1994-04-26 - Re: Schneier’s source code

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From: deeb@meceng.coe.neu.edu (Stephen Humble)
To: michael.shiplett@umich.edu
Message Hash: bdaca516a61a8dea7c0b879138aa01a03877dfc480b333e7ca4754c91c76c72f
Message ID: <9404262039.AA02429@meceng.coe.neu.edu>
Reply To: <199404262006.QAA22248@totalrecall.rs.itd.umich.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1994-04-26 20:40:54 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 26 Apr 94 13:40:54 PDT

Raw message

From: deeb@meceng.coe.neu.edu (Stephen Humble)
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 94 13:40:54 PDT
To: michael.shiplett@umich.edu
Subject: Re: Schneier's source code
In-Reply-To: <199404262006.QAA22248@totalrecall.rs.itd.umich.edu>
Message-ID: <9404262039.AA02429@meceng.coe.neu.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

michael shiplett <michael.shiplett@umich.edu> sez:
> tcm> Someone in Cypherpunks has a novel solution: print code in the
> tcm> most easily OCRable font---I think the suggestion was that OCR-A
> tcm> and OCR-B, or somesuch, are optimized for this (one would think
> tcm> so from the names, but I had thought they had something to do
> tcm> with the magnetic ink printing on checks...).
>   One of the computer magazines ("Compute"?) in the '80s used to
> supply source in a bar code format which was readily scanned into
> one's machine using one of those "light wands." I don't know what
> export restrictions might apply to this distribution method.

Something that an unaided human can't read easily might run into

Why not use a font that's pleasant to read and include a checksum for
each line?  The reduced character set should make errors reading the
checksums themselves less frequent and easier to detect.  No OCR is
perfect so you may as well be prepared to deal with errors.