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  1. #1
    Senior Member t34b4g5's Avatar
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    Sep 2003

    Post The "Colossus" code-breaking machine from WWII will race a modern computer

    The "Colossus" code-breaking machine from WWII will race a modern computer in breaking Nazi codes soon. The finished Colossus is to be pitted against a contemporary general-purpose PC in a code-breaking race. The raw fodder for the race is a set of messages encrypted using Nazi ciphers and transmitted by amateur radio enthusiasts in Germany.

    Read the full Article here.

    It would be an interesting thing to watch, just to see if today's technology is able to out do technology that was specific built to perform this type of task.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    If you want to play with one you can get a simulator here:


  3. #3
    Senior Member t34b4g5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Exclamation So colossus lost. :(

    PC beats World War II code breaker

    Saturday Nov 17 10:23 AEDT
    AP - A rebuilt World War II code-cracking computer developed to intercept Nazi messages has lost to a desktop computer in a contest to decipher an encrypted radio message.
    The challenge marked the first time the Colossus machine had been used since former prime minister Winston Churchill ordered models of the top secret computer destroyed, according to Britain's National Museum of Computing, which organised the contest.
    Churchill had feared Britain's national security would be threatened if the state of the art computer's technical details ever leaked out.
    However, not only was Colossus beaten by a home computer, but by one in Germany.
    Bonn-based software engineer Joachim Schueth deciphered the message, which was encrypted by a Nazi-era Lorenz cipher machine and transmitted by radio from Paderborn, Germany. It took him two hours on Thursday, using ham radio equipment and a computer program he wrote especially for the challenge.
    Schueth paid tribute to Colossus and those who used it during WWII at the Bletchley Park code-breaking centre, outside London, saying their work was important to Germans because "it helped to shorten the lifetime of the Nazi dictatorship".
    But Colossus, the world's first programmable computer, was no match for its electronic descendants, he said.
    "Putting Colossus in a competition with modern computers may be a bit unfair," Schueth wrote on his website.
    Colossus eventually completed the challenge at 1.15pm (0015 AEDT) on Friday, taking three hours and 35 minutes, after overcoming difficulties intercepting the distant radio signal and repairing a blown valve.
    "We've lost appreciation of just how hard it was to intercept signals, interpret them and put them on Colossus and run them," said Andy Clark, director of the Bletchley Park-based computing museum.
    "The past two days have brought into sharp focus just how hard they had to work," he said.
    Experts spent 14 years rebuilding the Colossus using stolen design plans and by gleaning information from those who helped create the original.
    Ten Mark II Colossus machines enabled code breakers at Bletchley to decipher top-secret communications sent by the Nazi high command, and have been credited with shortening the war by months and saving thousands of lives.
    The rebuilt computer will continue to operate as the museum's centrepiece, Clark said.

    Link to Article. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=325497

    trying to find another link for those not in australia.

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