April 24, 2006

Total Eclipse of the Heart !!

Watch this hilarious video in video.google.com. I got this from inside-google.

April 20, 2006

How to hack Xonix game

Xonix32 is an adaptation of the classic X-Windows game "Xonix" for the Win32 platform. You can download the game from http://dl.winsite.com/files/986/ar2/winnt/games/xonix060.zip. It is very interesting game. If you haven't tried till now just try it.

If you observe the directory which it is installed, you will find a file hiscores.dat. In this file it is storing all the high scores. Let start our game. Get any good hex editor. I used Hex workshop. Open the hiscores.dat file in hex editor. If you haven't played the game then by default the file looks as shown in below figure.
If you haven't worked with any hex editor before then continue this para otherwise you can skip it. Left hand portion (selected as red) shows the byte numbers. Middle part shows (selected as blue) the actual data in the file and right hand side shows the ascii value of that data in the file. If the software is storing directly your name and score in the file then you can observe that in the right hand side.

We can't gues any thing from this file. First play the game and make some score. Save the previous file before playing. I played the game and i scored 900 and i entered my name as "AAAAA". Open the file now and the file will look like this. Since it is not directly storing we can't find AAAAA in the right hand side portion. So it is doing some sort of encryption before storing the scores.If you observe three or four such files, you can find that, it is storing the score in the first 40 bytes. Xonix stores only 10 maximum score entries so each entry shoule be 4 bytes long. Now change the first two bytes to "0000". This we are doing to find out the XOR value. (usually they will XOR before storing data. To find the XOR value we are putting 0000). Save the file and open the Xonix and see the high scores. It will show your score as 21845 instead of 900 !. Means it is XORing 900 with 21845 and storing the result. We finally found the XOR value.

Now we will check whether what we found is correct or not. Let say we want to make our score 10000. The hexa decimal of 10000 is 2710. XOR this with 5555 (hexa decimal of 21845 is 5555) and you will get 7245. Since our machines are based on x86 architecture, it will store first low order byte and then it will store the high order byte. (This is called little endian format). So replace first byte with 4572. Now the file will look like this.

Make sure that you first close the Xonix before modifying the file. Otherwise those values will not get updated. Now save the file and open the Xonix. Now it will store your score as 10000!!!. Finally we have done. Similarly with some experimentation you can find out that it is storing the names also in the following portion of the file and each entry is 18 bytes long. Repeat the above procedure for names also.

All these i have done just for fun. Any way Xonix is open source program and you can find out this by seeing the source code. Thanks to Abhijit. With his suggestion only i cracked it.

April 19, 2006

Cool Links

Do you know all the two and three letter domain names are registered ?. Read more about this interesting facts here

Tips how to write resume etc. Read more about this here

Here are tips to fix the "missing Hall.dll, invalid Boot.ini" etc.

April 17, 2006

Oracle is launching its own Linux distribution !

According to Reuters Oracle is going to buy Novell. They want to have own distribution of Linux so that they can provide complete stack of products. Few days back Redhat brought JBoss. Now Redhat becomes Oracle's competitor in middleware segment.

April 13, 2006

Google Calendar Released Finally !

Today google relased much avaited calendar with few bugs and with some new features. Main feature of calendar are
  • You can share events with others
  • You can create multiple calendars and you can control the visibility of these calendars.
  • You can export the events in XML or ICAL format
  • Its ajax based and fast.
  • You can get event notifications though popups or email or even through sms. (but sms is in US only)
  • You can import the public calendars
  • You can get the daily agenda through email.
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • To access calendar with google account !!
You can expect more features in future. The main advantage of google calendar when compared to yahoo or msn is sharing. As it is relased in beta phase, there are lot of bugs in it. It is not saving the preferences some times and it is not well integrated with gmail. Overall it is a good start from google althgouth it suffers from interace glitches, some minor bugs.

Google Calendar main screen

You can set the notification option whether you want to receive notification though mail or sms

You can create multiple calendars

Interface Glitches !

Not aligning to the cells properly

No body can notice notice the scroll bar at the right hand top end.

Don't get suprised when you see this kind of errors !. These kind of errors are quite common !!

April 6, 2006

The Top 10 weirdest keyboards ever

Have look at this top 10 weirdest Keyboards. Except Rollup keyboard and Virtual laser keyboard i do not find any use of other keyboards.


April 1, 2006

New version of Google Talk released !!

According to Googling Goolge, new version of google Talk is released. No official announcement yet. you can download new version from here.