View Full Version : The Colossus codebreaker [news]

November 16th, 2007, 03:34 AM
Thought this was pretty cool. The machine that is often considered the first programmable digital computer has been re-created:

For the first time in more than 60 years a Colossus computer is cracking codes at Bletchley Park. The machine is being put through its paces to mark the end of a project to rebuild the pioneering computer.

It is being used to crack messages enciphered using the same system employed by the German high command during World War II.

The Colossus is pitted against modern PC technology which will also try to read the scrambled messages.

Colossus cracks codes once more (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7094881.stm) [bbc.co.uk]

November 17th, 2007, 11:21 AM
I heard on the radio yesterday that it had been beaten twice over.
Firstly by someone in Germany with a program written in ADA, though to be fair the signal to be decoded was sent from germany and the colussus team didn't get a complete signal 'til long after the german amatuer.

Secondly, the virtual colussus program written on a pc also beat colussus, when commencing the decoding simultaneously

Congratulations to the rebuild project and the original creators of colossus, amazing that a machine like this was produced in the 1940s.
I can't help but imagine where the Uk's computer industry would be now if this project hadn't been buried after the war.