Stepping Switch

Stepping switches change the direction of a magnetic flow to one of multiple channels, stepping through them incrementally. Which sounds incredibly boring until we realize they enabled the modern phone system and powered the decryption machines which morphed into the modern computer. Stepping switches were literally a step from the industrial revolution to the modern […]

Binary Theory

In 1935 theoretical mathematician Alan Turing proposed a machine that would use a series of on and off switches that could represent or compute anything. Turing joined the war effort to build mechanical computers that decrypted Enigma messages. Eventually, he helped with electronic computers. His theories underpin all modern computers. Subsequently, Turing envisaged reasonably sentient […]

Electronic Cipher (Enigma)

Enigma is a cipher, a machine that implements an algorithm to encrypt and decrypt messages. On Feb. 23, 1918, Scherbius applied for his first patent for what would become the most well-known cipher machine in history, the Enigma. Initially marketed for commercial purposes the German army modified a version for military encryption in 1926. Nazis […]