Science Group visit to Bletchley Park museum of computing, Monday 26th November 2018
We took a minibus-full of U3A members to Bletchley Park where we had a fascinating tour round the museum of computing. The tour started with a view of the German Enigma machine and an explanation of how the Enigma code was broken and how German messages were deciphered in the second World War with the Bombe machine. We also learned about the separate development of the Colossus machine, the first ‘real’ computer; also used to decipher German information and also very important in the allies’ success in ending the war.
The early history of computing used to be very secret because this information was only revealed in the late 70s. We saw the first computer used to make calculations in the making of our first nuclear power station, followed by the history of computing as many of us remember it, when relatively huge computers started to be made commercially and used by banks, universities, etc and up to the present day when everyone has their own tiny machines working ever faster and processing infinite amounts of information in no time at all.