Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers

Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers

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.

Title:Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780192840554
Format Type:

    Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers Reviews

  • Bill Leach

    This book describes the work carried out at Bletchley Park during World War II to break German military messages. It is a series of 26 chapters and 12 appendices, written by those with a detailed know...

  • Jules Bertaut

    This book is about Colossus, the electronic computer used to break one of the German ciphers in WWII. It's probably a bit niche interest because it gets rather into the technical details of the cipher...

  • J_BlueFlower

    The book is more like collection of articles on the subject. Many authors have written a bit, a few pages, a chapter,... and the result is the XOR operation is explain at least 30 times. The overall i...

  • Al

    Although a struggle to get through in places, overall, Colossus is a spell-binding chronicle of Bletchley Park, Britain's top secret agency charged with breaking of German military codes during World ...

  • Ian

    At times the technicality of the mathematics beat me, but that's because I'm too lazy to put in the effort so no criticism of book or authors and please don't let that comment put anyone off!Note that...

  • Jakub ?imek

    The book introduces some previously unknown (to the public anyway) information and dispels many common myths about code breaking in WW2 and about the birth of modern computing.I appreciate the technic...

  • Tony

    Very informative. Contained a lot of information which was recently declassified, at the time of publishing.A common misconception is that Colossus was created to break Enigma. That is incorrect. Prev...

  • David

    For those who are fascinated by code-breaking this is a must read. The mathematics is beyond me, but there's more here. The characters who worked at Bletchley Park, the secrecy within the place. The w...

  • Doug Haskin

    Contains some interesting personal histories of code breaking and primitive computing at Bletchley Park, but much of the book is quite technical in nature and difficult to follow if you're not strong ...

  • Lizzie

    Excellent thorough exploration if the ongoing at bletchley Park. The collection of essays introduces you to the concepts of the colossus in a way that any reader could understand and offers multiple p...