Donations to help save UK's computer heritage

IBM and PGP contribute to Bletchley campaign

Two £25,000 donations by major technology companies could kick-start the campaign to keep the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley running.

The campaign to raise around £7 million to run the museum has received a major boost with the news that computer giants IBM and encryption specialists PGP have contributed $50,000 each.

The two companies' contributions are all the more fitting considering the code-breaking and computers nature of the museum, with Bletchley the site where the German wartime code Enigma was famously cracked, handing the Allies a huge tactical advantage.

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"It's an important part not only of computing, but of cryptology and analysis," IBM's Andrew Hart told the BBC.

"We're getting involved to help preserve what is a fundamental part of our history.

"I think it's very important to act to preserve this because a lot of people think this equipment is obsolete, so a lot of this material is being lost and destroyed at an incredible rate."

The National Museum of Computing boats many exhibits including Colossus, a competitor for the role of the first computer, a history of the humble calculator and a showcase of computer icons through the 1970s and 1980s as home computing took off.