Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

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Ladysavage
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Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Ladysavage » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:37 am

So the other day i stuck on The Imitation Game (despite having a mild allergy to Keira Knightly) and Boobshark ADORED it. He's now got hold of the Code Book by Simon Singh and we watched the Bletchley Circle. So is there anything else i need to point his inquisitive young mind in the direction of be fore he runs out of enthusiasm for the topic?

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Martin Y
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Martin Y » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:23 am

Although I've read other stuff about Bletchley Park I honestly haven't found anything better than Simon Singh's book.

Just finished Dermot Turing's(!) book The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park and it's an easy read which is intended more as a biography of the people involved but does contain a lot of good techy description of the problems they worked on and, being a new book it has more info about e.g. after the war which has gradually emerged.

PS the Turing book also zooms through the previous history of British code breaking so also has WW1 and the Zimmerman telegram which is a super story.

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bolo
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by bolo » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:27 pm

Dermot Turing is Alan Turing's nephew. Coincidentally, I have corresponded with him about genealogy as we are distant cousins.

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Martin Y
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Martin Y » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:10 pm

bolo wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:27 pm
Dermot Turing is Alan Turing's nephew. Coincidentally, I have corresponded with him about genealogy as we are distant cousins.
If an opportunity presents itself, your distant cousin might like to hear this total stranger liked his book.

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Boustrophedon
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:20 pm

Remember it's only a coup if it's from the coup d'état region of France, otherwise it just sparkling white terrorism.

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Boustrophedon
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:22 pm

Remember it's only a coup if it's from the coup d'état region of France, otherwise it just sparkling white terrorism.

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FredM
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by FredM » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:25 pm

There’s a free 3D virtual tour of Bletchley Park Museum (National Museum of Computing) here.

Millennie Al
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:25 am

A visit to Beletchley Park might suit (though obviously not very soon) - there's quite a lot to see there. And it's within walking distance from the train station.
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

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tenchboy
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by tenchboy » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:20 am

I did my BT apprenticeship training courses at Bletchley Park: regularly did the walk from the station to the house; they did a cheap evening return to London: that was when I first saw Eddie and the Hot Rods Live at the Marquee.
Happy Days.

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Little waster
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Little waster » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:44 pm

If he’s into his SF there’s also Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon.

It’s very Neal Stephenson though as most his work tends to be. ;)
It's meta, so it is allowed.

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TimW
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by TimW » Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:38 am

It's a shame that the rotors are just replaced by alphanumeric displays, the encryption largely ends up being a black box.

Maybe there would be some way of representing the electrical connections on a better display?

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jimbob
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by jimbob » Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:19 pm

My kids liked this...

https://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/cryp ... mpetition/

My eldest was 13 for the first one. She's quite competitive and took great pleasure beating her maths teachers to the answers (similarly for escape rooms where she was in Y10)
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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basementer
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by basementer » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:37 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:19 pm
My kids liked this...

https://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/cryp ... mpetition/

My eldest was 13 for the first one. She's quite competitive and took great pleasure beating her maths teachers to the answers (similarly for escape rooms where she was in Y10)
Southampton have been running cipher competitions even longer than Manchester:
https://www.cipherchallenge.org/
Money is just a substitute for luck anyway. - Tom Siddell

Allo V Psycho
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Allo V Psycho » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:57 pm

When I were a lad, I liked what I called 'pronounceable cyphers', where the alphabet was enciphered on a grid with consonants on one axis and vowels on the other. By choosing the consonants you get outcomes which sound vaguely like languages.
So you could murmur the Italianate Barorale Ribaba! at your teachers or go for the more Polynesian Kutetubo tikuku!


I still mutter Barorale ribaba, sometimes, half a century later.

If boobshark is into Excel,or wants to be, then VLOOKUP tables provide rapid en- and decyphering possibilities.

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Martin Y
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Re: Codebreaking and other cryptomalarky

Post by Martin Y » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:54 pm

Thanks to this thread I have revisited the thing that always puzzled me about Turing's Bombe machines (what the actual test was that they applied as they stepped through all the available rotor settings, in order to stop whenever they found a possible solution) and I think I now get it. So that's nice. It's really pleasingly cunning.

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