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Hacking Enigma | US Tour 2018 | Dr Enigma is coming to America!

Due to increasing demand for the Enigma machine to appear in the USA, I’m putting on a special tour to the US so that more people get the chance to hear the fascinating Engima story, and play with a real Enigma machine.

The event: ‘Hacking Engima | How The Nazi Codes Were Cracked’ will be coming to US shores in February 2018. I am now taking bookings so contact me asap if you would like to host an event. More details below.

Hacking Engima | How The Nazi Codes Were Cracked

Learn about perhaps the world’s greatest ever hack, how some of the greatest minds in history broke the Enigma codes, something Nazi Germany never believed possible.

 

In this unique event, British Enigma Machine expert, owner and speaker, Dr Mark Baldwin, will present the incredible Enigma Machine story and perform a live demo where the audience get to play with an original, iconic Enigma Machine.

Format:

The Enigma Machine Story (45m + 15m for Q&A)
One hour talk on the Enigma Machine and how World War 2 Codebreakers broke German ciphers; the fascinating history, technical explanation and human story behind one of the world’s most important hacks.

 

Live Demo of an original Enigma Machine (30m)
Live demonstration of Dr Baldwin’s personal Enigma Machine, where the audience can not only get up close but actually touch, photograph and play with a real, genuine Enigma Machine, and ask further questions.

Dr Baldwin’s talk and live demo is hugely popular with the audience, read the Enigma machine talk testimonials to hear what people are saying about the experience.

Note: Length and content of the event can be adjusted to suit audience.

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Image based on photo taken by Si Barber

Is The Imitation Game a true story?

What a spell-binding film but what a travesty! To make the story even more dramatic than real life, director Morten Tyldum introduced numerous distortions. The website Information is Beautiful analyses 17 films which claim to be based on true stories, scoring each scene according to how true it actually is.

Of the 17, ‘The Imitation Game’ comes a miserable bottom, with a truth rating of only 41.4%, way below any of the others.

One part that was accurate however, was the depiction of the Engima machine that was shown in the short U-boat scene. I know this because it was my 4-rotor Enigma machine that was used in the film!

4 Rotor Engima Machine
Dr Baldwin’s 4-rotor Enigma machine, as seen in The Imitation Game

A wacky typewriter: Enigma machine bought for €100 in Romania

I have often heard stories of people who saw a ‘funny looking typewriter’, but failed to buy it. Later, they realised it had been an Enigma machine, but it had gone by the time they went back. I’ve always treated such tales as urban myths, but a more credible version of the story emerged via the BBC last month.

A knowledgeable Romanian mathematician spotted a ‘funny looking typewriter’ in a flea market, priced at 100 Euros. Recognising exactly what it actually was (a 3-rotor Enigma) he snapped it up, and sent it to auction, when it fetched 42,000 Euros. I am reliably informed that the buyer is now looking for £75,000.

It’s thought that around 30,000 Enigma machines were made, but although the vast majority were destroyed during the war, there are still some hiding out there, waiting to be found. Keep your eyes open!

Enigma Machine @ Turing Fest 2017

Last week I was in Edinburgh, invited by the organisers to speak at the Turing Fest – Scotland’s biggest Tech gathering.

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My role was not only to give a presentation explaining something of the workings of the Enigma machine, but also to mount a display, allowing participants to operate a genuine wartime Enigma machine.

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Despite being an almost one hundred year old piece of technology, the Enigma Machine story continues to fascinate younger generations and I was presenting alongside speakers from some of today’s top tech companies including: Google, Microsoft, Y Combinator, TechCrunch, Skyscanner, Moz, Trello and Github.

My hands-on demonstrations and my talk seemed to go down well with what was cleary a very technologically-savvy group of people, and one of my younger audiences.

A big thanks to Turing Fest for inviting me up to Scotland to share the Engima Story with such a lovely and interested crowd. I hope to see you again next year.

Here are a few tweets from some of the Turing Fest attendees: