#bpark the back view of Colossus - 2,500 valves!
11 May 2009 15:32

#bpark the back view of Colossus - 2,500 valves! 

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posted by Peter 14 May 2009 11:09

Stephen Fry

I remember Tommy Flowers pitched his design to the military. When he said it would take a few years to build they turned him down, after all the war would be over by Christmas. Luckily he continued to build it anyway.

The also thought that all those valves would fail too often, but that's only a problem if you keep turning them on and off, if you leave them on they are very reliable.

I loved my visit there, although I also found it quite depressing because it made me feel a bit thick.


Funnily enugh I think the name of that blog post came from an episode of Blackadder :-)

posted by Laurel Williams 11 May 2009 22:53

I remember valve radio and TV - must have been able to get loads of channels on that thing...

posted by macooper 11 May 2009 21:03

yep, that's what my father worked on

posted by Richard Lubbock 11 May 2009 20:37

Does anyone make those valves any longer? They look like 6L6gs. Ah, back in the day...

posted by Richard Lubbock 11 May 2009 20:35

Glad to see Colossus still standing. I believed it had been destroyed to save money.

posted by jon williams 11 May 2009 19:15

it's got a bug, better get the fly spray

posted by Daren 11 May 2009 18:48

what does this button do ???

posted by Liz Whiting 11 May 2009 18:47

We just got rid of a computer about that bulky... ludites or tight?

posted by Pauline Minshull 11 May 2009 18:36

Don't make them like that anymore!

posted by Dave Cochran 11 May 2009 17:07

Stephen Fry ach sod the comparisons to today's computers - that is just a beautiful thing in it's own right

posted by Gareth Reeves 11 May 2009 17:02

WOW that really is superbly super cool

posted by Karen Mohler 11 May 2009 16:21

Just amazing! Surprised there's only one fan visible pointing at those two big panels.

posted by Kate Savage 11 May 2009 16:15

Looking at this reminded me of when I was a child and my father had valved radios and then ultimately some of the first valved tv's around the house all waiting for repair (He was a qualified electrical engineer in the Royal Signals at the time when Bletchley was built).

posted by Sue C Long 11 May 2009 16:12

Stephen Fry ... each summer we need to get the fans out in the computer room at the college. Like I said before, if you take it all in - for what it represents - extremely impressive!!

posted by Mark Barrett 11 May 2009 16:11

Tommy Flowers was one of the key members of the team that made all those valves work.

posted by Graham Allman-Talbot 11 May 2009 16:08

I always said that digital systems weren't anything like as good as analogue systems! Oh! - or maybe that was about sound! :-) And it gives 'watching the tube' a whole new meaning! Glass of wine anyone?

posted by Mark Watkin 11 May 2009 16:06

Gosh! Got to be the warmest and brightest room in Bletchley – Compare this to this "supercomputer" http://tinyurl.com/q27wys and it's amazing at just how far computers have advanced. More info on colossus if interested: http://tinyurl.com/2groow

posted by ScrapShed 11 May 2009 16:06

ahhhh good times... when computers were real work.

posted by Stephen Fleming 11 May 2009 15:53

It certainly does give off heat. When we ran the Colossus cipher Challenge http://www.tnmoc.org/videos-cipher.aspx there was no need to turn on the heating each frosty morning. Turning on Colossus did the trick! BTW, you can sponsor a valve on Colossus to help The National Museum of Computing: http://www.colossusonline.org/

posted by Wayne Deegan 11 May 2009 15:42

I like the cooling Fan, Ha, ha

posted by Claudia Dorset 11 May 2009 15:41

Now that's what computers SHOULD look like!

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Stephen Fry

La Paz, Baja California, Mexic
Rebuild of the world's first electronic computer #bpark #bpark the back view of Colossus - 2,500 valves! Yer actual Enigma Machine. Yrs truly touched and keyed and played. Gaspworthy.
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