Colossus



[kuh-los-uh s] /kəˈlɒs əs/

noun, plural colossi
[kuh-los-ahy] /kəˈlɒs aɪ/ (Show IPA), colossuses.
1.
(initial capital letter) the legendary bronze statue of Helios at Rhodes.
Compare .
2.
any statue of gigantic size.
3.
anything , gigantic, or very powerful.
/kəˈlɒsəs/
noun (pl) -si (-saɪ), -suses
1.
something very large, esp a statue
n.

“gigantic statue,” late 14c., from Latin colossus “a statue larger than life,” from Greek 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 Rhodes. Figurative sense of “any thing of awesome greatness or vastness” is from 1794.

(A huge and ancient statue on the Greek island of Rhodes).
1. The Colossus and Colossus Mark II computers used by Alan Turing at Bletchley Park, UK during the Second World War to crack the “Tunny” cipher produced by the Lorenz SZ 40 and SZ 42 machines. Colossus was a semi-fixed-program vacuum tube calculator (unlike its near-contemporary, the freely programmable Z3).
[“Breaking the enemy’s code”, Glenn Zorpette, IEEE Spectrum, September 1987, pp. 47-51.]
2. The computer in the 1970 film, “Colossus: The Forbin Project”. Forbin is the designer of a computer that will run all of America’s nuclear defences. Shortly after being turned on, it detects the existence of Goliath, the Soviet counterpart, previously unknown to US Planners. Both computers insist that they be linked, whereupon the two become a new super computer and threaten the world with the immediate launch of nuclear weapons if they are detached. Colossus begins to give its plans for the management of the world under its guidance. Forbin and the other scientists form a technological resistance to Colossus which must operate underground.
The Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064177).
(2007-01-04)

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