Cuneiform Club

Unicode Notes for Cuneiform

There is a website that can teach people some practical details about using Unicode with three browsers.

Did you know that Cuneiform cannot be displayed by the Chrome browser, but it works for Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox browsers?

Passwords can be printed out on paper using Cuneiform characters to remind one of the Latin letters, so that strangers will be baffled by your password listing.

The Cuneiform Club has links to Unicode Font files using TrueType fonts for free. Learn the ins and outs of UTF-8 and UTF-16 and UTF-32.

Did you know that you should make files with UTF-32 code points and that they are automatically translated into the appropriate UTF-8 as needed by your browser?

Cryptographers have great tools for block ciphers and stream ciphers, but not for a billion people remembering ten billion passwords. Here is a recommended technique for storing passwords on paper in a half secure way. Tape it to your cubicle wall and your rivals will be baffled by your password reminders.

The Cuneiform Club Website displays all 981 characters in several ways, including a short story that maps the 26 English letters to 26 Cuneiform characters in a way that lets me read them after some training. With 981 characters available, you can create a custom mapping to remind you of your password on a printed paper. A Perl program is provided to do the mapping for you so an English Latin input file becomes an output file with Cuneiform Unicode characters.

73728 73792 74322 73811 decimal code points need fonts and browsers to see this
“a b c d” mapped correctly:

�� �� �� ��

Your Usenet Newsgroup reader may not show this correctly, but with more knowledge, you can find a way to see Cuneiform on selected browsers.

The Cuneiform Club is open for traffic.


Cuneiform is an alphabet that was used 5000 years ago in Iraq. The Empire of Sumer was a leader in written languages. Neighboring countries (Hittites) copied and changed the alphabets. The ASCII characters are like Cuneiform characters, but they look modern. The Cuneiform looks ancient and obsolete, like Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Unicode uses 32 bits to store a Cuneiform character.

In cryptography, this message about Cuneiform is under the category of Alphabetic Substitution. In past centuries, block ciphers did not decrypt 128 bit blocks, they used 7 bit blocks to store each character of  an alphabet. But cryptanalysis showed that the block size should be larger for best security. The 981 characters of Cuneiform is more secure than the 26 Latin letters.

You can look at the Cuneiform letters here, on any browser, because .pdf files do not need fonts installed: 

The hexadecimal code points are from 0x12000 to 0x123FF

Cryptographic strength increases with the block size and the 10 bits of choice for the 981 characters provide more strength than old Latin 7 bit ASCII. The 32 bit Unicode code point is the block size being stored and that allows the free Perl program to handle Mayan and Egyptian symbols to hint at your printed passwords.

Here is the Perl program that makes a Cuneiform file in .rtf format for Word or Wordpad wordprocessors:

You can edit that program’s array to print Mayan Glyphs or any Unicode you want to hint at your passwords on a paper printout. You can put Cuneiform in a blog by entering text like & # 73328. The browsers recognize the ampersand-pound suffix to indicate a Unicode character.

Mayan Fonts 

Cuneiform is also called Akkadian. The Bible has more details on the old empires of the cradle of civilization: Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt. When Moses and Aaron battled the Hittites, the alphabets were Cuneiform and Hieroglyphics and both are now obsolete. By using an obsolete alphabet, agents can use secret codes to record messages that can be read by someone who has trained for two pi minutes, but which cannot be read by someone who asks, “What is Cuneiform?”