* Posts by TNMOC peter

26 posts • joined 3 Sep 2009

UK spooks STILL won't release Bletchley Park secrets 70 years on

TNMOC peter

Colossus location

"I've also got some nice photos of the Colossus rebuild which I took when I first visited TNMOC a few years ago before it was moved to its present rather gloomy home."

Colossus is in exactly the same place as when Tony Sale started the rebuild... being over 5 tonnes and miles of wiring it was not possible or practical to move it. What has happened is the room has been completely re modelled around it allowing visitors to see a full 360 degree view of the machine.

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TNMOC peter

Colossus and tunny in action & help save their heritage

[blatant plug mode on]

Don't forget you can see Colossus and Tunny operating at TNMOC every day - and the rest of the Museum (limited opening days) is also worth a visit to see how the computing revolution, started by many involved in the design of Colossus, continued after the war.

www.tnmoc.org/visit

Also please help us keep the heritage of Bletchley Park intact and stop BPT fencing off one of the greatest successes in code breaking history and in the development of computing.

http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/bigger-picture-fragmenting-heritage-site

http://www.justgiving.com/nationalmuseumofcomputing

[Blatant plug mode off]

And to prove my point you will see no mention of the 70th anniversary of the first Colosus decrypt anywhere on the BP website, or Facebook page. BPT do not consider Colossus and Tunny part of the Bletchley Park Heritage and removed any mention of Colossus from their guide book or let any visitor know they can see Colossus in Block H - absolutely crazy!!!

www.tnmoc.org

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Bletchley Park spat 'halts work on rare German cipher machine'

TNMOC peter

Re: PC Vendors need to step in

Several points here...

1) Block H is an iconic building and the start of the British computing revolution. While Block F (now demolished) was where the first Colossus was built, block H was built specifically to house the Colossus machines and thus is the first purpose built computer centre. We have also invested a considerable amount of money and resources in setting up TNMOC, restoring the building (returning it to as near as possible war time layout) as well as collecting 10,000s of artifacts. The amount of money and resources necessary to move elsewhere would be prohibitive.

2) Block H is also the end of the Bletchley Park story and the beginning of the computer story so is a fitting location for a computer Museum. It also shows the importance of Bletchley Park in the Computing story.

3) We want Bletchley Park to succeed and have been investing a considerable amount of money in terms of rent into it in order to help it survive, well before any HLF money arrived.

4) We believe we are an added attraction to the Bletchley Park experience which should be available for all to see in a transparent way. We are very concerned that the history of the Park and its heritage will be irreversibly damaged by the actions of Standen et al having no understanding of the importance of this place. They just want to turn it into a cattle market getting as many people in and out the park as quickly as possible, forgoing any thought to how the heritage of the place is shown.

Yes, we would like to expand and we have lots more to show, and investment in the Museum is always welcome, but moving to a different place is the last resort. We will stay as long we possible and keep fighting for the heritage of the Park.

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TNMOC peter

Re: I did

And we thank you, Hollerith 1, and the considerable number of new members (and those who have renewed) that have signed up and supported us over the past couple of weeks. It is always good to know our efforts in keeping our heritage alive, and available to the public is appreciated by so many.

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TNMOC peter

Re: So I wonder if anyone...

"Donate! Donate now!"

... to TNMOC of course. http://www.tnmoc.org/support/make-donation

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TNMOC peter

Re: Didn't I see somewhere that there was a FOIA request?

Correct and explained in our reply to BPTs press articles on the matter:

http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/bigger-picture-fragmenting-heritage-site

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TNMOC peter

We, TNMOC, are very good at organising a Museum even with the underhand activities of Standon trying to wipe us off the map - why not come along and find out.

www.tnmoc.org/visit

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TNMOC peter

Sawyers article factually incorrect in places

From:

http://mailman.qth.net/pipermail/greenkeys/2014-January/029032.html

"Basically the relationship used to be pretty positive - the NMOC paid a rent, the ticket price was split between the Trust and the NMOC and everything worked. "

We have NEVER received a penny from BP in all the time we have been in Block H. Before we started charging we allowed FREE access to any BP paying visitor. We have paid BP in excess of £500,000 + utilities for the privilege of showing BP visitors around our museum!

"The Trust now claim that the NMOC owe them £200k in historic debt;"

Payment has now been negotiated and agreed. The figure is much less that £200,00 due to BP having no records of use and also a faulty meter..

"They claim part ownership of Colossus;"

They tried too but even Scarlett has stated BP have no ownership of Colossus. Maybe someone should tell Standon that!

