Turing & His Times: centenary videos now online

Turing & His Times: centenary videos now online

Summary: The National Museum of Computing held an event at its Bletchley Park base on 26 April to celebrate the centenary of Alan Turing's birth. Today (Monday), TNMOC has posted three videos of the event on YouTube, with a total running time of 85 minutes.

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The National Museum of Computing held an event at its Bletchley Park base on 26 April to celebrate the centenary of Alan Turing's birth. Today (Monday), TNMOC has posted three videos of the event on YouTube, with a total running time of 85 minutes. This adds to videos of related events at the Computer History Museum in California and the Heinz Nixdorf Museum in Germany.

TNMOC's opening section includes the National Physical Laboratory's video covering Turing's design for his first computer, the Pilot ACE, though he left before it was built.

The middle section is a presentation by computer historian Professor Simon Lavington, who looks briefly at the development of early computers at five sites in the UK, and the development of Turing's ideas after his code-breaking experiences at Bletchley Park. (The UK's different development sites led to different commercial computers from Leo, Ferranti, Elliott Automation and so on.)

In the final video, Kevin Murrell explains how NPL's Pilot ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) worked, and demonstrates a software emulator running on a laptop.

The event was the second of three Turing-themed events linking three of the top computing museums. The first, at the Computer History Museum in California on 7 March, was about the influence of Alan Turing on John von Neumann, and vice-versa. The final event, held at the Heinz Nixdorf Museum in Paderborn, Germany, on 26 May, covered Konrad Zuse and his pioneering computers, and compared Turing and Zuse. (The associated video, below, is in English.) The Heinz Nixdorf Museum has a working mechanical Turing machine.

@jackschofield

Part 1 - Intro and NPL video, where Pilot ACE was built (14 mins) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrvvHJu6Olw

Part 2 - Professor Simon Lavington on Alan Turing, his contemporaries and his ideas post-1945 (36 mins) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztuhEm1WfyA

Part 3 Kevin Murrell demonstrates a Pilot ACE simulator followed by a brief Q&A (35 mins) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_g7l7ajV1k

Turing's Cathedral, at The Computer History Museum in California http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF9VsUxHM9U

Alan Turing webcast from The Heinz Nixdorf Museum, Paderborn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhkiyy-Jk5A

Topic: Tech Industry

Jack Schofield

About Jack Schofield

Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....

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