Can't wait to see this running
But will it play Spacewar?
Bletchley Park will tomorrow fire up a replica Turing Bombe to celebrate the Engineering Heritage Award which recognises the 13 years of hard graft which have gone into recreating the legendary Enigma-busting kit. The Bombe was the brainchild of Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, and the 210 machines manufactured by the British …
A remarkable job. I visited BP when I was last in the UK, it's a very worthwhile visit, and remarkable that it has been preserved.
For those in the US, the NCR version of the Bombe is available for your viewing pleasure (though behind a glass shield) at the NSA Museum in Maryland.
Mine's the one with the Enigma rotor in the pocket
"But... ...can it run Crysis at full?" ..... By Ed Blackshaw Posted Monday 23rd March 2009 13:05 GMT
Err, Ed, Bletchley Boffins can do anything they like. And not a lot of people know that..... but then they wouldn't, would they, for they wouldn't have the necessary clearances or aptitudes either and would be naturally excluded from ....... well, you don't really need to know any more and therefore won't from Third Party Forces/Sources. They're a Canny Precious Bunch, and there's no doubt about that, but nothing at all like you might possibly Imagine from Tales of Yore.
Seems that no thread about Bletchley Park is complete without the web address for donations to help support their work, and more information on the BP site:
They accept PayPal or WorldPay, top right hand corner of the home page, so no excuses now...
The other machine at Bletchley uses valves.
Likely such things as 6V6, EF39.
you can get them on eBay. it's possible someone in Russia or China makes them. Some are still used in retro Audio Amplifers.
You can even buy 807 as used in WWII 19 set transmitter.
Yes the 1st Bombe was Polish and the guys that brought it never knew till years after war what happened in Bletchley.
No love for Tommy Flowers, then? ...just kidding.
I'm always amused that our friends across the pond call vacuum tubes "valves." It's an apt description for what they do, sure, but it sounds very steampunk-y to my ears.
"I bought an old valve radio at the boot sale!"
"Well, fire up the boiler and tune in Radio 2, then."
>I'm always amused that our friends across the pond call vacuum tubes "valves."
Because they are a valve - they control the flow of electrical current like a valve does any other flow. What's does calling it a tube tell you?
Of course what do you expect from a country that calls a sport where you carry an egg shaped object in your hand 'football' instead of 'handegg'
Given the current financial crisis I'm sure HMG will do anything to shave costs, so maybe this little beast could help with the ID card database?
No, hang on. That'll be £3.50 for the computer, and £24.5m for EDS to lap it up in consultancy fees (and to reserve some spare slots on the board when ministers have got chucked out on their ear).
Paris because her valves need a bit of warming up. Allegedly.
"amanfromMars actually made semantic sense....
/me ponders the implication that in some way someone has just divided by zero" .... By NB Posted Monday 23rd March 2009 20:33 GMT
It would be naive of everybody to think that Top Secret works [which for generations will never be revealed or third party discovered] are something which would ever stop, given their necessity to counter Man's Inhumanity to Man and Endemic Systemic Madness in the Destructive Psychosis of the Psycopathic and Criminally and Hopelessly Insane.
But that is no dark secret ...... "Be careful Paul," she told him, he claimed today. "There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge." ..... http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-94019717.html
Now that is an observation and a submission from one extremely smart lady, who would have such powers of which she would have no knowledge working in this country, at her Service .... OHMSIS. And should she feel/find that that is not the official case, then the Royal Household is Deficient and in Deficit of a Vital Organ of Right Regal Administration..... which would be an Indication of Tired Outdated Advice and Sub-Prime Performance.
The Poles got hold of a commercial enigma machine by intercepting it in the post, figured out how it worked, put it back in the post and then did a runner to Paris with the information, which got passed to allied forces. The enigma was around in the early 30s and there are numerous different versions.
Turing and Welchman figured out that one of the best ways to find the settings for a given day was to find out which settings were impossible - thats what the bombe does, it rules out combinations that are impossible and leaves a reduced set of possibilities to be tried.
If you are interested in the whole story I reccomend reading is "Enigma" by Hugh Seebag-Montefiore. Its an excellent book that covers the first creation of the enigma machines as a commercial unit for banks etc to use right through its development as a military machine and the struggle to break the code as well as introducing many of the famous names from Bletchley.
"one of the best ways to find the settings for a given day was to find out which settings were impossible - that's what the bombe does"
This approach appears to be still viable and is roughly what was done in the EFF DES cracker chips to demonstrate it could be broken by brute force (on average) in less than 31/2 days.
I would say the grand challenge in this area (for money) would be breaking the Sky Digital encryption. My cursory reading of this is that it was developed by one of the 3 principles behind RSA now based in Israel. However while DES was 56 bits this is 2048. The current official record for factoring large primes (a key component of this stuff) is IIRC 336 bits.
With enough storage one could archive their output and crack off line.
Not that I'm advocating such behaviour. Just pointing out an interesting challenge.
A bomb! What are you giving him a bomb for? Thats a dangerous animal!
ps. NB.... don't engage.... it's the only way to retain your sanity, you should know by now that amanfromMars is like the times cryptic crossword, but to find out the cryptic clues you have to work out an additional two levels of cryptic indirection like cluse to the clues, when really all you're waiting for is the answers so you can then work out the route how you would have got there.
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