"they refuse to collect money on the gate for NMOC so you have to pay extra to see Colossus, and the whole of the NMOC is out of bounds to tour guides - I believe they are even instructed not to mention its existence."

All true, and confirmed by BP guides we have spoken to, regardless of what Standon claims.

" But the location of the [Lorenz] machine is at NMOC."

We do not have the LZ42. It was at TNMOC for a few weeks when the Tunny gallery was opened a few years ago, but it went back to BP where it resides now. So any dispute with working on the machine is between Sawyer and BP not TNMOC.

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TNMOC peter

Re: hundred grand

We already have ways in which people can support us so I urge people to do so to enable us to continue to fight for BPs future. We want both to succeed but ultimately if BP goes under we want to remain financially stable to carry on the story as best we can.

http://www.tnmoc.org/support/make-donation

And with our £1 million match funding pledge, all donations count double.

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TNMOC peter

You can visit Colossus without paying Bletchley Park a penny

There is no need to pay BP anything to just visit the Computer Museum and this is something that has always been possible, however with BPs continuing efforts to eliminate any mention of TNMOC from its website, guidebook and exhibitions it is no wonder that people are confused.

There are also unconfirmed reports that visitors to BP are being refused access to block H from within the BP 'heritage' area via the new gates (which are open) even though Standon has stated this is not happening. Pretty much as expected given recent events.

Full details on visiting Colossus and Tunny and the many other working and hands-on exhibits we have on our website: www.tnmoc.org/visit

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Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

TNMOC peter

Re: Time marches on.

But who is best placed to pass on and teach the real history to any reinactors.... not the "suits" but the long standing and knowledgeable veteran volunteers. You don't get rid of the veterans BEFORE you bring in the pantomime mob, you actively engage them to pass on their knowledge over time so when they are unable to continue as volunteers they have laid the foundations for historically accurate enactments, and hopeful other new equally enthusiastic guides as well.

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TNMOC peter

Re: Already happening

"The computing museum though, is very much a SPB style shed outfit, which I enjoyed immensely."

A well decorated shed built out of stone I might add, full of restored and working machines of all ages (Saturdays best to see then running) and equally working, enthusiastic volunteers of all ages.

www.tnmoc.org

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

TNMOC peter

Re: They could learn some lessons....

"Thought of digging a tunnel?"

We don't need to... the boffins were forward thinkers and built one during the war*, knowing it would be needed in 2014.

*actually true and it still exists between block A an D

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TNMOC peter

Re: Corrupt executive here as well - not at TNMOC

"The total wages bill was £983,116."

and for comparison that is 3 times the TOTAL income/donations TNMOC received for a similar period (upto march 2012). Our wages bill was under £20K (that's 4 people).

http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends74%5C0001109874_AC_20120331_E_C.pdf

You get a lot more bang for you pound at TNMOC

Please help us by becoming a member or contributing to the Colossus gallery upkeep.

http://www.justgiving.com/MuseumMembership

http://www.justgiving.com/Tim-Reynolds4

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TNMOC peter

Background and comment by Gareth Halfacree

Gareth Halfacree has been speaking to both parties and gives more details of what has been going on and comments on the situation.

http://freelance.halfacree.co.uk/2014/01/disharmony-at-bletchley-park/

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TNMOC peter

Google & Apple

"Didn't Google donate lots of money to one of these organisation ... if so then there's an obvious opportunity of Apple to take their feud with Google to another level!"

Google donated £500,000 to BPT a few years back and may have put more money in since.

Google have also helped TNMOC with sponsoring our education program for the past 2 years and also sponsored our newly opened "Women in Computing" gallery, also supplying most of the interactive hardware for it.

We welcome any financial donations from any company big or small, without which we could not have made the world-leading computer museum that we have.

See www.tnmoc.org

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TNMOC peter

Bombe ownership

"The Bombe is apparently also owned by the computer museum so will probably be moved there also."

No, it is not owned by us, but is owned by a separate group/trust, so another exhibit that BPT do not own or can get their mitts on. As to it moving... I don't know - we are pretty full with exhibits.

Colossus is also not owned by us but by a trust formed from Tony Sales estate and 2 others I believe and is not going anywhere. This ensures, in the unlikely event that TNMOC fails, it does not automatically go to BPT.

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TNMOC peter

Re: Bad faith all around

Is this donation to Bletchley Park or TNMOC?

If TNMOC then as I stated earlier we are a completely separate organisation from BPT and intend to continue regardless of what barriers BPT put in front of us. Our location, galleries, donations and artefacts are completely safe from anything BPT can do so I assure you your donation is important to us as we have already agreed to accept them.

