United Kingdom
Bletchley Park

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4 travelers at this place

  • Day40

    Winning the war, one byte at a time.

    May 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    It was early in World War 2.
    The problem : break the code that communicates Hitler's strategic plans to his generals. These messages were coded AND encrypted by an unknown machine. This code was so hard it made the usual German Enigma code seem easy as a paper bag.

    The Solution: boffins + machines*

    The boffins (engineers, code breakers, linguists etc) invent the computer to reverse the encryption. They do it without EVER seeing the original machine (the Lorenz SZ 42).

    In the process they invent the electric powered computer in the first dedicated computer facility.
    The movie doesn't tell you half of it...

    All this is now rebuilt on site at Bletchley Park where the secret allied intelligence work happened.
    It has become the national museum of computing. Computers of all eras are there, including the old school retro stuff I've used over 20 years... XT computers Palm pilots, Segas...

    My inner nerd, which isnt so inner, had a ball.

    *(which we now know is the long standing formula for making nerds)
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  • Day26

    Bletchley Park

    August 26, 2015 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    Went to see the now-famous (once top secret) wartime codebreaking center. There's actually quite a bit to see around the site and I think I spent a bit too long following around the audio guide (of the outdoors) instead of looking at the displays indoors.

    Most impressive was the working rebuilt replica Bombe (electro-mechanical-)machine, designed (but not built) by Alan Turing, to break the German enigma codes in WW2. Also interesting were the restored huts in which the codebreakers worked.

    I didn't realise until the end that there was a separate National Museum of Computing next door (that is separate because of an ongoing spat between the organisations). They had a separate entry fee and a replica Colossus (the first actual programmable electronic digital computer), also used for codebreaking. Unfortunately by the time I realised this there wasn't time to see it :(

    I did stumble upon an interesting little exhibit on radio, including amateur radio station, near the exit. It was inside Bletchley Park so free bonus!
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Bletchley Park

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