In honour of the rather mediocre adaptation of Alan Turing’s life currently gracing the big screen, here’s a wee piece of flash fiction I wrote after visiting Bletchley Park a few years ago.
The world’s first electronic digital computer is located in Bletchley Park, ten minutes from Milton Keynes. It is personally responsible for the birth of all future computers and computerish things: Ipods, Ipads, Sonic the Hedgehog, Skype, Bill Gates and probably holograms. It was designed to decode important German intelligence messages during the Second World War.
The world’s first computer appears to be built from Meccano and Christmas tree lightbulbs. It constantly eats and emits reams and reams of old-fashioned printer paper, the kind with hole punched holes running along each side. It is housed in the sort of porta-cabin normally used to contain rural Sunday School groups. A stuffed squirrel has been lodged comically between its circuit boards and switches.
The world’s first computer looks mortified.