Being part of the donations team, I am still processing donations daily and have no intention to stop.

For anyone else who wants to donate equipment to us, please read our donations page:

http://www.tnmoc.org/support/donate-equipment

Please read the following which clarifies our position:

http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/deciphering-discontent-statement-tnmoc-trustees

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TNMOC peter

Re: Bad faith all around

"I've pinged the guys from the Swindon computer museum to see if they cannot at least take care of some of the volunteer exhibitions."

What volunteer exhibitions are you referring to and what have Swindon got to do with it? BPT don't have any computer related exhibitions.

None of the TNMOC exhibitions, galleries, donations and artifacts are under threat here, we are completely separate from Bletchley Park and intend to continue regardless of what barriers (literally) BPT put in front of us. Our lease guarantees that BPT cannot stop people visiting Block H (but clearly they are trying to make that difficult) and there will always be a route from the main BP entrance to get to us.

Please read our statement which makes it clear:

http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/deciphering-discontent-statement-tnmoc-trustees

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TNMOC peter

Re: They could learn some lessons....

And we don't even have to make a path.... there is one there already...

Turn right at b-block, follow the path around the newly refurbished huts (looking good), climb over the gate* in the road or cut a hole in the fence* (to give you a real wartime experience), up to the left and you are there. Simples.

* in a few months time according to BPT.

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TNMOC peter

Re: Given that the computer museum is mostly showing donated items ...

Yes, we are an independent charitable organisation but that does not mean we can't be part of the Bletchley Park experience.

We and our sponsors have invested a considerable amount of time, effort and money to build a world-leading computer museum. The building is where British Computing started and needs to be preserved. If we were to move, the building is likely to be knocked down with the loss of an iconic place. It would also cost a considerable amount of money to do so, money that the museum does not have.

We want and need Bletchley Park to succeed both from an historical point of view and personally as I have invested a lot of time and money as a volunteer at TNMOC, and don't want that undone by petty BPT actions. Running a museum is a very costly activity having to find over £100,000 per year just to cover the costs to BP, and then more money to actually invest in the building and galleries.

I have watched this situation get worse and worse over the years, with TNMOC bending over backwards to try and accommodate many unrealistic and sometimes unbelievable demands from BPT. While things were bad during Greenish's time at least they would discuss things even if they then back-tracked on any agreements. Since Standen has taken over and the lottery money has arrived things have got really bad, with very little or no communication on changes in the park that directly impact TNMOC.

I know we have tried very hard to sort this out but having gates and fences put up pretty much sums up BPTs attitude.... TNMOC and Tunny/Colossus is not important to us or the story of Bletchley Park.

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TNMOC peter

Re: Conflation?

"It might have been better to site the NMC away from Bletchley Park but having the two close together has been an advantage for the visitor interested in such things despite the confusion in some people's minds that they are all part of the same organisation."

TNMOC is in Block H where 8 of the original colossus machines were housed during the war, so a very appropriate and fitting location to have the rebuilt colossus and start the computing story. BPT were planning to knock the building down (where the rebuilt colossus was housed) and sell off the land for housing so TNMOC was formed and signed a lease agreement as the only way to save it.

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TNMOC peter

Re: I don't understand

http://www.tnmoc.org/news/news-releases/deciphering-discontent-statement-tnmoc-trustees

Should explain things.

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Bletchley Park to restore 112-byte* '50s Brit nuke computer

TNMOC peter
Happy

A bigger correction and info

First the correction....

The Harwell computer is being restored by the 'engineers' (actually volunteers) of The National Museum of Computing which is based at Bletchley Park, rather than Bletchley park itself.

Now the info...

The 'tubes' are Dekatrons and the system has 90 (not 900) of them for it's main storage. Each one is capable of storing a decimal number 0 -> 9. It uses loops of paper tape on 4 readers to load the program and access subroutines and can store intermediate numeric data in the Dekatrons with the final results printed out or punched to paper tape. All the original Dekatrons are still with the system and it also has a number of spares for various parts of the system. How well the Dekatrons have survived is unknown. We already have a stock of Dekatrons so should have enough to replace any that have failed.

It wasn't particularly quick in operation, taking 2 seconds to add two number and over 15 seconds to do a division but it was reliable, running for over 10 days one Christmas / new year period.

It is likely to take the best part of a year to restore and will be viewable at TNMOC throughout its restoration period - http://www.tnmoc.org

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TNMOC peter

Oops!

I can't count... it is 900 Dekatrons = 900 numbers. The 112.5 appears to have been derived by dividing 900 by 8 (bits) = 112.5, but they are not actually bytes as only numbers can be held.

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