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Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I was pleased to hear recently that both IBM and PGP have between them made a grant of £57,000 towards the upkeep of Bletchley Park. The BBC has reported that the “donation will help curate and restore exhibits at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, Bucks”.

However, I suspect a good deal more is needed to keep the museum going.
 
A group of 100 eminent scientists, lead by Dr Sue Black, head of the computer science department at the University of Westminster wrote to The Times in July 2008 to condemn the neglect of the museum. She visited Bletchley earlier in the summer and was so moved by its sorry state that she wrote to her fellow heads of department at universities around the United Kingdom. She was surprised by the level of support she received, which led directly to the letter being written.
 
I agree with her comments that it is a “national disgrace” that such an historic site is being allowed to fall into decay because of a lack of finance. Dr Black has proposed that the museum should receive funding from the government, which is certainly something that I would endorse.
 
Bletchley Park is an incredibly important part of our computing heritage. It was at Bletchley that the German Enigma Code was broken, which hastened the end of World War II.
 
It was also at Bletchley Park that arguably the first working modern computer was built, the so-called Colossus.
 
Nigel Stanley, who is a fellow-blogger at IT Director and the IT Security Practice Leader for Bloor Research, has visited the museum and blogged a few weeks ago that: “Touring the various huts and getting the story of Bletchley Park brought to life by a guide was awe inspiring as was the demonstration of the early electro mechanical computers that helped bring forward the end of the war by 2 years.”
 
Computing is certainly still a modern discipline, but I do not think future generations will thank us if we manage to let some of its most pioneering early work simply fade from memory because we were immature enough as an industry to realise its significance to history.
 
The Bletchley Park web site has a facility for UK tax payers to make credit card gift-aid donations.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:29:01 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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