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The Autoscritcher and the Superscritcher
July-September 1992 (vol. 14 no. 3)
pp. 9-22

At the US Army Signal Security Agency during World War II, two systems were built to assist cryptanalysts in breaking messages enciphered on Enigma-type machines. Called the Autoscritcher, the first machine used relay technology. The final system, the Superscritcher, was fully electronic and contained about 3,500 vacuum tubes. Both machines operated successfully. The system approach in both machines was the same, but differed from that of the "Bombe" mechanical machines in use to do a similar job. The Superscritcher proved the practicality of electronic digital technology for computing applications. It showed, however, that a more flexible architecture was needed to enable the solving of more than one class of problems.

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4. G. Welchman,The Hut Six Story: Breaking the Enigma Code, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1982.
5. History and Publications Division, National Security Agency, "The Bombe: Prelude to Modern Cryptanalysis," unclassified pamphlet, c. 1984, 5 pp.
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Citation:
David J. Crawford, "The Autoscritcher and the Superscritcher," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 9-22, July-Sept. 1992, doi:10.1109/85.150065
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