Q&A: Tony Sale, the man who rebuilt Colossus

It's unfortunate that it was kept a secret until the 1970s. So the Americans got away with claiming that their ENIAC computer was the first. I had great pleasure in telling them [about Colossus] and the Americans finally agreed.

If there is any argument, we say "OK, this was the first production computer [of its kind]" as there was 10 of them here and there was only one ENIAC. That's a convincing argument if nothing else.

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So what's involved?

It takes eight kilowatts to run this. And if people go to the website they can operate a virtual Colossus. It's in the anoraks and nerds corner.

The website took seven or eight years to build. The British Library asked me if they could archive the website and that was an accolade I was very pleased to receive.

The museum and its exhibits only live on because of volunteers like you. How much time do you spend here now?

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Click here or on gallery above for more pictures of the gems on show at the Museum of Computing.

(Colossus image credit: Stephen Flemming)

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.