julesjones: (Default)
This new biography of Turing is short, the length of a long article or essay rather than a full book. If you want a detailed exploration of the life and work of Turing, you'll have to look elsewhere, but this is a good overview that's well worth reading. It's well balanced on coverage of his personal life, his work at Bletchley Park, and his academic work, tying them all together so you can see how one element affects the others. It also brings the story up to date as I write this, having been prompted by the campaign for a posthumous pardon, and there's some interesting material about that which won't be in the older biographies.

It's well written and edited, solidly grounded in known facts but enhanced by the author's clearly marked interpretation of some of those facts to make it more than a dry recital, and I found it a very enjoyable read. If you're looking for something a little more in-depth than the online articles without diving into the full length works, this is an excellent introduction to Turing. I think it will also serve well as a synopsis volume for those who want an outline in addition to the full length studies.

The Kindle Single is currently priced at 99p, and excellent value for money at that price, even if a significant chunk of the stated page count is a preview of another book by the author. It's also available in a paper edition, although I'm not convinced that most readers would find it value for money unless they're die-hard completists, unable to use Kindle format ebooks, or looking for a gift for a Turing fan. There's also an audiobook version.

Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma (Kindle Single) at Amazon UK
Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma (Kindle Single) at Amazon US
julesjones: (Default)
Hero of the secret war of WWII. One of the founders of modern computing. One of the people of whom you can truly say, "He changed the world."

Dead 60 years ago today.
julesjones: (Default)
Alan Turing would have been 100 today. It is, rightfully, being covered in depth by the media. In a very real sense, he created the world we live in. And not just once, but twice over. His life was the stuff of legend, as was his death from cyanide, a half-eaten apple by his side.

And he was only forty one when he died.

Perhaps he'd reached the end of his creative period, and there would have been no more of the world-changing work. But we never had the chance to find out. At least now he has the recognition he deserves for his wartime work, across a network of machines that ultimately spring from his peacetime work.

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August 2017

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