Bletchley Park, the "home of the codebreakers" -- where Alan Turing and co cracked the Nazi Enigma machine -- sells "Pocket Enigma Machines" made from a clever cardboard disc inserted into a CD jewel case. It comes with a very good booklet explaining the basics of ciphering and deciphering with Enigma, and with a bunch of fun Enigma-related activities. Proceeds go to the nonprofit that runs the excellent Bletchley Park museum.
The instructions supplied explain how Pocket Enigma works and take the user step-by-step through the process of coding and decoding. Worked examples and carefully annotated figures illustrate how the Key and Message Setting are used, and there is a trouble-shooting table to help with common errors.
For young readers there is also a simplified way of using it called Junior Pocket Enigma making it suitable for all ages who can read and write their own messages.
Looking for a tiny PC that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? SFF PC Cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. The very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical “Maximum GPU length” field is right there […]
Benji Edwards’s guide to preserving vintage electronics is a fascinating look into all the ways that even solid-state gear can go off in long-term storage: a lot of stuff (batteries, capacitors and even rubber) can leak viscous, electronics-destroying liquids; plastics break down in UV light; mold and corrosion eat your gear from within; spiders, crickets […]
Indiana U is selling off a huge lot of lab equipment, including these space-pod-looking gantries. Winning bidder is responsible for dismantling and shipping. “To give someone an idea of how large these are, there are two pits that they sit in. Each of the pits are 28’x35’x10′ deep.”
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Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
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