User talk:Stevebkk

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Category: Classical Cryptography

The original Cardan Grille is usually given as an example of STEGANOGRAPHY in its modern sense. Francis Bacon used the words CRYPTOGRAPHY and STEGANOGRAPHY interchangeably, but he asserted that a good cipher "in some cases be without suspition" by which he meant that it should not appear to be a cipher at all.

The variations on Cardan Grille messages which use null fillers are CRYPTOGRAMS, as are the turning grilles that produce transposition ciphers. The original intention was to create STEGANOGRAMS, but Cardano would not have made this distinction exactly - all hidden communications being 'cyphers.'

--Steve 06:04, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

welcome aboard[edit]

Steve, Nice point above. I hadn't quite realized the categories were so thoroughly crossed by the grilles. Concepts worth disentangling in the relevant articles.
Anyway, welcome aboard the crypto corner. We have done some good work, but there is, as always, more to do, and you help will be appreciated by all us cryptiacs, and probably the curious average reader. You may find yourself with an opinon on one of the great teapot tempests of our time, the cy v ci debate. See the Project page at cypher v cipher. Perhaps you too would like to chyme in?
Glad to have you pitching in. ww 08:50, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Steve, really nice work on Cardan Grille and Grille. Sorry I didn't respond to your email earlier; I've been quite busy with work and I lose track of stuff! — Matt Crypto 12:20, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

featured article nomination[edit]

I've just noticed that you posted your work (on your User page) as the article Grille (cryptography). As is noted at talk:Cardan Grille, when it was posted, I'd nominate it. Done. See the talk page for Grille (cryptography) for the link. I think it should be approved, but you will probably want to watch for the comments that folks leave. If nothing else, you'll get a quick education in WP operations. Hope it wins approval. Good article. ww 19:00, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I've answered some comments (ie, objections) to the FA nomination above, and promised to suggest some changes. See the discussion page fo rthe nomination for the suggestions. You're the obvious person to tell about this. What do you want done? Given the at the article is largely your work. ww 21:18, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
It was written for amusement and is meant to be read in the same vein - like many a user page.

--Steve 10:11, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

We did too little too late. Featured article status failed. Sorry about that. I'm going in to make some edits. Let me know what you think, if you'd like. ww 02:08, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm amused by all that, especially a question from CG 'who is Francis Bacon.'

--Steve 23:34, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Trifid cipher[edit]

I'm not sure what the problem is. Trifid cipher shows up fine for me. Perhaps you mistyped? Or perhaps it was a temporary glitch. -- Securiger 01:33, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

It links to the trifid, but shows up red on my screen - as does the reference in the paragraph above. --Steve 23:12, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Very odd. It is a bluelink for me (or purple, now I've revisted it.) Perhaps a bug in your style sheet? What skin are you using? It might be time for a Wikipedia:Bug report. -- Securiger 00:56, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
It's changed to purple. It links. I'm not bothered. I made a cross-reference. The bifid and trifid are mentioned in several books, but I wonder if anyone has looked at the original little book by Delastelle. (I'm not sure Delastelle looked at it himself because he died around the time of publication).

--Steve 10:11, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Julian Huxley / GCHQ[edit]

Thanks for picking this up; it was an unnoticed change from the original text which slipped in under the radar. His first entry into the Army was in the Army Service Corps, but soon he got himself transferred to the British Army Intelligence Corps. In the aricle I have mentioned the latter, which was his only operational war-time activity after his return to England. GCHQ is, as you say, a later invention and, in bureaucratic terms, not part of the Army. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:41, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Orphaned non-free image (File:ElgarSocietyComp07.png)[edit]


Thanks for uploading File:ElgarSocietyComp07.png. The image description page currently specifies that the image is non-free and may only be used on Wikipedia under a claim of fair use. However, the image is currently orphaned, meaning that it is not used in any articles on Wikipedia. If the image was previously in an article, please go to the article and see why it was removed. You may add it back if you think that that will be useful. However, please note that images for which a replacement could be created are not acceptable for use on Wikipedia (see our policy for non-free media).

If you have uploaded other unlicensed media, please check whether they're used in any articles or not. You can find a list of "file" pages you have edited by clicking on the "my contributions" link (it is located at the very top of any Wikipedia page when you are logged in), and then selecting "File" from the dropdown box. Note that any non-free images not used in any articles will be deleted after seven days, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. Thank you.  Skier Dude  ►  02:52, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not 100% sure what you're asking... the image File:Dorabella.gif is preferable to File:ElgarSocietyComp07.png as it is closer to the original and does not have any additional text added to it. If you're asking about the text - as long as it is not Original research and it is documented by reliable sources it may be adapted for use here. Please note, however, that Wikipedia is not a webhost for personal articles  Skier Dude  ►  03:31, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

The solution is to use the graphic already in place: Dorabella Cipher which was a stub. This article now has more information on the background to Dorabella - who she was and why Elgar sent her a cryptic note.

The Elgar Society has, today, advised that they have no objection to an article about the 2007/08 Cipher Competition - which may include a screen grab from their website. --Steve (talk) 00:39, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Problems with Category Definitions and Wikipedia Admins' move to delete[edit]

Hi Steve

I'm in the process of rewriting and extending the Dorabella Cipher article to include a deeper discussion of the cipher and related symbols (such as the probable visual mnemonics or "hairy footballs" that appear on the same page of the exercise book as the full symbol set and a mapping to a reduced alphabet) and the Liszt fragment. I'm also trying to address concerns about the article's lack of encyclopedic tone.

This work is being undertaken with the support of the director of the Eric Sams Study Centre in Italy ( since some of Eric's as yet unpublished work contains materials that are relevant.

Since this is going to be a slow process I have set up a sandbox under my user page and copied the current article there, and bit by bit I'm working on it (as and when I can). Once it's finished I'll replace the existing article wholesale.

To that end I created and uploaded to Wikimedia some stylized graphics of both the visual mnemonics and a table of one mapping of the cipher (as depicted by Elgar's own exercise book page) and attempted to categorize them, with some advice from the Help desk there.

I'm tripping over a problem with a couple of Wikipedia admins who don't know the cipher and who don't seem to be able to understand some of the issues (or rather, I don't seem to be able to find an explanation that works for them). The current discussion is here: the discussion page

I'm trying to replicate in Wikipedia the category hierarchy that I created in Wikimedia, for consistency.

I don't know whether you would feel disposed to support keeping the category Cipher-Related Symbols to cover the visual mnemonics (the hairy footballs that are not cipher symbols per se but are related to the cipher). I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

The category hierarchy is: History of cryptography | Uncracked codes and ciphers | Dorabella Cipher | Cipher-Related Symbols. The first three categories already exist on Wikipedia.

My argument is that the mnemonics belong in the Cipher-Related Symbols category, not the Dorabella Cipher category, since they are not part of the cipher but are related to it.

Kind regards, AncientBrit (talk) 02:09, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Salt-Water Ballads[edit]

Hi Steve, I have replied to your comment on the Masefield talk page as to whether the book was published in 1901 or 1902. Your comment and cites are appreciated. Cheers. Span (talk) 21:01, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Agreed: the book appeared in the middle of 1902. --Steve (talk) 00:53, 21 November 2011 (UTC)