IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 18 Number 2 -- Happenings
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Software Patent Institute
GEOFFREY BOWKER: AUTHOR [+2]
The Happenings department reports on past, present, and future events of interest to the history of computing. These events include conferences, appropriate sessions from meetings, exhibits, projects, awards, publications, collections, general memorabilia, and important dates in the history of computing. Contributions to the department are encouraged and should consist of a description or report of the event, highlighting its specific relevance.
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
Copyright ©; 1996 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
GEOFFREY BOWKER, EDITOR
The Happenings department reports on past, present, and future events of interest to the history of computing. These events include conferences, appropriate sessions from meetings, exhibits, projects, awards, publications, collections, general memorabilia, and important dates in the history of computing.
Contributions to the department are encouraged and should consist of a description or report of the event, highlighting its specific relevance.
Bletchley Park -- 1995
Bletchley Park, located in Bedfordshire, England, and the World War II home to the Government Code and Cypher School, the euphemism for the "Codebreakers," has perhaps not been as busy in the past 50 years as it is was on alternate weekends in 1995. The museum commemorating the breaking of the German and Japanese codes of the messages between military units is taking shape with the accompaniment of several other museums highlighting other aspects of the science of World War II, from diplomatic radio communications, radar and electronics systems, to the recovery of "war birds." Through the enthusiasm of Tony Sale, his wife, and several colleagues, the Bletchley Park Fund has reached the point where there is every expectation that the park will be leased to the foundation in the near future. So much expectation, in fact, that Tony has committed his own time and finances to the establishment of the museum by renovating rooms and displaying the growing collection of artifacts associated with encryption and decryption. The Cryptology Trail is a series of rooms, each devoted to a chronological stage in the process of codebreaking from the invention of the Vernam cipher system, through the early work of the Polish mathematicians on deciphering Enigma- encoded messages, the U-boat war of the Atlantic, the complexity of later encryption machines such as the Lorenz and the Geheiberschriber, the development of mechanical means of decryption and, finally, the development of the Colossus. The final room does not contains an original Colossus, all 11 original machines having now been destroyed, but instead displays a reconstruction that carries on the tradition of the Science Museum in Kensington in recreating a machine where the original is unavailable. In 1991 the Science Museum unveiled their reconstruction of the Charles Babbage Difference Engine. Hopefully, in late 1995, the Bletchley Park Museum will unveil their reconstruction of the Colossus. Among the artifacts on display are original intercepted messages together with their decryptions.
Late in 1942, BP had developed the concept of mechanical aids to determine the wheel settings of Vernam enciphering machines that were incorporated into the "Heath Robinson" machines. These devices were difficult to ope...