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back to article El Reg drops in on Bletchley Park

The campaign to raise funds to preserve Bletchley Park’s heritage got into full swing yesterday with a cash injection from tech giants PGP Corporation and IBM. But the site, which also houses the National Museum of Computing, needs millions of pounds more to keep it alive. El Reg went along to the historic World War II site …

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Maybe a charity T-Shirt?

Maybe you nice chapsters at El Reg should sell a special Bletchley Park T-Shirt with all proceeds going to help fund the place? Maybe one of your "famous" design a shirt competitions would fit the bill?

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About time

We can expect Colossus Service Pack 1 any time now.

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Gates Halo

Lottery funding

Surely Bletchley Park is a deserving recipient for Lottery dosh.

And where is Saint Billg when he's needed?

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Tom

Maybe IBM feel guilty

seeing as they created the machines that help catalogue the removal of jews from germany!!!

I want to go, but looking at the pictures they still live in the 1940's.. why wasnt the building updated in anyway to make it look more like a museum, it looks like a school computer room from th 1990's.

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Confusing donations

The slightly confusing thing about their donation form is the option of "No donation". Puzzling.

Good cause, though. El Reg should hold a roadshow there or some such.

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T-shirts indeed

"Bletchley to Bury: UK govt spying on communications since time immemorial"

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Go

Second the T-Shirt idea and

propose you sell us some books too. Crypto-related stuff seems appropriate.

I'm going to buy those anyway, might as well give the money to a museum instead of Amazon.

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Joke

Station X T-shirt

Maybe Colossus looking down at Eniac saying "Hey kid ..."

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Charity Shirt

How about "My cryptographer went to Bletchley Park and all I got was a computing industry and a Europe free of fascist tyranny."

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Looks like there is already a T shirt

http://www.pgp.com/stationx/

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@thefutureboy

I think he's right - how about 'El Reg cracked it for Bletchley'?

You've got all the infrastructure in place, and readers who can produce slogans and designs if necessary - you just need to decide (and tell us) how much of your margin (like ALL) would go to Bletchley.

Go on - do the right thing!

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Such a shame

It's heartbreaking to see something like this get to this stage. Surely some large IT Corporations care about this and would like the publicity? Google? Microsoft? Where would you guys be without the IT industry? Get your hands in your pockets. As a side note, it's great to see the UK Government pissing money away on shite we don't want or need when they could take this over and fund it. Gotta love the UK's priorities.

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Pedant mode

" the Colossus computer, which “helped the war effort to a very significant level,” by playing a crucial role in cracking the German’s Enigma code."

Almost. This is the common misconception. But Colossus was not engaged in breaking Enigma. Enigma was broken using simple non-programmable electro-mechanical devices (the bombes), the design of which was begun by the Poles and perfected at Blechley Park. It was only in June 2000 that the information about Colossus was declassified. Something which is largely responsible for the misunderstanding about its role.

Colossus, (or rather the colossi, since 11 were built) were used to break the much more difficult code used by the German high command, which was named Tunny by the British. Colossus came on stream late in the war, and much of the well know successes of Bletchley Park were not due to Colossus. However Colossus was ready and working at full capacity for D-Day - and played a critical role in the counter attack.

The role of Colossus, and the breaking of the high command code was secret for decades after. Some colossi were taken from Bletchley Park, never to be seen again, but in use until 1960. The remainder were destroyed. Somewhere in the grounds is a pit containing the burnt out and smashed frames of all the remaining machines.

The brilliance of the Colossus designers, especially the visionary Thommy Flowers remains grossly under appreciated.

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T-shirt

Seconded. I would certainly buy a couple.

I went to Bletchley Park last year and had a great time, though I was shocked at the state of disrepair it had been allowed to fall into. Both the Station X and Museum of Computing are struggling for money but both are well worth a visit.

At the very least, Reg readers, take a trip to BP this weekend and pay for a ticket. Your ticket is valid for as many visits as you like for a whole year!

That computer you're sat at now? That server that pages you at oh-dark hundred to tell you it's disks are about to give way? The sweet gaming rig you have at home? Remember: It Came From Station X!

