Crypto CD-ROM – WARNING – written with 16-bit software, so requires Microsoft Virtual PC to run on Windows 7 or later Windows

Tens of thousands of copies of this resource were downloaded before its 16-bit software became outdated. The software can still be downloaded for free, but be warned that it is not going to be easy to run it, and we cannot offer any support. Sorry.
I am hoping that one day the software can be updated and re-written so that this terrific crypto resource can be widely used again. In fact, if you know someone who wants to update the resource for Windows 10 or Mac (perhaps a project for a degree student or masters student), then please get in touch via the contact button. Or maybe you belong to a company that would like to update the resource – I would certainly consider putting a company logo on every page of the resource.
The interactive CD-ROM version of The Code Book is now available. It contains tons of fascinating and dynamic material, including:
  1. Encryption tools,
  2. Code breaking tools,
  3. Coded messages to crack,
  4. Material for teachers, e.g., worksheets,
  5. A realistic, virtual Enigma cipher machine,
  6. A beginner’s cryptography tutorial,
  7. A history of codes from 1000BC to 2000AD,
  8. Material for junior codebreakers,
  9. An animated section on quantum cryptography,
  10. Sections on public key crypto & RSA.

Download it for free (lite version here), but before downloading, please read the rest of this page in order to check compatibility with operating systems.

There is a section with advice on how to download the CD-ROM and a separate general help section. You will also find advice on a fix for Windows XP or later Windows versions, networking, screen size issues and potential problems with running video clips on the CD-ROM.

The CD-ROM is ideal for teenagers, parents who want to encourage an interest in science and mathematics in their children, grown-ups interested in the history of cryptography, amateur codebreakers and anybody who wants to know about encryption in the Information Age.

The CD-ROM is compatible with PC computers, but not Macs. Also, the CD-ROM was written in 16-bit software, so you may experience problems in running it on a 64-bit operating system. The CD-ROM’s designer (Nick Mee) suggests that the following fix MIGHT work.

“I have looked into VirtualBox and it looks as though it does offer a way to run The Code Book on CD-ROM on a Windows 7 PC. VirtualBox is a free open source product that has been developed by Oracle.
It can be downloaded from the following website:

It enables you to set up a Virtual Machine by allocating some hard disk space where you can run a separate operating system. You can then run your Windows setup disks and install an old version of Windows in this space. I have not tested this, but the VirtualBox software seems robust and it gets good reviews on the internet, so it seems reasonable to presume that it does work as advertised.

What this means is that anyone running Windows 7 can download and install VirtualBox for free, and providing that they have installation disks for Windows XP or an earlier version of Windows, they should be able to set up a Virtual Machine and then using this Virtual Machine they will be able to run The Code Book on CD-ROM.”

“It is a fascinating CD-ROM, and I can see how one
could get obsessed with the subject!”
Arthur C. Clarke

The aim of the project was to create an interactive version of The Code Book, so that readers could encrypt, break codes and see how the Enigma machine really works.

However, it soon became clear that the CD-ROM had a huge potential for getting young people interested in mathematics. The reaction from teachers was terrific. I am hoping that the CD-ROM will be used extensively by teachers in Britain and around the world.

1 thought on “Crypto CD-ROM – WARNING – written with 16-bit software, so requires Microsoft Virtual PC to run on Windows 7 or later Windows

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Code Book: The Evolution of Secrecy from Mary Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography | Citizen Scientists League

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