Alan Turing celebrated with Google doodle

The father of modern computing has his own doodle, 100 years after his birth.

The man who helped crack the Enigma code has been honoured with his very own Google doodle.

Alan Turing, known as the father of modern computing, was born 100 years ago today. He helped develop the Turing machine, a device that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape, in 1936. The doodle takes the form of a Turing machine, so you can give it a go yourself. Bit of a warning though: the operating system's a bit clunky.

Turing, working at Bletchley Park, cracked the Enigma code, which helped the Allies to track German military and naval units and undoubtedly shortened the Second World War. The incident was the basis of the 2001 film Enigma.

But tragedy plagued Turing's later years. In 1952 he was found guilty of homosexuality -- then a crime -- and agreed to be chemically castrated, which involved being given female hormones. He's believed to have committed suicide two years later at the age of 41, though a prominent academic is to cast doubt on whether Turing's death was intentional.

The evidence at the 1954 inquest into Turing's death wasn't sufficient to establish he took his own life, according to Turing expert Professor Jack Copeland. At a conference in Oxford today, Professor Copeland will argue Turing's death could well have been an accident, the BBC reports.

That Turing's death was caused by cyanide poisoning isn't in doubt.

He was found by his housekeeper dead in bed with a half-eaten apple. He's thought to have been haunted by the idea of the poisoned apple in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, but the apple was never tested for cyanide. Copeland will argue it was Turing's habit to take an apple to bed, and often didn't finish it.

Turing was even in a cheerful mood prior to the incident, leaving himself a note of things to do on his return to work after the bank holiday weekend.

The centenary of his birth has seen Turing's legacy return to the spotlight, with a campaign to put him on the new £10 note , and fundraising efforts to preserve Bletchley Park . London's Science Museum currently has an exhibition on the great man.

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    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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