Bletchley Park fires up replica Turing Bombe
Engineering award for legendary Enigma-busting kit
Bletchley Park will tomorrow fire up a replica Turing Bombe to celebrate the Engineering Heritage Award which recognises the 13 years of hard graft which have gone into recreating the legendary Enigma-busting kit.
The Bombe was the brainchild of Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, and the 210 machines manufactured by the British Tabulator Machine Company did vital work cracking encoded German military traffic - a feat which shortened the war by two years, Bletchley Park suggests.
The original devices were destroyed after the war on security grounds, but in 1970 a set of blueprints turned up at Bletchley and the idea to reconstruct a Bombe was born. The rebuild team, led by volunteer John Harper, has finally succeeded in putting the beast together:
Tomorrow's midday ceremony will reunite war veterans with the Bombe and feature a "live demonstration" of the machine. The Engineering Heritage Award* honouring the project is the 48th such trophy given by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Bletchley Park Trust CEO, Simon Greenish, enthused (with some light tin-rattling): “The Bombe is just one of a number of incredible historic pieces we are proud to hold. Unfortunately, many of our iconic buildings at the park are now so dilapidated that within two years they could be lost.
"By raising awareness of projects like the Bombe we are highlighting how important the Park is and remembering just how indebted we are to the brilliant minds of the men and women who worked here. We are delighted that we can reunite some of those people with the Bombe.” ®
*Bletchley Park explains: "To win an award the object must be industrially innovative; be associated with a person or event, which has made a significant contribution to society and/or mechanical engineering, or possess a unique feature, by being a prototype or only surviving example."
A bomb! What are you giving him a bomb for? Thats a dangerous animal!
ps. NB.... don't engage.... it's the only way to retain your sanity, you should know by now that amanfromMars is like the times cryptic crossword, but to find out the cryptic clues you have to work out an additional two levels of cryptic indirection like cluse to the clues, when really all you're waiting for is the answers so you can then work out the route how you would have got there.
"one of the best ways to find the settings for a given day was to find out which settings were impossible - that's what the bombe does"
This approach appears to be still viable and is roughly what was done in the EFF DES cracker chips to demonstrate it could be broken by brute force (on average) in less than 31/2 days.
I would say the grand challenge in this area (for money) would be breaking the Sky Digital encryption. My cursory reading of this is that it was developed by one of the 3 principles behind RSA now based in Israel. However while DES was 56 bits this is 2048. The current official record for factoring large primes (a key component of this stuff) is IIRC 336 bits.
With enough storage one could archive their output and crack off line.
Not that I'm advocating such behaviour. Just pointing out an interesting challenge.
Re wait what
"amanfromMars actually made semantic sense....
/me ponders the implication that in some way someone has just divided by zero" .... By NB Posted Monday 23rd March 2009 20:33 GMT
It would be naive of everybody to think that Top Secret works [which for generations will never be revealed or third party discovered] are something which would ever stop, given their necessity to counter Man's Inhumanity to Man and Endemic Systemic Madness in the Destructive Psychosis of the Psycopathic and Criminally and Hopelessly Insane.
But that is no dark secret ...... "Be careful Paul," she told him, he claimed today. "There are powers at work in this country about which we have no knowledge." ..... http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-94019717.html
Now that is an observation and a submission from one extremely smart lady, who would have such powers of which she would have no knowledge working in this country, at her Service .... OHMSIS. And should she feel/find that that is not the official case, then the Royal Household is Deficient and in Deficit of a Vital Organ of Right Regal Administration..... which would be an Indication of Tired Outdated Advice and Sub-Prime Performance.