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

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


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.

Book News Annotation:

It saved countless lives, but the Colussus project has stayed under the surface of history until very recently. Copeland (philosophy, U. of Canterbury, New Zealand and director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing) has succeeded at getting fascinating narratives of the planning, building and operating of the Colussi from their designers, builders, theorists, codebreakers, testers and operators, and also provides a dozen technical appendices for those who want to dig deeper into the inner workings of what was the world's first large-scale digital computer. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The American ENIAC is customarily regarded as the first electronic computer. In this fascinating volume, Jack Copeland rewrites the history of computer science, arguing that in reality Colossus--the giant computer built in Bletchley Park by the British secret service during World War II--predates ENIAC by two years. Until very recently, much about the Colossus machine was shrouded in secrecy, largely because the code-breaking algorithms employed during World War II remained in use by the British security services until a short time ago. 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. A must read for anyone curious about code-breaking or World War II espionage, Colossus offers a fascinating insider's account of the world's first giant computer, the great-great-grandfather of the massive computers used today by the CIA and the National Security Agency.

About the Author

Jack Copeland is a Reader in Philosophy and Director of the Turing Project at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. A contributor to Scientific American, his books include Turing's Machines, Artificial Intelligence, and The Essential Turing.

Table of Contents

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

2. How It Began: Bletchley Park Goes to War, Michael Smith

3. The German Tunny Machine, Jack Copeland

4. Colossus, Codebreaking, and the Digital Age, Stephen Budiansky

5. Machine Against Machine, Jack Copeland

6. D-Day at Bletchley Park, Thomas H. Flowers

7. Intercept!, Jack Copeland

8. Colossus, Thomas H. Flowers

9. Colossus and the Rise of the Modern Computer, Jack Copeland

10. The PC-User's Guide to Colossus, Benjamin Wells

11. Of Men and Machines, Brian Randell

12. The Colossus Rebuild, Tony Sale

13. Mr Newman's Section, Jack Copeland, with Catherine Caughey, Dorothy Du Boisson, Eleanor Ireland, Ken Myers, and Norman Thurlow

14. Max Newman-Mathematician, Codebreaker and Computer Pioneer, William Newman

15. Living with Fish: Breaking Tunny in the Newmanry and the Testery, Peter Hilton

16. From Hut 8 to the Newmanry, Jack Good

17. Codebreaking and Colossus, Donald Michie

18. Major Tester's Section, Jerry Roberts

19. Setter and Breaker, Roy Jenkins

20. An ATS Girl in the Testery, Helen Currie

21. The Testery and the Breaking of Fish, Peter Edgerley

22. Dollis Hill at War, Jack Copeland, with David Bolam, Harry Fensom, Gil Hayward, and Norman Thurlow

23. The British Tunny Machine, Gil Hayward

24. How Colossus was Built and Operated-One of Its Engineers Reveals Its Secrets, Harry Fensom

25. Bletchley Park's Sturgeon-The Fish That Laid No Eggs, Frode Weierud

26. Geheimschreiber Traffic and Swedish Wartime Intelligence, Craig McKay

A1. Timeline: The Breaking of Tunny

A2. The Teleprinter Alphabet, Jack Copeland

A3. The Tunny Addition Square, Jack Copeland

A4. My Work at Bletchley Park, Bill Tutte

A5. The Tiltman Break, Friedrich Bauer

A6. Turingery, Jack Copeland

A7. Dc-Method, Max Newman

A8. Newman's Theorem, Friedrich Bauer

A9. Rectangling, Frank Carter

A10. The Motor Wheels and Limitations, Jack Good, Donald Michie, and Geoffrey Timms

A11. Motorless Tunny, Jack Good and Donald Michie

A12. Origin of the Fish Cypher Machines, Friedrich Bauer

Product Details

ISBN:
9780192840554
Subtitle:
The First Electronic Computer
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Editor:
Copeland, Jack
Editor:
Copeland, B. Jack
Author:
Copeland, B. Jack
Author:
Copeland, Jack
Author:
null, Jack
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
History
Subject:
Military - Intelligence/Espionage
Subject:
Computer science -- History.
Subject:
General Computers
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Cryptography.
Subject:
Military-Espionage
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Copyright:
Series:
Popular Science
Series Volume:
Volume II
Publication Date:
May 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 halftones, 6 line illus.
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
6.2 x 9.4 x 1.7 in 1.975 lb

Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Computers Reference » History and Society
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Computers

Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Code-Breaking Computers
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Product details 480 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780192840554 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The American ENIAC is customarily regarded as the first electronic computer. In this fascinating volume, Jack Copeland rewrites the history of computer science, arguing that in reality Colossus--the giant computer built in Bletchley Park by the British secret service during World War II--predates ENIAC by two years. Until very recently, much about the Colossus machine was shrouded in secrecy, largely because the code-breaking algorithms employed during World War II remained in use by the British security services until a short time ago. 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. A must read for anyone curious about code-breaking or World War II espionage, Colossus offers a fascinating insider's account of the world's first giant computer, the great-great-grandfather of the massive computers used today by the CIA and the National Security Agency.
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