Home > Computers and Internet, MVP, Travel > MVP Open Day UK at Bletchley Park

MVP Open Day UK at Bletchley Park

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I was honoured recently to be awarded the MVP award by Microsoft.
The first event as an MVP I have been privileged to attend as a newbie, was the open day for UK and Ireland awardees that was held at Bletchley Park last week.

Apart from a great 2 days of meeting other MVPs and hearing some great sessions, we were afforded a tour of the museum, with it’s unrivalled collection of computers old and new.

Of course, most people will know Bletchley as the home of the code breakers from WWII. It rightly deserves its reputation as a place of great genius, that the allies and the wider world have benefited from as a result of what happened there during the war.

Here are a couple of the snaps I took during the visit that I hope will inspire techies old and young alike to go and visit. Even if you are not a techie, it’s well worth a day out with the kids. It’s an important part of our heritage, as a country of ingenious computing industry founders like Alan Turing who worked there.

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A working  rebuild of the now destroyed original Colossus computers commissioned in WWII.
Absolutely amazing to see how the reverse engineering of an unseen crypto machine (the Lorenz, not the Enigma machine – that was the Bombe – also a working copy of which is here) was done, and how this accelerated the interception of German communications during the war. This literally saved lives.

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The Harwell Dekatron (aka the WITCH). Just the week before, it had been fully restored and working thanks to the computer conservationists and now on show at Bletchley Park. The oldest original functioning electronic stored program computer in the world. That’s quite amazing in itself. But it actually works! Of course, your average mobile phone has more computing power these days, but let’s not take the shine off what is an extraordinary achievement getting this back to it’s former glory.

 

 

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Recognise this piece of more
‘modern’ kit?

 

 

 

 

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Oh happy days. I remember many a school classroom kitted out like this in the ‘80’s.

What ever happened to that generation of kids? Smile 
And more importantly, why are the kids of today not coding from the age of 6 like we did?

Go visit. Details here http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/museum1.rhtm

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