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Messages - creeperton

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61
General Discussion / Re: College Advice - Am I wasting my time?
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:05:49 am »
There are 5 software engineering companies in the Coos Bay/North Bend area.  I was surprised to learn this.  My CS professor is designing a two or three year Associate of Applied Science degree (no bullshit classes) around the local market.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2013/02/27/immigration-on-a-very-fast-track-the-race-for-h-1b-visas/

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/03/30/visa-program-has-been-hijacked-outsourcers/VAg6o9KgS2tuoZ3WbmaqeK/story.html

My goal is to work a job until one of my side-projects takes off.  I have a lot of money-making ideas I want to implement.

The best thing that college has given me is an excuse to dedicate a huge block of time to study that would have otherwise been occupied with working dead end jobs and struggling to maintain the energy and drive to study after work. Beyond that, you have to have a passion for learning new things and the drive to force yourself through the harder bits even when you can't see immediate practical applications.
I agree, not having to work makes it much easier to learn.  I quit my work study job this past Friday because it was interfering with my CS classes.

Assuming I pass all my CS classes, my schedule for Winter and Spring looks like this:
- Winter
* Math 112 - Precalc/Trig/Elementary Functions
* CS 161
* Either CS 133 Web Scripting (Javascript, I assume) if it's available or a lab science class.
- Spring
* Math 251 - Calculus 1
* CS 162
* CS/CIS 133 Web Scripting or a lab science if I already took it.  Lab science will be the easiest shit class I can take, but one that will help me with later classes.

I may take Physics next year, but I don't think I'll have the time.  I need to take Calc 2 and 3, Data Structures, Server-Side Web Scripting (PHP and SQL), Advanced SQL, the DIY operating system class my prof is designing, and a few web-app creation classes (one of which includes stuff like mining user data for facebook/google/the NSA).

I could take a few classes online too.  Assembly language, Discrete Math 1 and 2, that's about it.

I'll try to muddle my way through the Chemistry textbook during summer term.  If I can, I'll take a CLEP to test out of some lab sciences.  If I can get a 40-90k job immediately after I get my associates, then I'll work for two years while I pay off my student loans and take more math classes.  If that happens, I'll take calc up to differential equations and I'll take physics too.  4 or 5 credits a term, not too bad.  Then I'm off to university to get my bachelors unless I invent the next facebook in the meantime (ha ha).

Do that, just be aware that that link has some curious gaps in places (what it doesn’t recommend for C and C++ or where to go for info on parallelism or assembly language sticks out to me) and the “recommended reading” is impossibly hardcore in others (every CS major “should be” familiar with AIMA, SICP, TAoCP, and Intro to Algorithms IMHO, but you’d be hard pressed to meet someone who’s read all of them thoroughly or done a good portion of the exercises in one of them). To the list of languages, I’d add Clojure; it’s the new hotness right now, so it could possibly be going away, but I think it’s going to be reasonably influential (perhaps even an “employable skill”) for the near future.
What do your recommend to fill the gaps for parallelism and assembly language?  What do you recommend for C and C++?  Is Clojure one of those languages built on the JVM?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clojure
Ah, it is.  And it's a Lisp, too!  Lisp honestly looks like fun.

I've heard good things about websites built on the JVM.  Supposedly it scales well, and you can split up the different parts of your service so if one part goes down the rest don't too (twitter).  IIRC, facebook built a JIT compiler for PHP for their restructuring.

Always be coding, be a pragmatic programmer, yadda yadda, and I could namedrop a lot of things to look at but I did that in a draft of this post, and ultimately it undermined the more important point that reading should be accompanied by coding. Knowing all that stuff is cool but it can get in the way of getting your hands dirty and doesn’t demonstrate employability to anyone. I will say to skim Hacker News a little to keep on top of things, but try not to piss away too much time there.
It’s probably true, but don’t settle for that. Among the things you gain with the B.S. is networking with classmates who are also getting one.
Time spent making ad revenue for someone else's website is time I could have spent making my own website or business.

