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NSA Codebreaking Secrets Revealed: It Wasn't All Magic - The Early Struggle to Automate Cryptanalysis 1930s-1960s - Work of Alan Turing, Vannevar Bush

National Security Agency (Nsa)

This fascinating NSA book details the amazing work at the agency in the first decades of computer development. Conventional wisdom about NSA and computers has it, as a retired NSA senior officer once wrote me, "In the early days, NSA and its predecessor organizations drove the computer industry.

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Book Information

Publisher: Independently Published
Publish Date: 09/12/2017
Pages: 262
ISBN-13: 9781549728181
ISBN-10: 1549728180
Language: English

Full Description

This fascinating NSA book details the amazing work at the agency in the first decades of computer development. Conventional wisdom about NSA and computers has it, as a retired NSA senior officer once wrote me, "In the early days, NSA and its predecessor organizations drove the computer industry. In the 1960s, we kept pace with it. We started losing ground in the '70s, and in the '80s we struggled to keep up with the industry." True, but underlying this, in each decade the cryptologic organizations experienced a wide range of successes and failures, positives and negatives. If, as slang puts it, "they won some, lost some, and some got rained out," all of this experience is worth serious examination by students of computers, cryptanalysis, and NSA history. It begins in the 1930s as American and British intelligence officials confronted new crypt-analytic and cryptographic challenges, and adapted some intriguing new concepts to their analysis. It carries the story to the flexible and fast systems of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The author follows and links the development of automatic data processing from the critical conceptual work of the 1930s through the practical experiments born of national necessity in the world war to the postwar development and the previously untold story of NSA's postwar computer development. Along the way, he has rescued from obscurity some important successes - and some important failures - in cryptanalytic machinery from World War II. All too often, discussions of NSA's computer development treat only the mainstream, ignoring the problems, failures, dead ends and might-have-beens, in order to concentrate on successes. In the present volume, however, key components of Dr. Burke's story and important for our knowledge are the machines which didn't work or which never had progeny, and why this was so. Just as important are Dr. Burke's cautionary tales about the influence of international and interservice rivalry on plans and procedures. Technical limitations and technical opportunities shaped much of the development of computing equipment, but the story is also replete with instances of man-made barriers and baleful bureaucratic bypaths that wielded great influence during much of this development. During World War II American cryptanalysts built some of the most sophisticated electronic machines in the world, but the need to address cryptanalytic crises blocked them from creating the general-purpose digital electronic computer. Chapter 1 - An Academic in Need of the Navy ... Until * Chapter 2 - The First Electronic Computer: Perhaps * Chapter 3 - Bush's Dream Does Not Come True * Chapter 4 - Meeting the Crisis: Ultra and the Bombe * Chapter 5 - A Search for Other "Bombes" * Chapter 6 - Beyond the Bombes and Beyond World War II * Chapter 7 - The Magic Continues * Chapter 8 - Courage and Chaos: SIGINT and the Computer Revolution * Chapter 9 - Wandering into Trouble * Chapter 10 - A Matter of Faith Chapter 1 - An Academic in Need of the Navy ... Until - An Institution for the Real World * A Man for All Technologies * More Than an Ingenious Yankee * The Politics of Mathematics and Engineering * The Manager of Science * Bush and Stratton's Dream * Bush Confronts Little Science * Bush's Great Plan * Beyond Analog Mechanical Machines * Two Men with a Need * A Man for the Navy * Another Plan for Science and the Navy * Hooper Confronts the Bureaucracy * A Few Men and Women for Secrecy * The Search for Pure Cryptanalysis * From Electronics to Electromechanics * A Young Man for the Future * The Dream Postponed Again * The Dream Reborn, for a Moment * Little Science Meets the Little Navy, Again * A Man for Statistics * Science and the Navy Need Other Friends * The Private World of Science * A Man for Applied Mathematics and Information * American Science and the War - the NDRC * Corporate Charity * The Navy Comes in Second

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