4AM is a prolific computer historian whose practice involves cracking the copy protection on neglected Apple ][+ floppy disks, producing not just games, but voluminous logs that reveal the secret history of the cat-and-mouse between crackers and publishers.
4AM's logfile for their crack of the 1982 crack of Burger Time (which I played until my fingers bled, but on a Colecovision, I think) reveals some incredible, subtle trickery that played out within the extremely confined headroom of a 5.25" floppy's limited sectors.
In Which We Start From Scratch
We're starting from bare metal on this
one. My automated tools, they do nothing
for us. Strap in.
[S6,D2=crack-in-progress (the partial
copy I made with Locksmith Fast Disk
[S5,D1=my work disk]
; copy boot sector (T00,S00) to the
; graphics page so it survives a reboot
96F8- A0 00 LDY #$00
96FA- B9 00 08 LDA $0800,Y
96FD- 99 00 20 STA $2000,Y
9700- C8 INY
9701- D0 F7 BNE $96FA
; turn off slot 6 drive motor
9703- AD E8 C0 LDA $C0E8
; reboot to my work disk in slot 5
9706- 4C 00 C5 JMP $C500
BurgerTime: A 4am crack, 2015-12-31 [4AM/archive.org]
Apple II Library: The 4am Collection [archive.org]
Redditor Vadermeer was in a local Goodwill Outlet and happened on a trove of files from Apple engineer Jack MacDonald from 1979-80, when he was manager of system software for the Apple II and ///.
Charles Duan from Public Knowledge sends us “a video we put together for Fair Use Week about copyright and fair use, to the tune of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, and full of clips of other fair use videos.”
An excellent excerpt from Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz’s The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy on Motherboard explains how Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which bans tampering with or bypassing DRM, even for legal reasons — has allowed corporations to design their products so that using […]
DJI is the world’s leading designer and producer of easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems. If you’re a drone enthusiast, you want a DJI. If you know absolutely nothing about drones and think they’re weird, if you win a DJI you’re going to become a drone enthusiast.Enter this giveaway (for free, yes) and you’ll get a […]
Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]