Monthly Archives: November 2012

Math Behind the Shark

In a section of Cryptonomicon entitled “Cycles,” there are a few pages that go into detail explaining how the three wheels in the enigma machine give it a certain security level and how the adding of the fourth wheel in the system … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Underground Railroad through Primary Sources

This may seem like an odd book to feature on this blog, but as its reviewer’s choice today I decided to do a nonfictional text that I’ve been using as a resource lately. The Underground Railroad: A Primary Source History of The Journey to Freedom by Philip Wolny is a GREAT TEXT to use in […] Continue reading

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Better Safe than Sorry

In the “Tube” chapter, Captain Waterhouse visits Detachment 2702 and discusses with Colonel Chattan the possible height problem of the women working the bombes. All of the women that work with the bombes need to be tall enough to wire … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Pursuit of Randomness

The section of Cryptonomicon that really caught my attention was the section between pages 422 and 427. This section describes the British interception of German messages from U-553. These messages are different from the previously intercepted Enigma messages. These messages … Continue reading Continue reading

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Computer Cryptography

In the chapter titled “Forays,” of Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, bit-key encryption is introduced as a method maintaining secrecy between the characters Randy and Avi. Unlike the other characters of the novel, Randy and Avi occupy the modern times and must … Continue reading Continue reading

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Turning Wheels

Cryptonomicon creates a fictional setting in which Neal Stephenson recreates the chaos of World War II cryptography. A passage of particular interest involved the relation of Turning’s bicycle wheel to the cipher machine. Waterhouse eyes the bent spoke and weak … Continue reading Continue reading

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Understanding the Enigma

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is an interesting and informative novel tying together different generations of cryptography.   A passage I found most interesting was in the chapter ‘Cycles’.  In this chapter, Stephenson expands on the fundamental mathematics behind the Enigma machine: … Continue reading Continue reading

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Intuition

The part of Cryptonomicon that caught my attention was Lawrence Waterhouse’s attempt to solve the cipher, or “mathematical exercise” given to him and others by Commander Schoen. Schoen writes out the cipher, a list of 5 groups each with 5 … Continue reading Continue reading

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From Letters to Numbers

Though Neal Stevenson’s novel Cryptonomicon is fictional, its story of cryptography geniuses Lawrence Waterhouse, Alan Turing and Rudy von Hacklheber during World War II gives a very accurate account of the processes and drama experienced by these experts in their field. World War … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Interference of Secrecy

                The Cryptonomicon brings up an interesting idea when Sergeant Shaftoe, Corporal Benjamin and Lieutenant Monkberg get in an argument after they ram their ship into Normandy. The reader already knows the purpose of the mission because it is alluded to in … Continue reading Continue reading

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