Colossus: The Secrets Of Bletchley Park's Code-Breaking Computers

Colossus: The Secrets Of Bletchley Park's Code-Breaking Computers

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by Jack Copeland
     
 

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ISBN-10: 019284055X

ISBN-13: 9780192840554

Pub. Date: 05/04/2006

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The American ENIAC is customarily regarded as having been the starting point of electronic computation. This book rewrites the history of computer science, arguing that in reality Colossus—the giant computer built by the British secret service during World War II—predates ENIAC by two years.

Colossus was built during the Second World War at the

Overview

The American ENIAC is customarily regarded as having been the starting point of electronic computation. This book rewrites the history of computer science, arguing that in reality Colossus—the giant computer built by the British secret service during World War II—predates ENIAC by two years.

Colossus was built during the Second World War at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. Until very recently, much about the Colossus machine was shrouded in secrecy, largely because the code-breaking algorithms that were employed during World War II remained in use by the British security services until a short time ago. In addition, the United States has recently declassified a considerable volume of wartime documents relating to Colossus. Jack Copeland has brought together memoirs of veterans of Bletchley Park—the top-secret headquarters of Britain's secret service—and others who draw on the wealth of declassified information to illuminate the crucial role Colossus played during World War II. Included here are pieces by the former WRENS who actually worked the machine, the scientist who pioneered the use of vacuum tubes in data processing, and leading authorities on code-breaking and computer science.

A must read for anyone curious about code-breaking or World War II espionage, Colossus offers a fascinating insider's account of the world first giant computer, the great great grandfather of the massive computers used today by the CIA and the National Security Agency.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192840554
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/04/2006
Series:
Popular Science Series
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.70(d)

Table of Contents

1. A Brief History of Cryptography from Caesar to Bletchley Park, Simon Singh

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Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park's code-breaking computers 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ajahnian More than 1 year ago
Professor Copeland has compiled an excellent book telling the story in both human and technical terms of the building of Colossus and of the extraordinary efforts which resulted in the breaking of the Lorenz cipher, known as Tunny. It is an exciting story, The Germmans thought they had an unbreakable cipher and used it for the highest level communications, including those from Hitler himself to his commanders in the field. Some of the chapters may be a little too technicla for the average reader, but there is plenty of material that needs no technical knowledge to understand. The book is well illustrated and tells clearly how the world's first programmable computer was built. This story could not be toild earlier as there was a complete embargo preventing any of the peoople involved in any way from talking about it - even to their spouses. As one of the survivors of the team in the "Testery" which was able to break the German Tunny traffic on a daily basis so that top secret German infomartion could be passed to the allied commanders, I am grateful to Professor Copeland for compiling this excellent book. With the help of a number of contributors who were directly involved he tells the story well and it is an excciting story. The books is well illustrated with both photographs and diagrams. This story reaklly eeded to be told. Thhe geniuses whose work it describes have never been properly recognized. I am delighted that Professor Copeland has done something to right this situation I recommend the book highly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the overall story compelling. However, the focus of the book was mostly on technical details and the personalities involved. While both were interesting, I was hoping to hear how the allies were able to make use of the information gleaned from the various encryption systems they were able to exploit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago