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]
Here’s the 32 minute video of my presentation at last month’s O’Reilly Security Conference in New York, “Security and feudalism: Own or be pwned.”
Michael Geist writes, “The global music industry has spent two decades lobbying for restrictive DMCA-style restrictions on digital locks. These so-called “anti-circumvention rules” have been actively opposed by many groups, but the copyright lobby claims that they are needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties. Now the head of the RIAA […]
The Auralnauts’ wildly successful Star Wars remixes have gone from strength to strength, combining bad lip reading, South Park-ish raunchy humor, and massive dance-parties accompanied by some seriously rockin’ tunes.
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The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]