56 HomeYamamoto and the Secret Admirers
Neal Stephenson


Baudot Code
The Baudot code was developed in 1875 by French telegrapher Emile Baudot. The letters of the alphabet are represented by five units of electrical pulses or absences of pulses.

The table below shows the Baudot code with 1 representing a pulse and 0 no pulse. The other six possible combinations of pulses were used by the telegraph operators for carriage returns and other processes.

A: 11000   B: 10011    C: 01110   D: 10010    E: 10000   F: 10110   
G: 01011   H: 00101    I: 01100   J: 11010    K: 11110   L: 01001   
M: 00111   N: 00110    O: 00011   P: 01101    Q: 11101   R: 01010   
S: 10100   T: 00001    U: 11100   V: 01111    W: 11001   X: 10111   
Y: 10101   Z: 10001   

The binary nature of the code allowed for its use in an efficient mechanised form of cryptography in World War II. By using punchcards containing the message in a machine readable form it could be combined with an algorithm by a device to generate a ciphertext as is done with the Arethusa cipher in the novel Cryptonomicon.

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