Christie's auction and other computer history events

From: der Mouse <mouse_at_Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
Date: Fri Feb 18 23:56:02 2005

>>> [...] who pretends that the Poles didn't do much and "Enigma was
>>> broken at Bletchley Park".
>> [...] It's like a R&D effort: to grossly oversimplify, the Poles
>> did the R, the English did the D, and neither would have been much
>> use without the other.
> The later versions (with one exception) weren't really all that
> different from the ones that the Poles first cracked.

No, but the break - at least as described by Singh - was different.
Visibly related to the Polish technique, but still quite different in a
number of important ways.

> And tweaking the solution process once the basic system was
> understood was nowhere near as hard a job as the original solution.

Yes; that's one reason I likened it to an R&D effort: D is tedious but
not difficult; R is difficult but not tedious. (Again, this is a
drastic simplification.)

> So while I wouldn't want to downplay the British contribution, I
> would never conceive of saying "broken at Bletchley Park". That
> simply is not a valid description of reality.

Neither is speaking of "the Enigma" as if it were a single thing. :-)
Enigma with how many rotors, drawn from how large a set? With or
without day-key duplication? Etc.

> I think Rejewski's paper may be online. I do have it somewhere
> (course notes).

I would love to see a copy.

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Received on Fri Feb 18 2005 - 23:56:02 GMT

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