Sample Essay

The Colossus machines were the most useful machines for the British in the World War II in order to observe and read the communication of the Germans in the form of coded messages for their secret strategies during the war. Colossus computers are considered to be the first digital, electronic computing devices of the world that worked with the usage of the vacuum tubes for the processing of data and other programs such as calculations.

Colossus computers were the outcome of several ideas by a number of people including the designer of this machine, Tommy Flowers with the help of Bill Chandler, Max Newman and Allen Coombs. The series of Colossus machines includes Colossus Mark 1 which was ready by February 1944 for its operational purpose and Colossus Mark 2 that worked in the June 1944. By the end of the war Ten Colossi were used for the military purpose (Lavington 1980).

The Colossus computers were highly secret machines for a specific purpose of cracking the messages which were encrypted with the help of Lorenz sZ40/42 machine. An interesting point to note here is that British code breakers used to call these encrypted messages as Fish. The process of reading these messages included three steps as follows:

  1. These coded messages were read from a paper tape at a higher rate of speed.
  2. In the second step an electronic simulation of Lorenz machine that is a stream is processed.
  3. The third step undergoes if the match count of the settings is higher than their constant of the threshold, it would be sent to the electronic typewriter device as the output of the process.

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