Letter from Programmer (28 March 1992)
(Item #D6) (transcription)

March 28, 1992
Cambridge, MA

Dear Kevin,

How is everything, business and otherwise? Hopefully its as headache free as can be expected. Things here are in their usual holding pattern; work all day, sit in front of a Mac at night.

As far as the code goes things are going well. The encryption portion, which actually has two different sections, is together and working fine. It has one very interesting feature in that it is context sensitive. The value, both character and numerical, of any particular character is determined by the characters next to it, which from a cryptoanalysis or code-breaking point of view is an utter nightmare.

The next steps are to create an extended form that reads in a whole piece of text and then spits out encrypted text, or renders into plaintext the source text. That’s Sunday’s task. Lastly the screen scrolling of the presentation has to be worked out. In the prototype I’m going to include provisions for the display of pictures. It will be easier to build them in and then cut them out later if they’re undesired than to not include and have to work them in later. Again, I’m looking to have all of this done by next weekend for review, but I’m also not making any promises. So far things are on schedule, which, although I didn’t mention it in NY, calls for having a finished version ready for the 3rd or 4th week of April so that it can be beta-tested and any necessary revisions made by the 2nd week of May, with copying to take place immediately thereafter, distribution after that (the 4th week of May) such that the official release, and the form when it it is in dealers or retailers hands being June 1. This is the timetable I’m on, if there are misunderstandings on my part about this please let me know. Otherwise I’ll just keep plugging away with these deadlines in mind.

As far as the software licensing goes I’m just going to send you a copy of what Apple sent me. We can talk later on about what special requirements there are, or if any special conditions exist. If it won’t cost you any major [unreadable word] please have someone in the legal profession look it over; that is if you yourself don’t feel comfortable about interpreting its possible ramifications.

The disk copying software is as follows. It will take between 5 and 7 business days to make copies in the 3,000-7,000 range. The fees are as follows:

Cost of disks & duplication @ .71¢
Labels 1-color .06¢
  ” 2-color .07¢
  ” 3-color .089¢
Plate change $35

From        Formats Unlimited Tel no: 1-800-645-8461 Fax: 1-516-249-92[numbers cut off]
               Farmingdale, NY Contact: [name obscured]

As concerns the encryption, or encryption in general, if Ezra has any questions pass them along. I will try to answer them succinctly and quickly. To this end I have enclosed part of the mathematical work. Originally I had thought of enclosing this to show Dennis some of the numbers that I’m working on; this could provide a guideline and instructional sheet for someone who is mathematically inclined and wanted to implement the same type of structure. If there are any questions I’ll try and answer them as I can, another info source would by anything on the Data Encryption standard or mathematical works by Rivest, Shanker, Aldemann. I have the feeling I’m forgetting something but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it might be. Let me know if anything major pops up. Good luck with everything and I’m looking forward to seeing you & Dennis in the very near future.

XXXXXX [signature suppressed; programmer wished to be anonymous]
posted by eswanstrom on 09.05.05 @ 4:03 pm | Comments Off on Letter from Programmer (28 March 1992)
(Item #D6) (transcription)