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Leibniz (1672)
Calculating Machine

The first great mathematical success of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646 - 1716) was his creation of a calculating machine in the early 1670's. It was apparently the first machine capable of multiplication, division, and root extractions, and was impressive enough to get Leibniz elected to the Royal Society of London in 1673.

ENIGMA (1937)
Encryption System

The Enigma cipher is most well known for it's contributions to World War II on the Germans' side. They developed what came to be known as The Enigma Machine. The machine was based on a system of three rotors that substituted cipher text letters for plain text letters. The rotors would spin in conjunction with each other, thus performing varying substitutions much like the Caeser Shift. When a letter was typed on the keyboard of the machine, it was first sent through the first rotor, which would shift the letter according to its present setting. The new letter would then pass through the second rotor, where it would be replaced by a substitution according to the present setting of the second rotor. This new letter would in turn pass through the third rotor, again being substituted accordingly. Next, this new letter would be bounced off of a reflector, and back through the three rotors in reverse order. The trick that made Enigma so powerful for its time though, was the spinning of the rotors.

The Germans devised a system by which all of the recipients would set their rotors to predetermined settings according to the date. Each clerk had a book detailing the settings for each day. This presented a major weakness in the system though. Obviously, if anyone could figure out what the settings of the rotors were for a particular day, they would be able to decode that day's messages, assuming they had an Enigma Machine themselves. The Enigma cipher was eventually broken by Alan Turing and a group of scientists at a later date during the war. The breaking of this code led to the Allies' ability to intercept and decode the Germans' messages, which had wonderous effects on the outcome of the war.

IBM 11 (1923)
Electric Key Punch

In 1923 IBM introduced the first electric key punch. It was used to punch holes in the early 80 column IBM cards. Each card contained 12 rows of 80 columns, and each column wastypically used to represent a single piece of data such as a character. The top row was called the "12" or "Y" row; the second row from the top wascalled the "11" or "X" row; and the remaining rows were called the "0" to "9" rows (indicated by the numbers printed on the cards).

PGP - Pretty Good Privacy (1991)
Encryption Software

When, concerned by the proliferation of cryptography, the FBI renewed its effort to gain access to plaintext messages of US citizens, Phil Zimmerman in response released his first version of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), which is a freeware product that uses the IDEA algorithm. PGP is a free program providing military-grade algorithms to the internet community and since its publication in 1991 has evolved into a cryptographic standard because of such widespread use.

The initial versions of PGP were geared towards the more computer literate individual, but to the individual nonetheless. Phil Zimmerman could be compared to Henry Ford in his efforts to provide PGP to every home by making it free, and therefore, affordable. Today, PGP's updated version is offered free to the public and available via the Internet.

"PGP empowers people to take their privacy into their own hands. This is a Civil Rights Issue, and its truth is hold to be self evident." (Phil R. Zimmermann)


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