Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Old demo coders become new virus coders?

Slashdot posted to Farb-Rausch Releases PC Demo Creation Software
as Old demo coders become new virus coders?:

I tried disassembling one once first thing it did was copy code to the old specky print buffer delete this loader code move everything down a bit and then proceeded to unfold itself up the memory incredible. pretty good to watch too as the primitive hardware started doing things which just seemed impossible.

I wonder how many of the demo and other assembly programmers from the old 65xx scene ended up in the virus authoring scene of the 90s? It's pretty clear from the badly-coded worms that few real programmers are participating in that realm.

I know I learned assembly, patching interrupt vectors, and self-modifying code from writing game intros and "trainers" for C= BBSes.

Pretty much everybody in the C64 assembly programming scene used the "copy your bootstrap into the tape/disk buffer, then shift the rest of your data to fit", as well as the well-documented technique of running your main loop out of "page 0" to take advantage of the faster execution time.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Oh, the toys you will be forbidden to mod by DMCA

Slashdot posted to Old Toy Modding?
as Oh, the toys you will be forbidden to mod by DMCA:

Believe it or not it's illegal to play non-Teddy-Ruxpin tapes in a Teddy Ruxpin bear, because by doing so you're creating a derivative "audiovisual work comprising animated plush toy bear with unique voice."

IANAL, however I see this claim made about the Teddy Ruxpin cases (Worlds of Wonder v. Veritel Learning Systems & Worlds of
Wonder v. Vector Int'l) on numerous web sites.

The key phrase here is "toy bear with unique voice". The unauthorized derivative works were being marketed as new Teddy Ruxpin stories, and used a similar-sounding voice actor and custom recorded data channel to capitalize on the original (copyrighted) Teddy Ruxpin "Look and Feel", the "ruxpin experience" which the children expected.

If you were to attempt to market a "Ruxpin-compatible" tape which caused Teddy's eyes to roll back in his head and intone a backwards-masked satanic mass recorded by Iron Maiden (One of the few groups to intentionally backmask on a metal album), you might be able to prevail against Worlds of Wonder.

OTOH, the market for black mass teddy ruxpin tapes is (hopefully) rather small.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Just bought a bunch of IOGear USB to PS/2 adapters

Slashdot posted to Do PS2-to-USB Keyboard Adapters Work?
as Just bought a bunch of IOGear adapters:

I just bought a bunch of these USB adapters so I could connect Mac workstations (USB only) to older (PS/2 only) Raritan KVM switches, and have had zero problems using them on Mac or on Windows machines.

We use the IOGear GUC100KM.

These are both larger and more expensive (List price $50) than the adapters mentioned in the original article, but they work, and are supported under Win 98, 98SE, 2000, ME, XP, MAC OS 8.6 or greater and SUN Solaris 8/9.