Secrets of Colossus come into view again
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The secrets of Colossus come into view again as fundraising and the work to complete the Gallery continues
After five weeks hidden from view, the rebuild of Colossus, the world's first electronic programmable computer, is again on public display at The National Museum of Computing. Work is continuing throughout the spring to prepare fascinating multimedia and hands-on display materials for the official re-opening later this year. The public response to The Colossus Gallery fundraising appeal has been exceptional and the Museum is on course to reach its target of £150,000.
In making the Gallery, the room that housed the original Colossus Number 9 in the 1940s and later the Colossus rebuild, has been extended and transformed. Colossus hasn't moved, but internal walls have been removed, the ceiling replaced and the floor resurfaced. The thousands of annual visitors will now have much more space and for the first time will be able to walk right around the computer with an astonishing heritage.
Work is now underway to create the multi-media and hands-on displays that will tell the story of the the creation of the world's first electronic programmable computer. They will tell of the incredible achievements of the wartime codebreakers who deciphered the encrypted messages of the German High Command and how Colossus, designed and built by a team led by Tommy Flowers, sped up that process and helped directly in shortening the war by two years and saving countless lives. The new gallery will also tell the remarkable story of how the late Tony Sale and his team used their ingenuity and resourcefulness to rebuild Colossus, a machine that had been kept secret for decades.
Tim Reynolds, Acting Chair of TNMOC, said: "We have reopened on schedule and already the new gallery is looking marvellous – even before the display materials are put in place. It was a daunting task to completely refurbish a room containing such an iconic machine and I warmly congratulate our volunteers and Gallery refurbishment team.
"The response to the Colossus Gallery fundraising appeal has been overwhelming and we are hugely grateful to those who have given already. We still need more funds to complete this multi-faceted tribute and to create a Gallery that will inspire future generations of engineers and computer scientists."
About The National Museum of Computing
The National Museum of Computing located at Bletchley Park, is an independent charity housing the largest collection of functional historic computers in Europe, including a rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic programmable computer.
The Museum enables visitors to follow the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the mainframes of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s. New working exhibits are regularly unveiled and the public can already view (from 5 March 2012) a rebuilt and fully operational Colossus, the restoration of the Harwell Dekatron / WITCH computer, an ICL 2966, one of the workhorse mainframes computers of the 1980s, many of the earliest desktops of the 1980s and 1990s, plus the NPL Technology of the Internet Gallery. In June 2010 TNMOC hosted Britain’s first-ever Vintage Computer Festival.
Funders of the Museum include Bletchley Park Capital Partners, CreateOnline, Ceravision, InsightSoftware.com, PGP Corporation, IBM, NPL, HP Labs, BCS, Black Marble, and the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire.
The Museum is currently open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 1pm, and on Bank Holidays in spring and summer. Guided tours are also available at 2pm on Tuesdays, Sundays and some other days. Groups may visit at other times by arrangement and special organisation Away-Days can be booked.
For more information, see www.tnmoc.org and follow @tnmoc on Twitter and The National Museum of Computing on Facebook and Google+.
Palam Communications for TNMOC
t +44 (0) 1635 299116