Demonstrable mastery over a programming language like C or C++ isn’t won in a short time and won’t be required for most entry-level jobs anyway.
Where are you, geographically?  What are the entry level jobs like where you are - mostly corporate or more small business?

Regarding books? Find them in the databases or the library if you can. Beware any class with a required text written by the teacher unless they have a stellar reputation; they’re usually poorly written and the teacher will not explain things any better than their book does. You will never be able to escape expensive textbooks; sometimes you just have to bite that bullet. But Amazon is the most popular option.
I want to keep all my books, but I also want to be mobile (being homeless had it's advantages).  PDFs all the way.

If I buy a book, is there a place I can go that will scan it to a PDF?  How much does it cost to do it myself?

I'm all about networking.  That's one thing that my hitch-hiking and homeless adventures taught me.  You gotta talk to people, you gotta get out and beat feet, flap your gums, take down names and phone numbers and emails.

I'm astounded to say that I like meeting new people.

62
General Discussion / College Advice - Am I wasting my time?
« on: October 06, 2013, 03:11:14 am »
I'm taking CS 160 where I'm learning C and CIS/CS 195 where I'm learning HTML 5, CSS, XML, and a bit of Javascript.  In the future I'll take classes on C++, a data structures class, more Javascript, PHP, SQL (I will probably get certified in SQL before I get my associates), and maybe a few classes on programming apps for mobile devices.  Also, low-level C programming (we'll make our own operating systems).

This is all before I graduate from community college.  I intend to transfer to a university where I'll get a bachelors in Computer Science and Math.

http://matt.might.net/articles/what-cs-majors-should-know/

Going by the above link, C, C++, and Javascript are good things to have.  SQL too.  I'm pretty sure I can muddle my way through a server edition of Linux since I already run the easier to use distro (Mint Debian) on my laptop, so I can run my own website.  I'll have a lot of database heavy classes under my belt.

I'm disappointed that I had to drop Chem 221.  The material was just too much, too quickly.  I couldn't memorize all that information in two quarters, let alone one.  So I guess I'm looking for some reassurance that I'm on the right path.  I took the advice in the link I posted to heart, and I want to develop a huge portfolio of well-written software (most of which will be rom hacking related, probably).  I also want mastery over C and C++, and experience in most of the languages listed in that link.

My CS professor told me that all I need is mastery over C and C++ (or Java), along with the HTML/CSS, XML, SQL, PHP, Javascript, database experience, website experience, and embedded device programming experience to get a job making $90,000 a year here in Oregon.  Is he blowing smoke up my ass?  If I get a bachelors and if I get more experience in other languages, is it likely that I can get more money?

Is it worth getting a bachelors once I have demonstrable mastery over the skills in the paragraph above?

Also where's the best place to buy physical textbooks online?  I need them fast and I need the right editions.  I'm not paying this fucking much ever again.

Throw any other college advice at me that you have.

63
I have always wondered myself what I would do. I think I would try and play the "I'm crazier than you are" card. So if someone did break in, I would greet them in my living room, stark naked, holding a bottle of thousand island dressing with Barry White playing in the background. I'd be like "Hey guys, which do you like better, beetles or spark plugs?" while unloading the entire bottle of thousand island dressing on my head as if I was in a shampoo commercial.

The theory is that it would disorientate them to the point that they would just wander back out the front door.

I can verify that this works especially well on people who've been to prison, but not so well on actual crazies.  When dealing with people who are crazy, it's best to keep calm, keep something between you and them, and persuade them to step outside for a moment while you lock the door behind them.

When I was homeless in Salt Lake City I would wander around the homeless shelter(s) talking to myself and staring straight ahead and I had zero problems with anyone.

64
Pepper spray and/or shoot to wound them with my spouse's 9mm, then call 911. Situation resolved.  :laugh:
Anything worth shooting once is worth shooting twice.  Dead men can't file lawsuits.

65
Pepper spray them, kick them in the nuts, then beat them with convenient objects until they submit.  Then I kick them for a while and throw them out.

66
General Discussion / Re: Good alternative to Pastebin?
« on: September 12, 2013, 08:36:16 pm »
https://encrypted.google.com/#q=alternative+to+pastebin

Also if you for some insane reason decide to use pastebin to store embarrassing personal messages, remember to deindex those messages and give them an expiration date (though even then they can be found on google, and with google cache).

67
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 12, 2013, 07:13:42 pm »
I'd be very grateful if you shared some of the info for two of the games you mentioned (Aria of Sorrow and Circle of the Moon)
The location of the compressed text, and most importantly the compressed font, is giving me troubles.
I would ask you as well for the location of the compressed text inside Zelda III GBA port if you don't mind, and if it's still relevant to your thread.

Thanks a lot in advance
I don't have any info on those games yet.  Compressed text is one of the things I can't easily find.  Has anyone translated those games already?  Ask those people if they have.

Have you tried opening it with Tile Molester?

If you have, then my advice is to ask EVERYWHERE.  Beg for help at every romhacking, emulation, and gaming forum you know of.  One of the reasons why I help other people is because it's useful to know people who have skills that I don't, especially if I've already helped them out with something.

68
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 11, 2013, 08:35:40 pm »
... those hex addresses are the attack power of all 6 found by me. i want you to teach me how to rename each of them...
Well congrats, you probably just found the item data!

Do a text search for "None" using xvi32 on the ROM.  If that doesn't work, then the text is compressed.

69
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 11, 2013, 07:42:43 pm »
Not really. I just don't have a good way to search for unknowns. Here's what I mean by "unknowns"... I use hexworkshop and it has a nifty feature to search like this: "af??????b0" where ?? is the "unknown" values. All you have to do is take the attack strength of any given weapon then look in order ahead to the next attack value. the cheat code order should be exactly the same as in the rom...

 002C0090 000000XX
 002C0091 000000XX
 002C0092 000000XX
 002C0093 000000XX
Are these ROM addresses?  So these are the starting equips for the hero?

Quote
What really sucks in hexworkshop is the limit on how long of a string that can be inputed.
That's why I use xvi32.

no, it edit's what's equipped in all 4 slots by the hero. the code itself isn't what we should be interested in. it's the values for each item that's listed in order, that we should pay attention to. they are the same order as in the rom.

Anyway i found em' :
00x6171D0   
00x6171F4
00x617218
00x61723C
00x617260
00x617284

Just need you to help me rename em to these: Yell, itoi, Grun, Blue, Holy, Dark
These are the locations of the names of these items?  Could you post a screenshot?

70
Gaming Discussion / Re: Favorite really obscure SNES games?
« on: September 11, 2013, 11:43:41 am »
Another game I liked on the SNES, that isn't mentioned all that much, is Jurassic Park. Not the Lost World version, but the over-head version with FPS indoor elements. I actually really enjoyed that game, though beware it has no real savepoint system (it has checkpoints, but those are temporary, and on shutting down the console, you lose your place).
There's a game that needs a save hack.

71
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 11, 2013, 11:40:59 am »
So you're telling me that you can edit the attack power of items using this code, and that item attack power is listed in item order?

72
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 10, 2013, 07:37:31 pm »
could you possibly help me by finding the mp cost of (26) - Full Heal  & (27) - Resurrection, also class talent use? i'd like to give all class' access to all talents and 4 slots. The initial party, i'd like to make them any character i want. like Summoner class for hero & Lich for 1st soldier, Dragon zombie for 2nd soldier, Undead Female knight for ninja, and fairy for cleric? plus their equips/talents too? also mod hire to anything i want...

Finally, why can't the hero execute Apocalypse?
So you want the ability data?  I can probably do that.  Might take a few weeks.

Class spell talents is almost certainly in the class data, in one of the unidentified bytes.

I think I'll flesh out the encounter data while I look for the ability data.

