Codes and Ciphers

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Harper Collins, Jan 22, 2008 - Reference - 192 pages
2 Reviews

Everything from smoke signals to military encryption devices

Codes and Ciphers reveals the development and role of secret communications throughout history and offers practical advice on how to make codes (whether by pencil and paper or by computer) and how to break them!

Inside you will find information on:

  • Code-breaking devices
  • Hieroglyphics, Native American smoke signals, flags, and semaphore
  • Braille, Morse code, and computer language
  • Mono- and polyalphabetic letter substitution
  • Computer algorithms

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I found the book to be an interesting introduction to codes and ciphers but for the hard core dedicated cryptologist it might be a bit basic. The book begins with history's earliest coding through modern systems and give easy to understand examples of each. There were several that I was not acquainted with and found them to be easy to understand from the sample text. It is as good a book as you might find anywhere for a gift to a friend who has just become aware of the world of cryptography. 


Secret communication
Simple codes
Polyalphabetic ciphers 86
Code wars
Codes in cyberspace
Codes in culture
Code chronology

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About the author (2008)

Sean Callery is a teacher and a children's writer who has worked with many major publishers. He specialises in narrative non-fiction where facts are combined with stories. He also writes non-fiction (mainly history) and fiction, which includes play scripts and novels. Sean has developed and written several series including "Wham!" for Barrington Stoke, "Hide and Seek", a clue-based book for Kingfisher; the "Take Two" narrative non-fiction series for Evans, and "Dark Histories", recounting the nastier side of various eras for Amber Books. He still teaches in a primary school part time.

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