During WWII the British had a secret code-breaking facility housed in the stately home of Bletchley Park. Thanks to the creation of the Colossus valve (vacuum tube) computer, arguably the world’s first electronic supercomputer, British code-breakers were able to decipher intercepted messages produced by German Enigma machines and arguably it changed the outcome of the Second World War.
As I wrote here earlier this year, whilst Bletchley Park receives lottery funding designed to make the theme park appeal to today’s iPod generation, The National Museum Of Computing on the same site risks being fenced off and isolated altogether unless the two parties can be reconciled – something that the Arts Council is said to be working on. (The Museum is tight-lipped, at the time of writing.)
Meantime the magnificent Colossus computer is being rebuilt – but the Museum needs all the funding it can get. Previous sponsors have includes HP, IBM, Google UK and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). It’s possible to “Sponsor A Valve” and donate to TNMOC by buying pixels on a million-pixel image at www.colossusonline.org.
Pixels cost £0.10/ ten pence each, minimum ten pounds and you can upload an image and URL too. Payment is accepted by Paypal. There’s plenty of space available if you’d care to support the ongoing work of the museum and its battle to restore Colossus.