I’ve just read an extraordinary (and fascinating) article about Colossus, the code-cracking computer used at Bletchley Park: BBC news - Bletchley’s code-cracking Colossus.

There’s a great quote in there about Bill Tutte, the mathematician who famously figured out the key to cracking the Nazis’ cipher:

Said Captain Roberts: “I used to see him twiddling his pencil staring into space and I wondered a few times if he was earning his corn, but he clearly was.”

See, when we coders are arsing around on our computers, what we’re really doing is thinking, oh yes :-)

In all seriousness, sixty years on I am profoundly awe-struck by the achievements of those at Bletchley Park. Read this piece (and watch the accompanying video) for a spellbinding insight into our past.


  1. wow that is cool.

    are you a fan of Cryptonomicon?

    great book if you haven't read it. John Vaughan#
  2. Very cool! I can't get enough of the fascinating stories about WWII code breaking and in particular Beltchley Park. Recently read "The Code Book" by Simon Singh and was just fab. Cryptonomicon banked!Colin Williams#
  3. @1 aye, a seriously good book, even if I haven't a clue of understanding the maths (and that problem gets worse in the Baroque Cycle)Dave Harris#

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