Colossus was the name of a series of computers developed by British codebreakers in 1943-1945 to help in the cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher. After the war, the Colossus computers were destroyed and all plans and information was required to be incinerated.
In 1992, Tony Sale and his team began the ambitious task of rebuilding a working Colossus from scraps of information and a few photos - they succeeded and you can see this running for real at The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park.
Tony Sale also wrote a virtual version of this amazing machine in 2001, but it's real tricky to get running as it was written for a very old version of Internet Explorer.
See www.codesandciphers.co.uk if you want to give it a go.
To honour his memory and to make sure this code and it's story was not lost, I have rewritten from scratch a new Virtual Colossus using current browsers based on his original logic engine code. My hope is that more people will get to know this incredible story about the first computer.What do I need to know to run it!
"Actually, I want to run the machine Colossus was breaking ... the Lorenz SZ40/42"Switch to Virtual Lorenz
It's not just COLOSSUS in name so use your browser zoom to see the big picture.
PC: Use Ctrl with +/- or with 0 for 100% or use Ctrl and mouse wheel
Mac: Use Command and +/- or with 0 for 100%
Tablet/Phone: Just pinch zoom as normal
Try clicking above or below switches, on setting plugs and on rotary dials to set.
If you have touch screen, try swiping switches to set.
Look for the helpful blue info boxes. These give extra information about panels you can interact with and some options and selections.
Download a basic run-through of the available controls and what they do.
We recommend printing this out and having it to hand ... Colossus does not have a user friendly interface!Get Instructions
A series of intercept scenarios for you to run on Colossus!Scenarios
A number of people I need to say thanks and tip my hat to...
Tony's original website is still available here and contains a lot of information including his original Virtual Colossus software.
www.TNMOC.org .. The National Museum of Computing
www.bletchleypark.org.uk .. Bletchley Park
Margaret Sale and Rich Sale for their permission to use the original code and information from Tony's website.