User talk:TedColes

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anchor link[edit]

Please do not undo the edit I made to the Substitution cipher page. You do not own this page, and the edit does not compromise the integrity of the information. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jepler (talkcontribs) 18:38, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Cryptanalysis of the Enigma[edit]

A cursory look at your recent edits shows some errors. For example, it was Rejewski alone who reconstructed the machine, using group theory. Zyralski and Różycki had no involvement with Enigma before Rejewski had completed the reconstruction.

Your edits have deleted material that I spent some hours placing into the article, as well as layout alterations that had improved its clarity.

Would you consider a restoration of the version as of December 14, 17:58, and then your introducing your additional information? Nihil novi (talk) 20:36, 14 December 2008 (UTC)


Ted what do we do here. You obvously know your stuff I would go Bombe. I have a couple of Polish friends and can get their opinion bt wer are English not Polish.

BTW this might vaguely interest you, my mum worked on LEO Lyons Electronic Operator and I have first editions of its design.

Best wishes, Si.

just wanted to say thanks[edit]

Hey TedColes just wanted to say thanks to you for all your work on this article. You've worked really hard on it, I really appreciate it.

Best wishes

SimonTrew (talk) 20:22, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


Prynhawn da, Ted. Deb (talk) 14:45, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Template:Early computer characteristics[edit]

You deleted my entry regarding the Z4 in the Template:Early computer characteristics. Enquire (talk) 08:10, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

According to the website of Horst Zuse (Konrad's son) [1] "The Z4, the second general purpose computer, was almost completed in 1945. The Z4 was an customer order by the Henschel Aircraft company in 1942. However, it was not possible for Konrad Zuse to get the Z4 operative before his escape from Berlin to Hinterstein March 16, 1945." and "From July 11, 1950, this configuration was used for five years at the Institute of Applied Mathematics at ETH Zurich."
I have therefore removed this entry from the table of computers that were operational in the 1940s.--TedColes (talk) 10:05, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Whether or not it was fully working in 1944 is an interesting point, however, this was designed in the early 1940s and was reassembled in 1945 and later delivered in 1950. I think one can assume that it was working well before it was delivered. As such, I do not see this as grounds to eliminate the entry. Rather, a comment about the delay in delivering the unit, which was obviously delayed by WWII and nothing to do with the technical merits or limitations of the technology. I therefore feel strongly that it should be included, with the relevant notes, and not obliterated from the record as you propose. Enquire (talk) 22:07, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, this template name is {Template:Early_computer_characteristics} and, although it has a subtitle "Defining characteristics of some early digital computers of the 1940s" I have not found similar templates for the 1930's and 1950s ... and in context, this template is presented as a history of the early computers. Therefore to eliminate the Z4 and, for that matter, the Z1 and Z2, possibly even the Z5 is a misleading and incomplete chronology of the birth of computers (which is how most articles present this template). Something to think about. I am not going to get into an edit war over this, but I do feel that this needs to reviewed on the broader context of what was happening in the early part of the last century in terms of how the computer was conceived and evolved into what we have today. To pick and choose which bits of that chronology we include and which bits we toss out is rather arbitrary and defeats to objective of being a complete record. Researchers look to Wikipedia for a comprehensive understanding and may not appreciate that some things were removed for reasons that to them may seem arbitrary. Put the comments about the removal and rebuilding of the machine, but don't delete it entirely. It is a 1940's computer and it was almost certainly working as such during the latter 1940's ... even if it was not delivered to the client until 1950, that is a contract issue, not a technical one. Enquire (talk) 22:07, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
If Wikipedia is to be a resource of all knowledge, I do not think it fits the mandate to entirely delete a significant development on a pure technicality. In any event, computer design did not begin, nor did it end in the 1940s, although that was a significant decade. Besides, the Z4 was designed and built during the 1940's and there is no reason to believe it was not fully functional by the late 1940's, even though it was delivered to the customer until 1950 ... which as I wrote earlier is really a contractual issue, not a technical nor substantive issue from the perspective of the history of computers. Enquire (talk) 08:10, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

US spelling in Turing article[edit]

I notice you're insisting on British spelling for the University of Texas course. Is your reason (proper names only) an absolute Wikipedia policy? I'm Australian, and generally abhor US spelling, preferring our Australian minor variant of British English, so I am normally a really nasty nit-picker when it comes to the inappropriate use of US spelling, but I see no problem with spelling the name of the Texan qualification the way the Texan university itself actually spells it. It's not as if a word from the UK is being changed to US spelling. HiLo48 (talk)

