Computing: From Code Breakers to Martian Helicopters and Virtual Memories

Kanchi Vasavada

By : Kanchi Vasavada

Computing: From Code Breakers to Martian Helicopters and Virtual Memories1

Alan Turing, a codebreaker and computer scientist, was an unsung hero. He is the reason that World War 2 ended when it did and the UK imprisoned him soon after for being homosexual, something that was illegal. In an attempt to fix that, UK is putting his face on their new £50 note. It will also have other things in relation to him, like the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) pilot machine, his birthdate in binary code, and more. Turning was the one who thought binary code was a way to enter data into machines and look where we are now!

Turing’s contribution to computing as we know it right now is groundbreaking. Without it, we might not have been here right now.

You can check out the collection of notes on the website of the Bank of England.

A quote that is on the note says:

“This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

He was so right! So, the next couple of things are things he definitely missed seeing!

Remember how we recently landed a rover on Mars? Yeah, we have also sent a tiny helicopter, Ingenuity, with it that will fly in the Martian atmosphere. No big deal. It won’t be flying all over the planet, nor will it be able to fly for too long, but this is enough of an engineering miracle for a first time! The idea of the little chopper is that it explores places that are too difficult for the rover to roll over to. It is equipped with a color camera and a black and white camera for navigation.

Ingenuity connects to Perseverance for communication and sending data back to us.

Each such step may seem small individually, but in the long run, the small steps really are big for how much we have achieved in the last century!

Next cool thing is that Google is testing a Memory feature within Google Assitant. The idea is to be able to ask your Assistant-enabled device to remember things for you – which is not the same as setting a reminder. A reminder would remind you of something at a specific time or place, but a Memory will have to be something you can call upon when you need it – from a bike lock code to a song, or event, and anything else.

While this feature already exists in a small way, Google is now attempting to make it big and include everything – reading list, books, codes, etc.

Not each thing in computing is going to be life-changing, but then, that depends on what you think is life-changing!

Hey Google, remember this is my favorite song!

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