in reply to Enigma machine.

Speaking of which, I was at Bletchley Park over the w/end, looking at (and playing with) Enigma machines.

Most monks probably know about BP already, but for those who don't, it was one of the 3 cryptanalysis centers used by the allies in WWII. It played a very important part in the outcome of the war, particularly the Battle of the Atlantic. Alan Turing worked there on the forerunners to digital computers.

It's a fascinating site: first surprise is that it's *huge*. There's more stuff there than you can really see in one visit, as the (many) outlying buildings host various related organisations.

Highlighs for me included the Enigma and similar machines, the Turing Bombes, the Colossus rebuild project (more) and the computer conservation society.

S.O., who is less into technology and more into political and social history, found loads to interest her as well.

A certain amount of hardware has been recently restored or mocked-up for the film Enigma - the turret of a U-boat is sitting outside one of the huts.

I'd urge all monks in or visiting the UK to go along to Bletchley, if you can. It's *definitely* worth visiting.

It relies on entrance money to keep going (it's not funded by the government) so by visiting, you're helping to keep it open.


OBPerl: BP was used as a location by Neal Stephenson in his book Cryptonomicon, which contains a Perl script to implement the encryption algorithm 'Pontifex' (Solitaire).

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