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Britain's Greatest Codebreakers

#4
When the narrator, at the beginning, mentioned "breaking the Enigma Code" I turned off. What is the point....?
Winning WW2, or ending it before 1947?

As Stooriefit said, there was relatively little about Enigma, mostly about his life before and after WW2. I hadn't known how Turing's other original ideas had influenced other work.
 
#5
I stuck with it and even flipped over to one of those channels which shows the C4 productions minus an hour. It's about time this gent's story was aired, the Enigma item has had a fair going over in recent years.

It was a very 'human' story on Alan Turing. I know little about the man beyond his perceived brilliant mind and this programme helped towards a better understanding of him The use of the psychiatrist's chair to help the story along was well conceived I thought. I wasn't aware that he self elected to be chemically castrated rather than go to prison. My only criticism of the film was that everyone who participated in commenting on him were highly complimentaryof him. There must have been some other maths geniuses out there who would have challenged his thinking?
For HMG to release a statement of apology in 2009 with regard to his treatment says something, however belated. We should put a statue to him in Trafalgar Sq.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#7
I enjoyed the programme and it did make me wonder what advances could have been made if he'd not been treated in the way he was.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#9
a great bloke i am sure - but all i gathered from that program is that he was a massive Batty Boy and loved the cock.
I did not watch the program but one of the birds Great Aunties worked with him at Bletchley Park. She was some sort of junior admin on account of she could do the Telegraph crossword in four minutes flat.

I had about two years with the old doll before she karked it and was fascinated with the whole Bletchley / Turin thing. She talked about a warm, sensitive man who was kind to the staff on a daily basis. And of the staff being in awe in the presence of true genius. She never mentioned 'the cock'. She wouldn't. She was a lady, not a ******* twat like you.
 
#11
It seems all the Bletchley people were under appreciated and the top of that list is Tommy Flowers, the GPO engineer who actually turned Turin's ideas into reality

Tommy Flowers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I did note Tommy Flowers name in a recent programme on Bletchley Park and for no particular reason other than a slow day in my life, went out to Flowers Close in Poplar, not a quantum distance from where I live. He was some bloke as well.
 
#12
She talked about a warm, sensitive man who was kind to the staff on a daily basis. And of the staff being in awe in the presence of true genius.
A towering genius, IMHO, probably did the Times crossword in 60 seconds in his head. He seemed to have no concept of how his homosexual activities would be condemned, maybe Aspbergers. Probably certifiable by the standards oof the 1950s; normal for Hampstead Heath now.
 
#13
The entire Bletchley Park operation, from the Y stations through to those who broke not only Enigma, but the complex encryption system of Lorenz were all legends, the effort to monitor all German communications was an awesome task.

The recent Timewatch programme about Bill Tutte and Tommy Flowers was amazing, anyone who has listened and worked on RATT (radio teletype) circuits would be amazed at the gargantuan efforts that went into getting an accurate transcription of the Teleprinter Traffic that was required to look for the ways to break into the high level command code.

In some ways the breaking of Enigma was made slightly easier by its over use and bad habits by its operators, as well as the capture of some equipment and codebooks, and the fact that the Polish had a team working on the Abwehr Enigma as far back as 1936.

I haven't yet watched the programme about Turing but will do when I get time.
 
#14
It was good programme, apart from I thought Stoppard(?) was mis-cast as Turing. Stoppard came across as rather too young, assured and confident; I gather Turing was more awkward and withdrawn, probably a manifestation of whatever autism/ aspergers/ etc created his talent and his eccentricities.
 
#15
I recently read the book “ Alan Turing the enigma “ by Andrew Hodges and about half is devoted to his post WW2 work . It was quite a difficult read but I believe that the development the home computer could well have occurred many years earlier if he had not committed suicide . The programme highlighted some of the areas he was developing around the thinking computer … there was even a mention of the Turing Test and remember the search engines we use all the time are based on his pioneering work . The demo of how activities in a workplace could be represented by a series of 1’s ( activity ) or 0’s ( no activity ) to me confirmed he really was on the binary route for computer hardware and software development in the early 50’s .

A clearly brilliant man but guilty of two things …. an inability to tell lies and being homosexual in an age when it was illegal .

Edited to add from an earlier post of mine concerning his post WW2 work as detailed in the book above....

I was particularly interested in the sections dealing with the development of electronic computers in the late 40’s and early 50’s and some of the mathematical problems they were trying to solve ... including verification of high value Prime Numbers which are now at the heart of Internet Security . I did not know that the Cathode Ray Tube had actually been used as a device to store numbers .
 
#17
Turing, Flowers and his engineers at Dollis Hill specified and built Colossus which had little to do with Enigma... They were more interested with decyphering stuff generated by the Lorenz machine...

They all did a superb job and shortened the war by years, but the whole thing was so secret that we are still (after almost 70 years) unsure of what actually went on...

All strange people in their own ways, but patriots and heroes nevertheless.
 
#18
A towering genius, IMHO, probably did the Times crossword in 60 seconds in his head. He seemed to have no concept of how his homosexual activities would be condemned, maybe Aspbergers. Probably certifiable by the standards oof the 1950s; normal for Hampstead Heath now.
Interesting thing on this score is that although his sexuality would (probably) cause him no impediment today, his alleged or suspected AS/personality disorders would be diagnosed and would almost certainly keep him out of a modern version of the Bletchley Park operation.

Definitely an invitee to my "fantasy dinner party".
 

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