August 26, 2008

Epic Box

I found this rather cute.
UPDATE: See comments for original author and source.

Hm... The youtube video now has no sound due to copyright claim. Watch the flash version below instead...

You can now watch the flash file Here or download it Here...

Also check out my VB project Epic Box the Game

Below is a paper craft version I whipped up on a whim, now everyone can have their own epic box!

August 24, 2008

Run Riven on OS X

I have always been a big fan of the Myst series, I even still have the original Mac only Myst cd from 1993. Sadly that is still not playable on OS X, though there is a port for iPhone comming soon, which makes me happy, that might just be the first non free App that I will get from the iTunes store. Still there is progress being made to get all of the Myst games running on the latest systems, which is where /dev/klog · Riven X comes into play. Riven X is a program that runs the Riven (MYST II) card based engine on os x.

I had heard of this around two years ago, however at that time it would not play anything, it would just let users view any of the cards in riven. However it is has great progress, and now with the latest version 6 or beta 7 you can actually play the game. Of course it is still far from complete, lacking save in the latest stable release, and the beta crashes easily, the fact still remains that you are now able to play Riven on the latest Mac system, which is just plain awesome.

Remember you can still play Myst III Exile (My personal favorite), Myst IV Revelation and Myst V End of Ages(My least Favorite) in OS X with out extra work. Now we just need a update of the Original Myst, not realMYST, and I will be a happy fan.

August 22, 2008

The Internet Archive

I am sure, just like me, others have found a site with the information they needed, however only to have it disappear at a later date. Lack of funds or just lack of interest, it does not mater, it still is one of the most aggravating things about the web, sites can close with out a moments notice, why else would I constantly end up with a list of bookmarks that go nowhere. However just like anything on the net, once it is there it stays there, in some shape or form.

To help with this, there is the Internet Archive "The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public."(Taken from the front page of the Internet Archive). This is a very handy tool to know of, as it can help you get to any page at almost any time that the site was available, even if it does not exist anymore.

I think it was TUAW that first brought this site to my attention about a year ago, they where showing what the Apple site used to look like over the years. I have recently needed to use the site, so I figure it is worth mentioning.

August 21, 2008

New Get a Mac Ads

Normally I might laugh a little when I see the "Get a Mac ads" from Apple, however I have never been too fond of them. We all know that they tend to over hype Apple and shoot down Microsoft for things that, in all honesty, no power user really cares about. Even most of us that do have a intel based Mac put Windows on it through boot camp for those time that you just need to use Windows.

Still I found my self laughing rather hard when I saw the new Pizza Box skit. PC is hiding in a pizza box waiting for college students to be attracted so he can "get them!" The ad is rather cute, still I wish they would drop the Apple hype part. We all know that Window's PR is at an all time low right now, so instead of kicking a dead horse, Apple should focus on displaying their innovation in other ways.

August 18, 2008

AppleCare Repairs

I am very happy because I just got my Macbook Pro back from Apple, after undergoing some repairs/updates before I had back to school. I have been VERY impressed with the Applecare shipping, box in one day, ship to factory in one day, fix in one day, back to me the day after. My computer was gone for only three days, not just this time but every time Apple has fixed problems for me.

First off new hard drive, the old one had some bad disk sectors, and apple was happy to replace that. Fixed the DVD drive, that would not burn DVDs and as a bonus the new drive is noticeably quieter. Plus I have a new screen, the old one had some uneven backlighting, nothing horrible, but still for a $2000 computer I expect perfection! I think the new screen might even be LED lit, but I will have to compare with my friends MBP that is, to be sure. Also for some strange reason my computer came back loaded (but sans Install DVD) with 10.5, I only have 10.4 still, so apparently they want me to try out 10.5, not that I am complaining.

Sadly, Apple would not replace my 2 year old starting to die battery, no matter how much I reasoned/complained/pleaded, which I understand why, as batteries only last around two years on average, but I am still a little bitter about, hey if I am going to pay $300+ for apple care, it should cover everything, unless I personally break it.

