Martin Postranecky | 7 Jun 14:55 2015

How Turing solved the enigma of Solitaire (fwd)

06 June 2015

How Turing solved the enigma of Solitaire : Codebreaker's letter to girl, 
8, explains how to crack the game ( and here it is for anyone who's lost 
their marbles trying to solve it )

- Alan Turing wrote to Maria Greenbaum in 1953 with advice on Solitaire
- Aim of the game is to leave a single piece at the centre of the board
- But Turing knew the game could end with pieces scattered around 
- Letter expected to fetch up to £60,000 when it is auctioned later this 

By Chris Hastings for The Mail on Sunday

It is the parlour game that has been maddeningly frustrating to 
generations of players over the years.

Though the basic rules of Solitaire are simple – a marble is removed from 
the board after the player ‘jumps’ another over it – the aim of leaving a 
single piece at the centre of the board can prove baffling.

But one of the most brilliant minds of the last century devised a solution 
to help a young child play it.

Alan Turing, famed as the great intellect who broke the Nazis’ Enigma code 
during the Second World War, explained his Solitaire method in a letter to 
a girl who was a family friend.

Maria Greenbaum was the niece of Turing’s therapist, and was aged eight 
when she received the letter. It is expected to fetch up to £60,000 when 
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Martin Postranecky | 7 Jun 14:35 2015

OBITUARY : Hilary Bedford

The Times Saturday June 06 2015

OBITUARY : Hilary Bedford

Wartime Wren who was sent to Bletchley Park to work with the codebreakers
Hilary Bedford was a bad-tempered photographer who was decorated late in
life for her work at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing — after keeping it a
secret for 60 years.

In 2009 Bedford walked into the offices of her local newspaper in north
London carrying a small blue box. Inside was a medal from Gordon Brown,
the prime minister, for her service at Bletchley Park.

As a 17-year-old she worked on the Bombe — the top secret “thinking   
machine” invented by Turing, the mathematician and father of modern
computing. For years, she brushed shoulders on a daily basis with 

Martin Postranecky | 12 Apr 12:33 2015

How Alan Turing's secret notebook could disappear forever....( more )

Saturday 11 Apr 2015

How Alan Turing's secret notebook could disappear forever

He was one of Britain's finest minds, the father of modern computing, but
his troubled life and classified wartime work meant his legacy was
neglected for decades. As the world finally recognises his brilliance, Rob
Crilly reports on how a hidden manuscript is to go on auction amid fears
it may be snapped up by a private collector..../snip/

Martin Postranecky | 11 Apr 14:53 2015

'That equation is a real Enigma !' Rare handwritten papers by Alan Turing (fwd)

11 April 2015

'That equation is a real Enigma !' Rare handwritten papers by Alan Turing 
set to fetch $1million at auction reveal some maths completely baffled the 
code-breaking genius

- 56-page book contains Turing's thoughts on tricky 'Leibniz notation 
- It was written at the Bletchley Park code-breaking headquarters in 
- Only extensive Turing manuscript thought to exist, the auctioneer said
- It will be sold by an anonymous seller by Bonhams in New York on 

By Lydia Willgress for MailOnline and Daily Mail Reporter

A handwritten notebook in which Britain's Enigma machine genius Alan 
Turing admits he is baffled by an equation could fetch up to $1million 
( £690,000 ).

The 56-page book bought in Cambridge contains Turing's thoughts on the 
clearly tricky 'Leibniz notation dx/dy'.

'I find [it] extremely difficult to understand in spite of it having been 
the one I understood the best once !' he wrote...../snip/

Read more :

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Martin Postranecky | 17 Mar 00:23 2015

Fwd: WWII German code machine now a relic in N.C.(fwd)

As received from Martin Evans

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2015 15:02:03

This link, to an obscure US website called, has just been 
posted to MARHST-L. The article is a bit garbled but in case you have not 
come across it, you may find it of interest.

Best regards,

Martin Evans

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: WWII German code machine now a relic in N.C. | |
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2015 07:35:57 -0700
From: Dave Shirlaw <djshirlaw@...>
Reply-To: Marine History Information Exchange Group <MARHST-L@...>
To: MARHST-L@...

Martin Postranecky | 23 Feb 11:18 2015

OBITUARY : Liz Garvin, intelligence operative

OBITUARY : Liz Garvin, intelligence operative

Decorated wartime intelligence officer who later founded a school 

Liz Garvin, who has died aged 92, was an intelligence officer at General 
Eisenhower’s HQ in Normandy after D-Day and was awarded the American 
Bronze Star Medal.

In June 1944, a few weeks after D-Day, Liz Eberlie ( as she then was ) 
crossed the Channel to work at Eisenhower’s Advance HQ at Granville, at 
the foot of the Cherbourg peninsula. She helped to produce daily 
intelligence summaries on which the Supreme Allied Commander and his 
generals relied in planning their strategy..../snip/

....In early 1945, based at SHAEF, she was one of a small group who were 
initiated into the mysteries of Ultra. Combining the information provided 
by the codebreakers at Bletchley Park with that produced from other 
sources, her job was to assess the strength and disposition of the German 
forces and calculate their future deployment. The citation for the award 
to her of the American Bronze Star Medal stated that she was largely 
responsible for the intelligence on which successful airborne operations 
were based.

