By Andrew Hodges, Douglas Hofstadter

It's only a mild exaggeration to claim that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) kept the Allies from the Nazis, invented the pc and synthetic intelligence, and expected homosexual liberation through decades--all ahead of his suicide at age 41. This vintage biography of the founding father of machine technology, reissued at the centenary of his beginning with a considerable new preface through the writer, is the definitive account of a rare brain and existence. A gripping tale of arithmetic, pcs, cryptography, and gay persecution, Andrew Hodges's acclaimed e-book captures either the interior and outer drama of Turing's existence. Hodges tells how Turing's progressive suggestion of 1936--the suggestion of a common machine--laid the root for the trendy machine and the way Turing introduced the belief to functional recognition in 1945 along with his digital layout. The booklet additionally tells how this paintings was once at once with regards to Turing's major function in breaking the German Enigma ciphers in the course of global struggle II, a systematic triumph that used to be serious to Allied victory within the Atlantic. even as, this is often the tragic tale of a guy who, regardless of his wartime carrier, used to be ultimately arrested, stripped of his safety clearance, and compelled to suffer a humiliating therapy program--all for attempting to stay truthfully in a society that outlined homosexuality as against the law.

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Nowadays it is perhaps taken rather for granted that computers can replace other machines, whether for record-keeping, photography, graphic design, printing, mail, telephony, or music, by virtue of appropriate software being written and executed. No-one seems surprised that industrialised China can use just the same computers as does America. Yet that such universality is possible is far from obvious, and it was obvious to no-one in the 1930s. That the technology is digital is not enough: to be all-purpose computers must allow for the storage and decoding of a program.

I should have answered it earlier. I have a delightful story to tell you of my adventurous life when next we meet. I’ve had another round with the gendarmes, and it’s positively round II to Turing. Half the police of N. England (by one report) were out searching for a supposed boyfriend of mine. It was all a mare’s nest. Perfect virtue and chastity had governed all our proceedings. But the poor sweeties never knew this. A very light kiss beneath a foreign flag under the influence of drink, was all that had ever occurred.

However I am not at present in a state in which I am able to concentrate well, for reasons explained in next paragraph. I’ve now got myself into the kind of trouble that I have always considered to be quite a possibility for me, though I have usually rated it at about 10:1 against. I shall shortly be pleading guilty to a charge of sexual offences with a young man. The story of how it call came to be found out is a long and fascinating one, which I shall have to make into a short story one day, but haven’t the time to tell you now.

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