Brits bring Colossus back on-line


I’ve seen a Colossus up close at the Smithsonian, and I loved the thing. It was huge, bigger than a bus, and was built specifically to decode encrypted Nazi transmissions towards the end of WWII, and it was very good at its task.

So good, in fact, that some insanely fun-minded people are rebuilding one specifically to repeat the task. To up the ante, they’re pitting it against a modern PC to see if it can keep up. Chances are it can: it’s mechanical processor is built for a single purpose, whereas modern procs are do-alls. Thus it’s the expert versus the jack of all trades (but master of none).

It’ll be interested to see how it does. Our money is on the Colossus, mostly because if it wins, we can say, “Colossus, FTW!” and mean it.

Colossus cracks codes once more [BBC]