Collection policy

From: Doug Coward <>
Date: Sun May 25 16:50:00 2003

  "TeoZ" wrote:
> Like I said before museums have static displays for reasons of
> power requirements, lack of personnel that can run the machines,
> spare parts that are expensive and hard to find, and the fact
> that a screwup during operation could actually destroy one of
> the few remaining examples (or only one). Most devices in a
> museum are there for either art or function (or combination).

  And then some museums don't.
  There are many techniques to avoid static displays.
  * Rotating the equipment on a turntable with the back open.
  * Recreating really old equipment or high wear parts.
  * Equipment displays with interactive java simulation of
    the equipment running nearby.
  * Faking the output display on unpowered equipment with
    the 'PC behind the curtain'.
  * Or just using equipment that is still some what available.
  And don't forget the importance of the the right lighting
and sound effects. :)
  I am currently trying to help a gentleman restore
a EAI TR-48 desktop analog, from the early 60s, on
display in the Retro Beep Computer Museum at Bletchley
Park. He wants to run a repetitive simulation for
visitors to see.

  I asked him if the recreated Colossus is actually
operated for vistors to the museum. He replied:
> The Colossus is running for the visitors to see;
> however, there is not a guided viewing with everything
> explained and messages decoded etc. You can see the
> paper tape loop flying round the bedstead and there
> is an oscilloscope for the visitors to see the read
> in bit sequence. Also, the machine is behind a wall
> with windows because all the frames are open +/- 100
> volts DC and thus not safe for the public to directly
> approach. Also, there are various items for everyone
> to read on display to explain things.
> There is a guided tour of the site with explanations
> of the code breaking centres; the Colossus bit is
> unguided.

 I also asked about interactive displays. He reply:
> You get to play with the enigma machine I think and
> there is a bit of code breaking you can do.
> Also, in the Retro beep museum, there are several old
> digital personal machines to play with; including Sinclair
> spectrums, BBC computers etc ? not very exciting for an
> engineer but the kids love them. Also there is a rare
> Apple Lisa with original disc system. As well as the
> Elliott 803 there are a couple of DEC machine, one of
> them being an old original (with front doors made from
> kitchen worktops ? as specified by DEC?s founder).

  He also sent me links to some wonderful interactive
web pages, including the 'Virtual Turing Bombe', the
'Virtual 3 wheel Naval Enigma', the 'Virtual 3 wheel
Army/Air Force Enigma' and the 'Virtual Colossus'.


Codes and Ciphers in the Second World War
Great link on the Enigma code, the Turing Bombe, and on the Colossus

Click on
Tony Sale's reconstruction of Enigma decipherment for the film Enigma

or go directly to this page
Making the Enigma ciphers for the film "Enigma"
  by Tony Sale

Or if you don't want to go through the explaination of the Enigma
code and how it was broken,
you can go directly to these interactive web pages
Virtual Turing Bombe by Tony Sale
Virtual 3 wheel Naval Enigma by Tony Sale
Virtual 3 wheel Army/Air Force Enigma by Tony Sale

Or try
The Colossus Rebuild Project
which links to
Virtual Colossus by Tony Sale

And the Bombe Rebuild Project
Doug Coward
_at_ home in Poulsbo, WA

Analog Computer Online Museum and History Center
Received on Sun May 25 2003 - 16:50:00 BST

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