Codes

Sometimes we need to use a code to either send a message or be a key to remind ourselves of something we want to keep secret like a combination to a lock. There are two very simple codes I’d like to share with you. Both are actually pretty good because unless you have the ‘key’ you’ll never be able to crack it mathematically.

The first is so simple you’re going to hit yourself on the forehead and say “Duh.” Lets say you have a combination Master Lock like this:

resettable_combination_padlock

When you set the combination you have to remember the number, sometimes if you have 20 different locks you might not want to set them all to the same combination so we can set a Alphabetical representation as a key. It’s really simple. Pick a 10 letter word or two words which have no repeating letters. In example ‘SICKPEANUT’. Now assign each letter a number.

S = 1, I = 2, C = 3, K = 4, P = 5, E=6, A=7, N=8, U=9, T=10 (or Zero) I’ve worked this code a lot and it’s easiest to make 10 the 0. Not sure why but when explaining it to people they are always able to start counting with 1 easiest – it gets too complicated if they have to start with 0.

Okay now that you have your Key, all you have to do is write the letters right on the object you have locked.

A,N,P,S would mean the code to the lock is 7,8,5,1. That’s it.

So that’s a simple code to keep track of a series of numbers, but what if you need to send a message. An equally effective yet simple way to send a message is to first find a key which can be shared with your buddy. Come up with a book readily available for someone to pick up no matter where they are. If they are going to be in another country then you might want to chose a book found there which you too have access to. Let’s say for example you chose As I lay Dying by Faulkner. Make sure it is the same edition or specify before hand what edition and book you’ll be using. As long as only you two know what book it is this code is pretty good.

Write out your message: “The Rooster has left the hen house.”

Figure out where in the book these words occur and use the following code: Chapter, Paragraph, Line, Word.

Got it? No? Okay pick a chapter where the word “the” occurs… I’m guessing here so don’t try to look this up but lets say you use chapter 8, in the 27th paragraph in the 5th line the 12th word is “the” the code would look like this:

8,27,5,12

Then the word “rooster” occurs in the 1st chapter, 16th paragraph, 22nd line and 1st word:

1,16,22,1

So on and so forth till you have the whole sentence you need to communicate. This message can then be sent in a variety of ways, through email, snail mail or over a Ultra Low Frequency radio transmission… Technically it’s illegal to send codes over HAM radio (I’ve heard) but if you are on some frequency using Continuous Wave the likelihood of getting caught is probably pretty low, if that were the biggest crime you’d be facing when having to send a code I’d say you were probably getting off easy compared to what you were probably actually doing. But in a shit hit the fan scenario it might just save your butt.

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