Also I could not get ware the top (keyboard side) of my MBP fixed, Apple considers that user damage, which I expected, however still annoyed for the same reasons stated above. Still Apple is not a charity, they are a business, which had sold me a computer that so far I have been nothing but happy with.

August 17, 2008

Javascript Injection

Did you know you can edit the contents of sites with javascript? Yes you can, however browser security will limit what you can do, so a little ingenuity is needed. Also the Safari web browser seems to be most lenient about javascript injection, where as FireFox is the most preventive. So you might want to use Safari for this type of hacking, no Idea on IE yet.

Try typing in the address bar...

javascript: alert('Hello World');

This not just doing a javascript call, it is actually using the page to call the alert function.

As a more advanced example...

javascript: alert(document.body.childNodes[0].innerHtml);

This will actually display what text is in the first element on the page, hopefully a div, as if there is no text in it it will be blank.

I have been working on a small project which uses javascript injection to play a simple html game for you. Yep, it is a very simple bot. Although it is rather stupid in point, it was fun to get working, as I needed a good refresher in Javascript before I go back to school. Expect to see the finished version posted in a week or two after I finish tweaking it, and leveling up my character.

August 13, 2008

CVS Nightvision Camera

For my birthday I had some trouble thinking a something I wanted, however after a little thought I remembered about how people where able to modify and hack the CVS One Time Use Camcorders. So a trip to the local CVS store got me a model M230 camera to play with.

To take it apart, you remove the back sticker around the lcd. Then remove the four screws, the back cover pops off with a little prying, which leaves just two black screws on the board. When removed the whole circut board lifts up.

I wanted to try the nightvision camara hack, however to do so you must remove the IR filter on the lense assembly, I also wanted to keep the regular camera ability as well, so I had to find another lens that would work. The CS majors that I know will remember the old dead webcams that we could grab from the CS old stuff raffle, and guess what the lens fits! Still this lens also had an IR filter (blue tint not red) as well, so you have to cut it in half to remove it. After removing it and gluing it back together I had the first part of my nightvision camera done. The last part is to track down some IR emitters from a few dead remotes. I wired them up in series to the batteries with a small push switch (white dot right below the lense cover). LEDs require about 1.5V each so 1.5V * 2 = 3V, which is the two 1.5 batteries make by default. This is a rough estimate, normaly they would require a resister to even out the voltage, but this works for all intent and purposes. Make sure to check with a mulimeter when doing this to keep the polarity correct, as LEDs are still diodes. You can see in the second picture the IR emmiters working. Also I can easily switch back to regular camera mode by removing the IR lens and inserting the original back in. I kept the silver lens cover because it looks good, and keeps stuff from falling into the camera body

All that is left it to unlock the camera so I can download movies, to do this you need a custom USB cable that fits the connector at the top. For form information check out camerahacking :: Index for all the details on correct wiring of the usb cable as well as modifications to the camera. My cousin did not think I could do it but I made a tempary one out of tagboard from a paper plate (last picture), and it worked just fine. Sadly my camera has a newer chalenge/response then any current method can unlock, so I am stuck with just a nightvision scope. However, I do plan on waiting for the 17 type response to be broken so I can fully use this camera to its fullest, and play with the firmware.

If you have $30 laying around you might want to pick up one of these camcorders, they are very fun to play with.

August 1, 2008

Good Review Results

I love seeing my blog traval around the internet. So far in the 6 months I have been posting...
1. I have had a person use my successful findings about putting ATX power-supplies in MDD G4s.
2. Getting over 20 people viewing my blog a day from all over the world.
3. Made 5 moneys from adsense. (Click ads to give me more ^_^)

Now I have had a editor review from the blogged site, which has listed my blog as 7.7 out of 10, which is very good.

Twilight in Efeion at Blogged