Hardware

Colossus and other vintage computers from The National Museum of Computing

Colossus

Built by engineer Tommy Flowers in 1943, the Colossus computer was the first digital, programmable, and electronic computing device. The machine was used by British code breakers during World War II to help decipher messages encrypted with the German Lorenz SZ40/42 machine.

In 1993, Tony Sale started the Colossus Rebuild Project and in 1994 a team led by Sale began to recreate the massive machine at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park in the UK. On June 6th, 1996, the recreated Colossus was first switched on and by 2007 a fully functional replica of the Colossus Mark 2 was completed.

Andy Taylor, a systems analyst and retro computer enthusiast in the UK, visited the museum in March 2010 and took these photos.

Many thanks to Andy for allowing TechRepublic to republish these photos. For more information on Andy's collection of vintage computers, check out his website Retro Computers or his Flickr photostream.

Photo by Andy Taylor

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...