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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Colossus review, 13 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park's code-breaking computers (Paperback)
After a visit to Bletchley Park I was keen to delve further into the dark world of cryptography. As the title suggests this book concentrates on one of the final pieces of kit which speeded up no end the breaking and reading of German codes. I was with it all for the first two or three chapters but after that it was a struggle - a knowledge of advanced maths is a positive advantage! The following chapters were mainly reminiscencies of senior staff including their particular theoretical or practical problems. There are appendices at the back with detailed tables etc. which provide or enlarge on the technical details mentioned within the body of the book.
This I think is a tome for the more advanced student of this fascinating subject.
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Initial post: 6 Dec 2011 21:51:44 GMT
satprof says:
The reviewer implies a valid point of which the merely curious should take note: BP employed some of the best brains in the country and their work was of war-shortening importance. They were not up against a bunch of amateurs on the German side, but some of their best (cryptographic) brains. Hence, the codes involved were well above the Boy Scout level and the mechanisms necessary to break them were clearly very complex.

A book addressing these issues will, of necessity, become quite complicated in parts and the reviewer very properly points out that the book is better suited to more advanced students of these matters. (S)he still considers the subject "fascinating", even if only awarding 3 stars.
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