Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bletchley Park Receives Preservation Funds

From the "Worth Saving" department comes word that Bletchley Park, the center of England's WW II code-breaking (and making) center, has received a much-needed £300,000 preservation grant from English Heritage. The site also houses the National Museum of Computing. The Register is selling an account of the role of cryptography in WWII, as well as a pretty cool-looking t-shirt that features the Enigma machine, used by Germany to encode its communications during the war. Profits from the sale of the shirts go to Bletchley Park and the National Museum of Computing.

Here's a short account of one visitor's trip to Bletchley.

In related news, 26 vintage Enigma machines were found last month in an old army office in Madrid.

A very clever flash-based Enigma simulator lets you code your own secret messages.

Bletchley Park is featured prominently in Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon.

The contribution of Bletchley Park extended beyond its role in shortening the war; it is really the birthplace of modern computing. The first programmable, digital, electronic computers -- the Colossus Mark I and II -- were implemented there and used to help decode encrypted German transmissions. Learn more here.

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