Turing Centenary (by )

Alan Turing 100 yrs

Alan Turing one of the most important people in the history of the computer would have turned 100 today if he had lived. Though the chances of living to 100 are not great Turing didn't even manage to get as far as he should have.

It is occasionally argued about but it is considered that he committed suicide due to being hounded by the powers that be and given chemicals to subdue his sex drive. The reason for this was that he was Gay and in 40's and 50's being homosexual was not just illegal but thought to be a security risk.

Alan was faced with the choices of chemical castration or prison and exclusion from his work. He chose the chemicals. They had nasty side effects but he seems to have taken his treatment mainly in his stride.

Mr Turing wasn't just a mathematical genius he was a war hero having worked at Bletchley Park during the second world war cracking codes and thus saving at least allied lives. He is most often mentioned in association with the enigma machine.

His contributions to modern computing are huge and he is considered one of the founders of the subject Computer Science.

His achievements are great and yet the first time I heard of him was when I picked up one of Alaric's computing books after our move to Gloucestershire. It is strange that like Ada Lovelace he seems to have fallen through the cracks some what. And worse than that his centenary year is plagued by arguments of how to portray him.

Is it good or bad for those on the autism spectrum to know of him and so on. If he had been alive to day he would have probably been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrom but why is this a problem? Yes that was a facet of his personality but that is all. Use him to show others in the same situation as him that they can achieve by all means but that is not what is happening - I think there needs to be a gear shift in society. After all with the modern world lets face it the Geek shall inherit and that is all geeks, the meek, mild, argumentative, know it alls and the distracteds.

His achievements are his and he should be being portrayed as a founder and hero to everyone and I mean everyone. I will twist Alaric's arm into writing a blog post about Alan's achievements.

We made a Turing Machine Cake and drew the shamefully bad picture at the top of the post.

Wind Up Turing Machine Cake State Table on top of Turing Machine Cake Marker on side of Turing Machine Cake

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