You are now a Reviewer[edit]

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Apropos completion of the Z4[edit]

I have just restored the previous version. Horst Zuse himself even says on the German page of the entry you refored to that the Z4 was complete in 1944. According to Prof. Lippe and Dr. Schillo it was almost complete in 1944, but heavy bombing made further work impossilbe, so in 1945 it was transported to Göttingen. Zuse had to leave his parents behind. The computer was completed in Göttingen and presented to an audience of the AVA. Then it was transported to Hinterstein, where it was hidden. So horst Zuse's sentence on the page you referred to is a shortened account - yet not wrong. Sincerely, (talk) 16:28, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
PS I just saw that Horst Zuse writes, that the Z4 was packed into 20 boxes and left Berlin with his wife in March - well, that is a contradiction.
PPS Further info (source Prof. Lippe): At the time, when the Z4 had to be ported out of Berlin, it was still called V4 (only after the war it was renamed). Because of the name resembling the rockets (V1, V2) it was easier for Dr. Frank to organize the transport to Göttingen (get the resources). Sincerely, (talk) 16:49, 22 June 2010 (UTC) PPS On this page link Horst Zuse writes
"The machine Z4 was operational in March 1945 in Göttingen, and, after being stored in Hinterstein from 29th of APril 1945 till the end of 1946 in Hinterstein, it was operational again in the beginning of 1947 in Hopferau in the Allgäu." (my translation)
(in German: "Die Maschine Z4 war im März 1945 in Göttingen funktionsfähig und nach einer Einlagerung vom 29. April 1945 bis Ende 1946 in Hinterstein war die Z4 Anfang 1947 funktionsfähig in Hopferau im Allgäu.)
So there slipped an error on Horst Zuse's English page.
F.L. Bauer also writes, that it was transported to Göttingen in Feb. 1945. (talk) 17:03, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

William Harding Jackson[edit]

Pardon the intrusion into a very well researched matter -- you guys are way over my head; however, my brother and I were both in USAF comm and crypto in the late 60's early 70's; me, as teletype & computer operator and command post NCOIC, he as crypto maintenance; therefore, the interest. I am researching life of a friend and key player in intelligence and co-founder of today's CIA, named William Harding Jackson. According to his NY law firm, as early as 1940, Bill Jackson was diverted from prospective flight training into Morse code analysis, ultimately finding his way as Deputy G-2 on Gen. Bradley's staff at 12th Army -- later as the first Deputy Director at CIA after passage of the National Security Act of 1947; he later married Bradley's secretary, Mary Pitcairn. In Bradley's autobio Jackson is described as a very talented "Ultra agent" for his listening and code understanding ability, with explanations. We know he was dispatched by Sec. of Navy Forrestal and Wild Bill Donovan at O.S.S. with the title US Army-Air Corps "Air Attache" to London in the Coastal Command HQ -- real purpose of the trip was to meet with seniors at the well established (by then) Brit SIS or MI-6, study its foundations and operations, and report back to Forrestal, Stimson, Donovan and the President, circa 1941-42. There is a reference to Alistair Denniston, though not explained. Jackson was arguably the spark plug for the invention of CIA. We are vaguely certain that he had access to Bletchley, Enigma and other as "liaison"; we are trying to learn more as to how involved Americans were in breaking/utilizing Enigma in 1939-1943. Question: Have you run across any references to this man or to "liaison" work with Brits in early War years? Would you have any elder contacts, most of whom would be in their 80's or 90's by now, who might know of Jackson's permanent duty status with G-2? And if you do, would you kindly contact me? Vic Tully -- -- Sincerely, /s/Vic —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vktully (talkcontribs) 15:14, 1 December 2010 (UTC)


Why did you edit the ENIAC article to remove "hydrogen bomb" even after the July 2009 discussion on its talk page which you initiated? Robert K S (talk) 00:05, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Partial frustration of Knickebein[edit]

In the light of some more recent edits, our discussion is perhaps moot, but for the record, Most Secret War does not appear to me to support the idea that partial frustration of Knickebein was a "development" nor that it was about radar. And in anycase, I agree with the more recent editor that the comment about the Battle of Britain doesn't add anything to an article on the Battle of the Atlantic. Rjm at sleepers (talk) 08:14, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Biuro Szyfrów - references need improvement[edit]

This article, which you've contributed to, needs more references if it is to maintain its GA status. See Talk:Biuro_Szyfrów#Citations_needed. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 22:40, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Battle of the Atlantic[edit]

I'm sympathetic to your position, but I also feel caught in the middle. I agree in part and disagree in part with both Trekphiler and you. I disagree with Trekphiler's terminology (e.g., "spare"), and I think more crypto details could/should be in BotA. You know some of those details, but there must be some care that the details tie into the global picture without getting lost in the Enigma's details.

