26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The man who won World War II,
This review is from: The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer (Great Discoveries) (Paperback)This book is not a biography in the conventional sense of the word but the subtitle "Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer' is a fair description of the content. Far more pages are devoted to technical matters that to the man himself.
If you are a pure mathematician, you will already know most of the technical matters; if you are not, you may have to read some chapters two or three times and still not understand all the detail. Even so, you will at least understand why Turing can be described as one of the most important pioneers (perhaps the most important pioneer) of modern computers.
There are some irritating errors in the book, e.g., the word 'principle' instead of 'principal' and some missing words. Computer spell checkers are no substitute for a good proof reader.
The author seems to take great pains to interpret many things that Turing wrote, said or did as evidence of his homosexuality. Maybe this is because the author himself is described in a website as "a gay author". There is no doubt that Turing was homosexual but he was also an "oddball". From the descriptions of him in this book it seems to me that he exhibited some (but not all) of the symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome.
If Turing had been born in 1942 instead of 1912, he might still be alive today and living a happier life. But then, who else would have done the work he did at Bletchley Park to beat the Enigma code? Who else would have written about the Universal Machine which formed the foundation of the modern computer? Without Turing, we could now be living in a very different world.
Thanks to Churchill and other well known leaders, we won World War II. Without Turing, we might have lost it. But there are no statues to Turing. He deserves more than our grateful thanks.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 May 2009 21:01:31 BDT
Actually there is a statue of Turing in Sackville Park in Manchester, alongside Canal Street (although depressingly in three years of asking people every week I never found anyone who knew who he was or why it was there). He is sitting on a bench holding an apple with a bite taken out of it. More significantly, the Apple Mac logo of the apple with a bite taken out of it is the company's own homage to Turing.
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2009 16:58:57 GMT
A. Collinge says:
The Apple Mac logo thing must be taken as an urban myth. Apple have always stated it to be untrue, and that the logo comes from the more famous apple of Isaac Newton. Before the pictogram of the apple, the company's logo was a picture of Newton beneath an apple tree.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Aug 2010 20:43:34 BDT
A. E. Roberts says:
Also Alan Turing Way near Man City FC ground
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2011 11:17:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Nov 2011 11:18:54 GMT
I only wish that he had lived long enough,to see how truly appreciated he was....................
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