Elizabeth Mary Frances Eberlie was born on January 30 1922 at Luton, 
Bedfordshire. She was educated at Queen Anne’s School, Caversham, 
Berkshire, where she represented the school at tennis, lacrosse and 
cricket and won the prize for the best all-round athlete...../snip/

(Continue reading)

Martin Postranecky | 22 Feb 21:17 2015

Colossus Commemorated By Postage Stamp

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Colossus Commemorated By Postage Stamp

Written by Sue Gee   

The UK's Royal Mail has issued a First Class postage stamp which depicts 
the code-breaking Colossus computer.

It is part of Inventive Britain stamp issue which celebrates eight key 
inventions of the 20th century in disciplines and applications ranging 
from materials to medicine.

The stamp's design is based on the banks of thermionic valves that powered 
the machine's computational logic and the single paper tape crucial to its 
fast operation. It also has the wording :

COLOSSUS world's first electronic digital computer

Colossus was built at Bletchley Park, the center of code-breaking 
activities during World War II to speed up the decryption messages 
exchanged between Hitler and his generals that used the Lorentz cipher. 
This code was highly complex and messages could take weeks to decipher by 
(Continue reading)

Martin Postranecky | 19 Feb 13:50 2015

New Royal Mail stamps : Colossus and WWW among inventions celebrated (fwd)

New Royal Mail stamps : Colossus and WWW among inventions celebrated

The Royal Mail have launched the ‘Inventive Britain’ Special Stamp set, 
issued to mark a long and rich history of Britain as an inventive nation. 
The stamps depict striking photographs and computer-generated 
interpretations of inventions created by British inventors over the last 
century : Colossus computer, World Wide Web, Catseyes, Fibre Optics, 
Stainless Steel, Carbon Fibre, DNA Sequencing and the i-limb.

Martin Postranecky | 1 Feb 13:58 2015

The Imitation Archive A Soundscape of Computer History (fwd)

Sunday, 01 February 2015

The Imitation Archive A Soundscape of Computer History

Written by Sue Gee   

Award-winning sound artist and composer Matt Parker has embarked on a 
project at the UK's National Museum of Computing to capture the sounds of 
70 years of computing and to use it as the basis of new musical 

The aim is to produce a permanent sound archive of the restored and 
recreated working machines at TNMOC from the code-breaking Colossus 
computer up to those of the present day. Other machines that are expected 
to be recorded include the wartime Robinson and Tunny code-breaking 
equipment, the world’s oldest original working digital computer the 
Harwell Dekatron / WITCH, the world’s oldest original working digital 
computer the Harwell Dekatron aka WITCH, which you can hear in action in 
this video...../snip/

.....The Imitation Archive project is being funded by the Arts Council and 
like TNMOC's major restoration projects, progress towards the Imitation 
Archive will be shared with visitors, both to the museum and online.

Although located in the grounds of Bletchley Park, it occupies Block H the 
wartime huts erected in 1944 to house Collossus, TNMOC hasn't benefited 
from any of the government or lottery funding that has been awarded to 
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Martin Postranecky | 1 Feb 01:09 2015

Top secret papers used to break the Enigma Code were discovered at Bletchley Park - because they were used as draught excluders.

31 January 2015

Revealed : How chilly scientists used top secret papers that broke the 
Enigma Code as draught excluders

- The discovery includes the only known examples of 'Banbury sheets'
- They were devised by Alan Turing to speed up decryption of Nazi codes
- Found in Hut 6 of the codebreaking centre in September 2013 by 
- They had been stuffed in holes in the walls and ceilings to keep out 
- Bletchley Park veterans have spoken of freezing conditions they 

By Khaleda Rahman for MailOnline

Top secret papers used to break the Enigma Code were discovered at 
Bletchley Park - because they were used as draught excluders.

The papers include the only known examples of 'Banbury sheets' which were 
devised by Alan Turing to speed up the process of decrypting Nazi 

They were found in Hut 6 of Britain's main codebreaking centre, codenamed 
Station X, in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in September 2013 by 
builders who were renovating the unit. 

They are the only examples of Banbury sheets ever to be discovered. 

Top-secret papers used to break the Enigma Code were used as draught 
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Martin Postranecky | 25 Jan 13:38 2015

Re: Wartime science... ( FWDED from J.V. Field )

> Dear Dr Postranecky,
>      I'd be grateful if you would forward this to the list.
>    Thank you for the letter to The Times about the alleged  scrapping of the
> Colossus machines at the end of WW2. At the risk of telling everyone what
> they already know, I am making one more attempt to kill a silly story.
>    What the letter says is largely false. The story that Churchill ordered the
> destruction of all the Colossus machines is not only implausible but
> provably untrue.  Pieces of two Colossus machines were used for the
> Manchester machine (we have a minute from Max Newman requesting permission
> to take the pieces from Bletchley Pak, in the summer of 1945). And another
> document, also in the National Archives (UK), written in 1974 by D. C.
> Horwood, one of the engineers who worked on the original Colossi, and who
> went to work at GCHQ after the war, a document declassified in 2004, tells
> us that at least two Colossus machines were taken to Eastcote and then to
> Cheltenham, where he does not say what they were used for. Details will be
> found in the forthcoming edition of the General Report on Tunny (to be
> published by Wiley this year).
>   It is obviously fair enough to doubt that Churchill was in all respects a
> flawless leader even in wartime, but this particular story is simply not
> true.
> Yours sincerely,
> J. V. Field
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