Ok everyone...here's something that I've been wanting to do for some time, but am just finally getting around to: a series on encoding and decoding data.
I've always had an interest in "breaking secret codes" etc. which has led me to creating those secret codes and encryption techniques. Some of you may already know I've done a bit of code-creating. My March Madness bracket spreadsheet is protected using my own code and methodology.
I have a hunch that there's a group of code-cracking geeks out there like me just waiting to be challenged. So here's the challenge:
- I'm going to provide an encrypted message.
- You may ask questions (use the blog's comment feature so all can see and benefit from the answers).
- I'll give answers and hints as I feel appropriate.
- The first person to submit via the comment feature the message "Excel_Geek, I have cracked your code." encoded using the same technique I've used wins. (This helps prevent "brute force" type attacks, which tend to give answers without knowing how they were derived.)
What do you win? I dunno...let's see...how about your pick between two free $50 Projects or 2 free hours of Excel consulting/instruction via Skype? Oh, and you'll obviously also be held out as the Code Cracking Champion (if that's meaningful to you).
So here is the Code Crackers Challenge Round One Encoded Message:
I also feel compelled to give you a first hint, and it's been encrypted using the same technique (which is also kind of a hint in and of itself!):
P$/.s0+2%,. s12 ./s$%s&. 2,.e
So...pass this along to your code-cracking geek friends and family. Ask questions. I'll do the best i can to respond to each question, though not always as directly as you'll probably hope.