Slovenia's Maheno corporation manufactured a series of Barbie-branded and white label typewriters for kids, with a hidden feature that allowed their owners to use them to produce messages encrypted with a simple substitution cipher.
The devices came with four ciphers, and went through several iterations before being discontinued.
All electronic Barbie typewriters are based on the initial Mehano E-115 model that was sold directly by Mehano in 1998. This early variant can be recognised by its grey case as shown above. The image on the right shows the Barbie-version of this typewriter with its typical colours.
This version contains the first revision of the electronics (revision A), which consists of a well designed PCB with all components on one side, including a 24-pin microcontroller which carries the Mehano logo. This could be a Micropchip™ variant or a similar single-chip microcontroller.
Barbie Typewriter E-118 [Crypto Museum]
Peter Biddle writes, “I get I myself into trouble. I don’t claim that bad stuff happens to me more often than others – it’s more that I find more ways to happen to bad stuff. I actually found a way to get severe hypothermia in 105°F heat.”
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 […]
Toaster ovens are the perfect appliance for small things like toasted sandwiches and roasted garlic (try it!), but anything more involved usually requires a full-sized conventional oven.However, despite its small size, the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven can handle anything from baked pastries to broiled meats. This kitchen appliance has a minimal countertop footprint, and cooks […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
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 […]