computing%2C_Bletchley_Park.jpg/770px-Frontal_view_of_the_reconstructed_Colossus_at_The_National_Museum_of_Computing%2C_Bletchley_Park.jpg

Post war he applied for a bank loan to build a general purpose electronic computer based on Colossus but the bank didn't believe it could work. Flowers' work was top secret. American researchers were able to show that an array of Colossus (Clossi?) could work as a GPC.

Edited by Dave Bloke
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Tommy Flowers paid for the development of Colossus himself.

The supposed wisdom at that time was that valves were so unreliable, a machine with so many valves would be permanently unserviceable.

Flowers realised that the main problem was failure due to thermal cycling, and the machine would be reliable enough as long as it was not regularly turned off and on.

My ex-boss (now dead) was involved in making the replica bombes; the rotating parts were made by a local school.

Better replicas were used in the Turing biopic, I don't know if those ended up at Bletchley Park as well.

When I visited about 15 years ago the museum was badly underfunded. I believe things have improved now.

I can not work out why the real Bletchley Park was not used for external shots in either of the two recent films about Enigma.

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8 hours ago, Dave Bloke said:

The luvvies and politicians love to prattle on about how they are the elite that runs everything.

But it would be nothing without the engineers of this world.

In 1943 Tommy Flowers built Colossus, the first digital computer, in just 11 months to decrypt the notoriously complex Lorenz cyphers - an attack on the cypher itself had been demonstrated by Polish mathematicians. Just before D-Day 1944 Flower's Colossus II was switched on an immediately started producing decrypts. On the 5th of June one of the Colossus decrypts was handed to Eisenhower, it confirmed that Hitler was obviously to the intended target of Operation Overlord. Eisenhower read the decrypt and said "we go tomorrow".

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e4/Frontal_view_of_the_reconstructed_Colossus_at_The_National_Museum_of_Computing%2C_Bletchley_Park.jpg/770px-Frontal_view_of_the_reconstructed_Colossus_at_The_National_Museum_of_Computing%2C_Bletchley_Park.jpg

Post war he applied for a bank loan to build a general purpose electronic computer based on Colossus but the bank didn't believe it could work. Flowers' work was top secret. American researchers were able to show that an array of Colossus (Clossi?) could work as a GPC.

D-day was originally 5th June, it was postponed for a day because of the weather.

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25 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

The supposed wisdom at that time was that valves were so unreliable, a machine with so many valves would be permanently unserviceable.

I can see you were hooked on the idea of these "so called" transistors. They will never catch on.

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1 minute ago, HolyCow said:

This forum is like an encyclopedia. I learn something new every time I browse. Thank you.

It's better than the IET magazine, as that is full of PC bollocks now. Mind you I wouldn't belive too many stories about Renty's uncle.

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1 minute ago, MrLibertyRedux said:

The Devil's work Pin. I don't know what men were thinking of.

Valves are actually pretty reliable, apart from mechanical damage, as they are made of glass.

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