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6 computer labs that gave birth to the digital world

Aug 19, 2011, 08:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sebastian Anthony)


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"The title of 'first computer lab' is probably a three-way tie, but we'll start with Bletchley Park, the home of Great Britain's World War II cryptography efforts. Bletchley Park was tasked with not only decrypting the communications of Hitler's Nazi wehrmacht, but with devising new cryptographic systems to keep Allied armies and navies safe.

"Even today, 65 years after the War, we are not entirely sure which inventions originated from Bletchley Park because of the Official Secrets Act that its 12,000 staff were required to sign. We know that public key encryption was invented there, and Alan Turing (of the Turing machine) certainly invented more than just the bombe, which was one of the first electromechanical computers and the key to cracking of Germany's Enigma crypto system. Bletchley Park was also home to the first programmable digital computer, the Colossus."

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