Friday, January 30, 2009

Bletchley Park Needs You!

Bletchley Park is an unremarkable, run-down country estate in South East England. Unremarkable, that is, until you realise that it was where a team of boffins, including geniuses like Alan Turing, broke the German Enigma code in WW2. This allowed the Allies to intercept vital information and save countless lives. It is also likely to have significantly shortened the war - maybe by up to two years and 22 million lives. Its place in history is assured by this alone.

But even more remarkable, in order to break the code the scientists had to invent from scratch the first ever electronic computer - Colussus. Thanks to the efforts of Max Newman and Tommy Flowers and many, many others we have the computers we have today. Through their efforts, we have the software industry - the productivity tools, the games. We have levels of communication no-one could have dreamed of back then - mobile phones, satellites, GPS. We went to the moon, and are now eyeing up Mars and beyond. We have the ability to carry out advanced research, analysis and ultimate cure of crippling diseases. The potential they unleashed is endless.

Now a museum and tourist attraction, Bletchley Park is suffering from a crippling lack of funds. They need a huge amount of money to restore it to its former glory (around £10 milion). Anyone involved with the IT industry should be concerned by this - Bletchley Park represents the birthplace of our industry and as such deserves to be saved. So I urge everyone to donate just £5 to the cause, more if you can.

Also, if you have a blog or website, promote Bletchley Park's cause. Spread the word.

1 comment:

Sue Black said...

Thanks Chris! Great blog :-)

Sue Black