Super Enigma simulator for RISC OSPublished: 19th Sep 2001, 22:19:06 | Permalink | Printable
OFVO RZDQ ZZOD OWGA JEWC TWRF TDBH IPGD XULast weekend, Paul Reuvers released his Enigma simulator (version 0.30) to RISC OS users. The history of the Enigma machines is a very interesting one and Paul's simulator tries its best to bring you back a piece of World War 2 history.
Here's a forewarning for you: Paul's simulator is a serious piece of kit. I'd be the first to admit to hating history at school so if you're like me, put away your bias for a few minutes and give it a go. The simulator is a prime example of how RISC OS software can be educational and interactive. You like to fiddle? How about machine textures, display light filters, external displays, animated rotating cogs, cover flaps, sockets and wiring, cog locks and counter displays sound? You want Enigma machines? Pick your favourite from a range including but not limited to the German Abwehr machines, the German Navy 'service Enigma' and the Japanese Navy model. Each simulated machine comes complete with a description of the machine's use and encoding setup. Oh and I better not forget to mention that the simulation software uses sound samples from a real Enigma machine recorded in the US. Every key press and cog click. All with hi-res graphics, a detailed manual and more. Excellent.
The Enigma system works by encrypting messages using a constantly changing letter encoding system. It's pretty smart and you wonder how anyone ever cracked it. The full history behind the Enigma is given along with photos and an explanation on how the machines work.
"I launched the first version at the end of August, just after my visit to Bletchley Park and I got an amazing amount of response from people in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and Canada", Paul told drobe.co.uk. "It seems like a lot of people are interested in the subject."
It's worthy to note that Stefan Bellon, of GnuPG encryption fame, has on the RISC OS applications newsgroup voiced his praise of Paul's software. It is quite evident from the simulator's manual that Paul has put a lot of effort into researching the machines and it's safe to say that his efforts have paid off.
"When I came home after the holidays [from Bletchley Park], I searched the Internet for useful Enigma simulations. I found a couple of Java applets, but some of these didn't produce the expected results", writes Paul in the simulator manual. "Although they explained the working principle of the Enigma, they didn't simulate the actual device. I also found the Enigma Simulations for Windows, by the CSG (the Crypto Simulation Group). These are written by experts on the Enigma subject and produce correct results. The only problem here is that they are running on Windows and not on RISC OS. I then decided to create my own version of the Enigma Simulator expecially to run on RISC OS."
Using a RiscPC, Paul developed his software in BASIC before compiling it using the ABC compiler.
Enigma Simulator: www.xat.nl/enigma/
Chris Williams, work experience lad
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