Churchill, who had been First Sea Lord during WW I, authorized more funding for Bletchley Park. Somebody was authorized a weather ship raid. Naval Enigma was important; with sources, that material can go in the article.

On the other hand, other efforts were also important in BotA. The U-boats withdrew when escort vessels inflicted 20% losses.

Glrx (talk) 19:08, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi Ted,
You totally misunderstood my sentence about the ASCC/Mark I which read:
"It would be the first project of a programmable machine to succeed and to be actually used."
You can't have many first, usually there is only one first. I didn't even use the word computer so as not to arise any objection. This is a fact, nothing but a fact.
To remove any further misunderstanding I propose to change my initial sentence to:
Sometime in November of 1937, Howard Aiken kick started the era of the programmable computer by getting IBM involved in designing and building a machine based on the architecture of the analytical engine, imagined a century before by Charles Babbage, the actual father of the computer. It would be the first project of a programmable machine to succeed and to be actually used.
We can't fight on minor things like that and yet I believe that a clear understanding of the facts is necessary.
Ezrdr (talk) 21:07, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Programmable machines[edit]

Hi Ted,
Please check the paragraph: Invention of the computer in my talk page.
Ezrdr (talk) 14:26, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of David Hartley (computer scientist)[edit]

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Nomination of David Hartley (computer scientist) for deletion[edit]

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Bletchley Park[edit]

I hope you feel, as I do, that together we have improved this article greatly, though there is much, much more to do for justice to be done to the subject. Since it's pretty much just you and me you'll notice I sometimes make tentative edits which I'm uncertain fit the facts (e.g. whether "Action this day" came before or after "leave no stone unturned") knowing that your eagle eye will correct any misstatements.

I also have fairly strong ideas about style, but please push back wherever you see fit. EEng (talk) 19:00, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

EEng I think that you should take care, when making stylistic changes, that you don't change meaning. --TedColes (talk) 06:24, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for cluing me in -- I didn't realize meaning mattered -- and glad to see you share my enthusiasm. EEng (talk) 12:58, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Witty repost --TedColes (talk) 13:06, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Terse malapropism. EEng (talk) 13:19, 14 April 2014 (UTC)


WP:EASTEREGG — Preceding unsigned comment added by InternetMeme (talkcontribs)

WP:SIG and no, it's not an easteregg [2] [3]. EEng (talk) 00:34, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Pace, eh? Thanks for that: The bigger the vocabulary the merrier, I say. Also, in light of that, did it occur to you that you may not be the best judge of which words the average person will understand? InternetMeme (talk) 12:04, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Pace (peace). Your supposition may well be right. I was a school contemporary of the coiner of the word "meme". --TedColes (talk) 12:08, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

At all programmable[edit]

As written I have no idea what "at all programmable" means. It is ambiguous as "at-all programmable" or "at all-programmable". Can't you think of a way to phrase it where it has some meaning to someone who is not involved with the debate over fully-programmable or semi-programmable. Can't you just say "programmable". --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 15:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Recent revert @ Enigma machine[edit]

You did not provide any reason for your revert at Enigma machine. Would you mind explaining? Kindly, JoeSperrazza (talk) 08:22, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, but I thought that you had failed to observe that the link you inserted was repeating one in the previous paragraph – which is contrary to the guidance in WP:BTW which says that "as a rule of thumb editors should only link the term's first occurrence in the text of the article".--TedColes (talk) 08:52, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
Ah, sorry, I did miss that there was a prior link (in fact, before I added, I opened the markup and looked for it - clearly I missed it). I had simply been reading the article and saw the phrase and didn't recognize it, etc. Thanks for the explanation. Best wishes, JoeSperrazza (talk) 11:40, 8 July 2015 (UTC)


