24th January 2013 - New Colossus Gallery at Bletchley Park
Time: 7pm , for a tour start at 7:30pm finishing at approx.. 9pm.
Presenter: Barney Duffy
Venue: Bletchley Park, Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB.
Visiting the new Colossus Gallery with the ability to walk around the system. Colossus, the world's first programmable electronic computer, had a single purpose: to help decipher the Lorenz-encrypted (Tunny) messages between Hitler and his generals during World War II. The Colossus Gallery housing the rebuild of Colossus tells that remarkable story. Colossus reduced the time to work out the Lorenz chi-wheel settings and enabled more messages to be deciphered and the whole code-breaking operation to be accelerated. The information gleaned from the decrypted messages is widely acknowledged to have shortened the war by many months, saving tens of thousands of lives. The cipher text was input via paper tape and the 2500 valves of Colossus would find the Lorenz machine chi-wheel settings. By the end of the war, 63 million characters of high-grade German communications had been decrypted by 550 people helped by the ten Colossus computers. Plus a look at the NPL gallery, how the internet was built.