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VMs: RE: More Fontana name trivia...

Steve Eckwell wrote:
> Consider though, if your opening a padlock
> (combination/ not keyed)
> ..
> make a ~mistake~ and you have to "unscramble" to redo it.

I certainly don't want to go toe-to-toe with a Master Locksmith,
but I'm having a problem with this analogy.  Many of us "amateur
cryppies" have a childhood history of fascination with locks, and
while we don't do it professionally, we do know something about
mechanical locks.  To open a combination padlock I simply shim the
shank, then look down the barrel and line up the marks on the
three discs to ascertain the combination.  I own a box of locks
I've purchased simply because I've never opened one of that model,
and I still have an urge once in awhile to pick up a new one and
work it out. Even the popular Sesame bottom-combo and Masterlock
175 can be opened (by this amateur) faster than you can spin the

So I guess I'm still missing the analogy.  There's a parallel
between mechanical locks and cryptography, I grant that - Selenus'
frontispiece was a combination lock.  I even grant that there is
some similarity between machine generated algorithms and
mechanical locks, since both are forms of locks solidified in
mathematics and steel. (All you need to break a computer cipher is
a faster computer).  There's nothing to connect human classical
cipher with locks or machines.  Humans don't limit themselves to
strict mechanical or mathematical rules, and what we consider
'logic' is a confusing jumble to a machine - indeed, when we try
to solidify this logic in stone or steel, it becomes 'art', an
object open to many interpretations.

So what's the connection?  Why do you think this is a 'simple
mechanical code', and what Master Locksmith attempts to open a
combination padlock by trying myriads of combinations when the
simplest approach to a mechanical lock is a mechanical approach?