Zurich, London, and Bletchly Park


Work sent me to London and Zurich this year. Was a good opportunity to see some things I don’t normally get to see. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to Bletchley Park. They have all manner of historical cryptography related equipment, including quite a bit from World War II.


Of course I spent most of my time working, but I did manage to get out for a couple evenings to see the town. Walking down by the river, I found a nice view of Gross Munster, looking across the Limat river.

Zeughauskeller is a great place to eat a hearty meal. It used to be a guild hall, in the middle ages. The interior is decorated with quite a variety of weapons dating from the middle ages to World War II.

Bletchley Park

(This was so good I had to go twice). Bletchley Park is about a 30m train ride out of London (in a mostly north-ish vector). You can walk from the train station, its about 10m away. There are a number of things to see here including code-breaking rooms, the museum, and the mansion.

Tower of London

Who doesn’t love going to see medievil fortresses, royal chambers, national treasure, and suites of armor?

National Computer Museum

In many respects, this is what you’d expect from a computer museum. It contains lots of different kinds of old computers ranging in capability from devices like slide-rules (are these technically computers?), calculators, decatron, colossus, and several more modern systems from companies like Sun, Silicon Graphics, or Digital Equipment Corporation. Of all the things I saw here, my favorite was the decatron. The only computer that runs on base 10. Additionally, being built with cathodes, one can actually follow along with its computations in a straight forward fashion. They should use this thing as a programming tool for beginners. It would make things much easier.