And another thing(s)
It's not really "the first time that Colossus has been used since then Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered the destruction of the top-secret machine following the end of World War II." either.
I stood in Hut H on a BP reunion day a couple of years back and watched Tony Sale demonstrate the rebuild running (along with many other people). Got photos and everything.
And yet, I split hairs, I see what they mean, and it's still a great project which deserves our support.
Honestly, I could bang on all day about how knee tremblingly fantastic it is to see the beast run, but don't take my word for it, go see it for yourself.
@Brian Miller :
I see your point, but to be fair the Colossus wasn't really useful to anyone not involved in what BP was doing. Although it enjoys a fair degree of flexibility vis a vis programming, it really is a very special purpose machine. Also, the skills and technologies were not lost. Post WWII boffins from BP went into academia and built machines.
Good and co at Manchester for instance, where they designed and built the Manchester Mk I (or Baby, which has also been restored and runs every Tuesday, IIRC), which went on to become the Ferranti Mk I, and so on. There was Lyons' incredible LEO project. Any lack of competitive commercial lead that the UK exhibited in this field was down to bog standard lack of vision on behalf of UK.PLC. (And possibly funding, which was thin on the ground after the war)
And don't forget, absolute secrecy was Churchill's overriding motivator where GC&CS, BP and subsequently GCHQ were concerned. Having seen what a strategic advantage was granted by reading peoples traffic without them knowing, he was unwilling to sacrifice it at any cost. Particularly with the cold war looming large.
Oh and @AC :
"It's a PII laptop!!"
Yes, Tony Sale's Thinkpad IIRC, but don't you see how incredible it is that a machine that was delivered in 1943 is actually in with a chance of outperforming a PII ? Seriously, tremble before it's mighty glory.