Hi Ted, It is nice to see somebody is writing and taken care of crypto analysis articles during ww2 for the Germans. I thought I was the only one. There seems to be many people working on the allied side, I really wish more could be done for the axis side. Thanks for removing that unfinished sentence. I was baby sitting and I got called away for hide and seek. I was planning to say, 'Little was known about B-Diesnt'. Did you see my other article, OKW/Chi. Took ages. It's like extracting teeth for 6 months. scope_creep (talk) 19:14, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi, yes there is little in the way of reliable sources that I have managed to find. I have not looked in detail at your OKW/Chi article, but I did see a statement "chi test, a common cryptographic test used as part of deciphering of enciphered message, and invented by Solomon Kullback". Are you referring to the standard statistical test, Pearson's chi-squared test which perhaps was first applied in decryption by Solomon Kullback?--TedColes (talk) 18:34, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
No, it a acronym for a German defined mathematical cryptographic test, that is I think is to help is the removal of super-encryption, which I think is fairly common. It is also a kind of in joke, by the OKW/Chi personnel i.e related to nomenclature for the naming of the organization OKoW/Chi. It means cypher is German, or something close to it. scope_creep (talk) 21:59, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

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Cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher table[edit]

Could you please explain your recent correction to the table on Cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher? Also, there is a paragraph above that explains how a letter is encrypted but doesn't have the period. Thanks. kcowolf (talk) 18:58, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

The period is to indicate the position of the sprocket hole in paper tape. Do you think it inappropriate?--TedColes (talk) 22:49, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Not necessarily inappropriate, but it was confusing since there's no explanation of what it means in the article. kcowolf (talk) 23:18, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

This weekend[edit]

Hi, hoping you still able to get to m:Meetup/Oxford/37 - will you recognise us, or shall I bring the banner again?

Also, tomorrow (19 March) is the Abingdon model railway exhibition, White Horse Leisure Centre, Audlett Drive. Doors open 10:00 and I'm at the front, selling tickets, during each even-numbered hour; we close at 17:00. --Redrose64 (talk) 11:23, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

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College of National Security; National College of Cyber Security[edit]

Information icon Hello, I'm Zazpot. I wanted to let you know that one or more of your recent contributions to College of National Security have been undone because they did not appear constructive. If you would like to experiment, please use the sandbox. If you think a mistake was made, or if you have any questions, you can leave me a message on my talk page.
Specifically, you blanked and then redirected College of National Security without explanation. I have reverted those edits. Your redirection was to a new page you created, National College of Cyber Security, into which you copied and pasted material from College of National Security without attribution, which is against the terms of Wikipedia's content license. Another problem with the National College of Cyber Security article you created is that the references there identify the college as the "College of National Security", not the "National College of Cyber Security". If you think that College of National Security really should be moved to National College of Cyber Security, then please discuss this move at Talk:College of National Security to see if consensus exists. If consensus is found, then the page can be WP:MOVEd. In the meantime, I will request speedy deletion of National College of Cyber Security, both for the reasons above, and also so that it will not block such a move if such a move achieves consensus. Thanks, zazpot (talk) 14:04, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

James Barry[edit]

Will do; pls prod me in early April. Awien (talk) 03:13, 19 March


My block was a technical error, I've lifted it, my sincere apologies. Materialscientist (talk) 10:13, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Der Fall Wichter[edit]

Dear TedColes, I wouldnt mind a copy of it, can you email it to me? The document i'm planning to use, is the Taylor and Francis: Enigma Message Procedures Used by the Heer, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine by Dirk Rijmenants. The doi is [4] I have the original Enigma manual, and a couple of other docs for Supplemental material, if needed. I'll do a search for it, as well. I've started writing an article on Eberhard Maertens. It may provide some sources for that as well. Maertens was Naval Chief of the OKM, and completly overated the security of the Engima for 2 1/2 years, in face of huge evidence that it was broken, blaming everything except the device itself. With a bit of luck it may have some additional source for that article. scope_creep (talk) 17:50, 21 September 2017 (UTC)

I have it. scope_creep (talk) 17:51, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
There is enough for whole article, about misteps, more. I see quote is in it I used in the in the OKW/Chi article:
One Allied PW in North Africa had said the United States and British operated with a very large joint 'park' of IBM (Hollerith) machinery, but this interrogation was never followed up. No personalities whatever were known .

That is Bletchly Park, where the Park has been generalised in translation. An excellent doc, a years or twos work in I think. Heavy duty. scope_creep (talk)

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