Sounds of Colossus: The Imitation Archive

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Sound artist and composer Matt Parker is recording the sounds of seven decades of computing for The Imitation Archive Project at TNMOC.

On arriving in Block H on Bletchley Park he recalls hearing the Colossus Rebuild go from idle to fully functioning decrypting a tape containing a teletype message sent between posts in the German High Command. Here is his recording and below are his thoughts.

"The sounds of Colossus are more reminiscent of an industrial age than of the silicon-based devices that occupy our digital computing world today.

"The clunking sounds of magnetic relay switches, the thudding shudder of a teleprinter output, the whine of 5000rpm motors and the sizzle of friction between wheel and paper tape are unlikely to be heard in the evolution of computing again but it’s here that the on start of a new generation of data controlling devices was born. And in the secrecy of wartime Britain there couldn't even be a modest fanfare for the triumph of engineering that occurred within the dense, blast-proofed concrete confines of Block H, at Bletchley Park, now The National Museum of Computing."

Sounds you may have missed so far:

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