Alan Turing Gets An Interactive Google Doodle For His 100th Birthday


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Google's got another interactive Doodle getting ready to drop tomorrow, but if you're not willing to wait until Saturday morning, it's live in countries where tomorrow is already here. Places like Google New Zealand, Australia, and India, for example. Unfortunately, the latest Doodle isn't for a musician, which means no interactive musical instruments.

However, because of the subject, Alan Turing, we do have an interactive Turing Machine to fool with, and for every code you enter correctly, Google colors in one of its letters, meaning when the logo is first loaded, the Google logo is subdued, like so:

Turing Machine

Because I'm not a cryptologist, solving the Turing Machine riddle wasn't necessarily easy for me, although, thanks to trial and error (lots of error), I finally got the Google logo colored in, as you can see in the lead image. For those who aren't aware of Turing, here's a brief snippet from his Wikipedia bio:

He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.

During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre. For a time he was head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that Google would create a Doodle for Turing, something Matt Cutts turned the world onto with a simple tweet:

Over at the Google European Public Policy Blog, they have a Picasa-powered slide show of Turing, which gives us images like these:

Alan Turing

Pilot ACE computer, Alan Turing

The second image is of the Pilot ACE computer. The ACE stands for Automatic Computing Engine, which was also developed by Turing.