More from Bletchley Park

I’m really pleased that I took the camera on the trip yesterday. Loads of photo-opportunities. Here are a few more. The rest of the images will appear over time I’m sure.

Card Punch

They had this in the Computing Museum. It is of special importance to me, because it is how I wrote my first programs. It is an IBM card punch. We wrote our program on coding sheets which were then  punched onto cards and handed them in to get them run. We used to get three runs a day. I started writing Algol 60 like this, before too long I was using run length encoding to produce Snoopy calendars on the line printer. Happy days.

Magic Brain

I had one of these too. A tin calculator that was almost as fast as writing things down on paper.

Slide Rule

Then I got one of these. Somewhere in the loft I have  “Boots the Chemist” branded slide rule…

ICL 2900

This is an ICL (International Computers Limited) 2966 mainframe computer. There is almost as much computing power here as in, say, your MP3 player. The disks on the front can store 80MB each. To put that in perspective, that’s around enough to hold one MP3 album in reasonable quality.  We had something similar at the university for a while.

Thomas and Friends

They even had some model railways on display. This is fairly heavily “Thomas the Tank Engine” themed.

Little People

Little People

Turings Office

Finally, for now, one of the great highlights. This is the office where Alan Turing used to work. Apparently he used to chain his mug to the radiator so nobody would walk off with it.  You really should find out more about the chap. One of the cleverest people there has ever been and an object lesson in how horribly countries can treat their heroes.