Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park's code-breaking computers

Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park's code-breaking computers

by B. Jack Copeland
4.3 3

NOOK Book(eBook)

$28.49 $34.99 Save 19% Current price is $28.49, Original price is $34.99. You Save 19%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now


Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park's code-breaking computers by B. Jack Copeland

At last - the secrets of Bletchley Park's powerful codebreaking computers. This is a history of Colossus, the world's first fully-functioning electronic digital computer. Colossus was used during the Second World War at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, where it played an invaluable role cracking enemy codes. Until very recently, much about the Colossus machine was shrouded in secrecy, largely because the codes that were employed remained in use by the British security services until a short time ago. This book only became possible due to the declassification in the US of wartime documents. With an introductory essay on cryptography and the history of code-breaking by Simon Singh, this book reveals the workings of Colossus and the extraordinary staff at Bletchley Park through personal accounts by those who lived and worked with the computer. Among them is the testimony of Thomas Flowers, who was the architect of Colossus and whose personal account, written shortly before he died, is published here for the first time. Other essays consider the historical importance of this remarkable machine, and its impact on the generations of computing technology that followed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780191578212
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Publication date: 02/23/2006
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Jack Copeland is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing, and has been studying the history of Bletchley Park since 1992. He is a contributor to Scientific American and his previous publications include Artificial Intelligence, (Blackwell, 1993), Logic and Reality (OUP, 1996), Turing's Machines (OUP, forthcoming), The Essential Turing (OUP, 2004), and Alan Turing's Automatic Computing Engine (OUP, 2005).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

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