/keuh los"euhs/, n., pl. colossi /-los"uy/, colossuses.
1. (cap.) the legendary bronze statue of Helios at Rhodes. Cf. Seven Wonders of the World.
2. any statue of gigantic size.
3. anything colossal, gigantic, or very powerful.
[1350-1400; ME < L < Gk kolossós statue, image, presumably < a pre-Hellenic Mediterranean language]

* * *

      early computer, built during World War II in England. The exigencies of war gave impetus and funding to computer research. For example, in Britain, the impetus was code breaking. The Ultra project was funded with much secrecy to develop the technology necessary to crack ciphers (cipher) and codes (code) produced by the German electromechanical devices known as the Enigma and the Geheimscheiber (“Secret Writer”). The first code-breaking machine, Colossus, also known as the Mark I, was built at Bletchley Park, a government research centre north of London, and was operational and cracking German codes by December 1943. It employed approximately 1,800 vacuum tubes (electron tube) for computations. Successively larger and more elaborate versions were built over the next two years.

      The Ultra project had a gifted mathematician associated with the Bletchley Park effort, and one familiar with codes. Alan Turing (Turing, Alan M.), who had earlier articulated the concept of a universal computing device (known as a Turing machine), may have taken the project further in the direction of a general-purpose device than his government originally had in mind.

Paul A. Freiberger Michael R. Swaine

* * *

Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Colossus — Una computadora Colossus Mark II. El panel inclinado de la izquierda se usaba para establecer el número de patrones de pines de Lorenz. La cinta transportadora de papel está en la derecha. Ubicación Gran Bretaña …   Wikipedia Español

  • Colossus — Mark II Colossi waren frühe Computer, die in England während des Zweiten Weltkriegs speziell zur Dechiffrierung von geheimen Nachrichten des deutschen Militärs gebaut wurden. Mit ihrer Hilfe wurde ab 1943 in Bletchley Park die Entzifferung der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Colossus — Co*los sus, n.; pl. L. {Colossi}, E. {Colossuses}. [L., fr. Gr. ?.] 1. A statue of gigantic size. The name was especially applied to certain famous statues in antiquity, as the Colossus of Nero in Rome, the Colossus of Apollo at Rhodes. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Colossus — es el nombre de una serie de computadoras electrónicas utilizadas durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial para romper códigos criptográficos. Inventada y alojada cerca de Londres en Bletchley Park. Aunque las computadoras colossus procedían de otras… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • colossus — gigantic statue, late 14c., from L. colossus a statue larger than life, from Gk. kolossos gigantic statue, of unknown origin, used by Herodotus of giant Egyptian statues, and used by Romans of the bronze Apollo at the entrance to the harbor of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Colossus — (gr.), s. Koloß; die in Rom errichteten Colossi, z.B. der C, Neronis, Domitiani etc., s. u. Rom (a. Geogr.) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • colossus — [n] giant thing behemoth, Cyclops, Gargantua, giant, Godzilla, Goliath, Hercules, leviathan, mammoth, Samson, titan; concept 424 …   New thesaurus

  • colossus — ► NOUN (pl. colossi or colossuses) ▪ a person or thing of enormous size, in particular a statue that is much bigger than life size. ORIGIN Latin, from Greek kolossos …   English terms dictionary

  • colossus — [kə läs′əs] n. pl. for 1 & 3 colossi [kə läs′ī΄] or colossuses [ME < L < Gr kolossos] 1. a gigantic statue 2. [C ] the gigantic statue of Apollo set at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes c. 280 B.C. and included among the Seven Wonders of …   English World dictionary

  • Colossus — The original meaning of the word colossus is an exceptionally large statue. Colossus may refer to: Contents 1 Statues 2 Media 3 Computing …   Wikipedia

  • Colossus — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Colossus (homonymie). Colossus Personnage de fiction apparaissant dans …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.