*rattles the tin*

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Colossus != Enigma

Sigh - Colossus was never used to crack enigma. That was the job of the electro-mechanical Bombes. Colossus was used to crack Lorentz - a stream cypher used to secure communications between various headquarters (as opposed to Enigma, which was to/from local troops/U-boats etc to headquarters.)

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Meanwhile...

National Lottery money is spent on making films about gay cowboys eating pudding.

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@Maybe a charity T-Shirt

How about a picture of a crumbling hut, with the caption:

"My results went to help the country survive, and all I got was this lousy woodworm"

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T-Shirt

I know there's a T-Shirt available for donations of £50 or more here:

http://www.pgp.com/stationx/resources.html

However, as an IT worker £50 is still a fair chunk of cash, so I'd be happy to consider a more pocket-friendly (and entertaining!) piece of apparel.

As for design suggestions, I don't think I can beat MrWeeble's!

TC

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Colossus

"..He also outlined the importance played by the Colossus computer, which “helped the war effort to a very significant level,” by playing a crucial role in cracking the German’s Enigma code..."

I thought that the Colossus only worked on the lorenz code? Rather it was the Bombs that were used to crack the Enigma code.

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Sam

Suggestion

Couldn't Rainham Sheds help?

Assuming of course they will still have something to display, after Sisvel sues them next week...

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@MrWeeble

I'd buy it!

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ian
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IT Angle

All help short of aid

If the buildings are listed its shameful that gov. have done nothing to maintain them. IT types to the rescue! Perhaps some sort of viral funding is in order.

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Unhappy

Tried to donate, they don't make it easy

Clicked on the donations link and tried to drop them a fiver using PayPal.

Surprised they forced me to register on their site and share my details before I could make a payment.

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@MrWeeble

I'd buy one too.

Espacially if it had the same slogan on the back, but translated into German & Italian :-)

We know BillG refused to contribute, what about SteveJ, has anyone approached Apple?

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Joke

RE: T-Shirt

"I went to Bletchley Park last year and had a great time, though I was shocked at the state of disrepair it had been allowed to fall into. Both the Station X and Museum of Computing are struggling for money but both are well worth a visit."

I thought for a moment this was your suggestion for a design in the vein of My mate went to XXX and all I got was this bloody T-Shirt :-)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Maybe a charity T-Shirt?

Well, I have heard rumours about Cash'n'Carrion shirts with dosh going to Bletchley and the National Museum of Computing, so keep 'em peeled, innit.

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Happy

@Neil Greatorex

Great idea having the slogan on the back but i'd prefer mine in 8bit binary

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Slogan

"but i'd prefer mine in 8bit"

5 bit TTY code would be better. A paper tape rendition even more so.

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T-Shirt

And how about having that T-Shirt worn by one of the bods in The IT Crowd

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/13/itcrowd_series_three/

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flexowriter paper tape

IMHO punched tape or h-card format would look "olde-worldy"

even though they are both quite modern.

With the geek points that only beardy sandal types would grok 'em.

Jacqui

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Anonymous Coward

Banners and Buttons

Has anyone...hint hint..nudge..nudge..El Reg, produced a button/banner for websites to promote this worth cause?

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Shirts

Yes. Shirts are a good idea. Do it now.

I have spoken.

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Go

E-commerce donations

Any Company that makes a living (or made a killing) from selling goods online should make a substantial donation. It is the encryption / code breaking work done at Bletchley Park that enables you to securely make transactions online today. Ebay, Amazon, Pay Pal…. I’m looking at you. Once it’s fixed hold an annual hacker / security convention there.

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How about an unofficial El Reg Readership whipround....

A couple of quid each to a paypal account with no personal details...to be then donated to Bletchley Park as a gesture from the unwashed masses that read this fine organ......

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Go

New icon required....

Save Bletchly Park!!

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Anonymous Coward

My t-shirt Take

I went to Bletchley Park and all I got was this lousy t-shirt shaped like Sarah Bee.

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@Neil Greatorex

AFAIK, the Apple logo is in homage to Alan Turing

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