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Re: VMs: Three nice crypto books

Dear Petr,

At 06:54 26/11/2003 +0100, you wrote:
I have borrowed the following two books from the Royal Library: <...>
They contain a very good overview of Italian cryptography from the
VMS-period. Examples of crypto are given from Florence, Rome, Modena, Venice
etc. I will gladly post them on my server but - the books are so old that
I'm afraid they'll break if I scan them in the usual way - at least I'll
probably break the spine in two.

1) Do you know these books?

I've certainly gone through the first but not the second.

2) Are you interested in a scan?

Of course! IMO, there's a great big void on the Internet as far as decent examples of Quattrocento crypto goes. Very few and far between.

3) How do you handle/scan such brittle books?

With great care (of course). Rather than scanning per se, I'd instead advise borrowing the highest resolution digital camera you can get & taking photos of the pages. As long as you remember to light the pages reasonably well, you should get *excellent* images.

4) How big it the chance that the VMS author discovered something completely
different, if the rest of the world used the same ideas over and over again?

Well... you might say much the same thing about the mainstream of polyalphabetic ciphers - they were discovered, popularised, and ignored. The only (probable) difference is that the VMs wasn't popularised (as far as we can tell). :-)

This is a modern book, so I'll make a PDF scan today.
5) Are you interested?

Not so much in this as in ciphers from the first Meister book. :-)

6) Does my private server work sufficiently well to post it there?

I'm sure we can find plenty of spare space elsewhere if you're at all worried. :-)

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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