One thing that stopped me from finding the item data is I don't have any static values to search for.  Most of the values listed for each item are game text - they don't actually change any stat on the item.  Pretty hard to figure out.

Now that I think about it, I do have a list of abilities.  Maybe I can find the item data by looking for the cure ability that item uses?

i've found data myself for onimusha tactics, here

http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=9932.msg191590#msg191590

can you help me find sp cost & effects (hopefully we can give it fully restore hp/sp too) of "Secret Light"? i'd also like you to find weapon data like which move is granted upon equip. specifically "Samurai Sword" And "Tiger's Fury", which i'd like to give Secret Light...

id' also like the sp cost of these...

(03) god of wind

(0C) frenzy slice

(27) tiger salvo

(2b) arrow of poison
(2c) arrow of spells
(2d) arrow of paralysis
(2e) arrow of sleep
(2f) arrow of confusion

(3d) wrath of god

(3e) summon thunder

(3f) fire of purgatory

(51) pocket search

(52) forced search

(54) absolute death

(60) onimusha attack

(62) phoenix ripper
Never played it, not interested.

73
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 09, 2013, 11:14:47 pm »
Why?

Also, it is good to note that with ROM you can only touch the read-only data in the program. With savestates, you can only touch RAM or the program state while running. Not exactly alternatives, are they?

It would be interesting to compare the efficiency of this corruption thing to some debugger emulator use.. depending on task.. but that is a bit unrealistic and off-topic. Have fun with corrupting!
It's easier and faster to use savestates with disc image based games, because there's a smaller pool of data.  Static data (data that can't ever be changed by the player, usually stuff like item attributes) won't change no matter where it's found, so it's all about which is faster and easier for you to do.

I never tried save state hacking on the SNES or GBA because the emulators I used seemed like they couldn't possibly have a snapshot of the RAM in such small files.  I assumed that ZSNES and VBA (or VBA-M) compressed their save states.  pSX doesn't compress its save states, but it does prefix a header to them (which I think is 0x2B0 bytes long).  All other PS1 emulators use footers instead of headers, I think.

Some emulators compress or otherwise modify their savestates, rather than being pure dumps of the active RAM. So not every savestate is going to be better to look into--you may not find anything at all :/
That's an easy problem to diagnose.  Look at it with TriID.

http://mark0.net/soft-trid-e.html

From there you can try to open it with 7zip though at that point it's probably easier to edit ROMs instead, or find an ASM hacker.

74
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 09, 2013, 05:08:46 pm »
unfortunately, I myself lack the necessary knowledge to find the necessary graphics. I was hoping someone with the knowledge could take a look at it.

It puzzles me in several aspects since the battery gauge in-game appears to be exactly the same battery gauge as the PSP's built in XMB menu, not something drawn up for the game itself. It's also only included in the English, European version and not in the original Japanese release. There is also a third version, a fan hack "undub" version that uses the Japanese voice overs with English text, and the battery gauge appears in that version as well.

Given that the gauge is that of the system itself, this is what really had me wanting someone with hacking knowledge to take a look at.
1. Download Tile Molester http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/991/

2. Open a save state for your game.

3. Fiddle with the view settings.

4. Scroll through the save state.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you find it.

It's that fucking easy.

75
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 08, 2013, 08:12:42 pm »
I dunno if they're compressed or not. I only know that for other ISO formats, often the contents are stored with individual files and folders within the ISO, and if you break down the ISO, you may have an easier time locating specific files because of this.
If the PSP is like the PS1, then he's better off looking for that image in a save state.  Once he finds it, he can look for it in the actual ISO and then zero it out there.

76
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 08, 2013, 07:23:20 pm »
In the Fire Emblem community, people have figured out how to import tilesets from one game to the other, and magically their method also ports over all the metadata for the individual tiles, such as what graphics comprise what tile, what avoid/defense increases each tile may offer, the movement costs per tile, what background and palette to use, and other similar data.

But no one understands how this data is being ported over, or how to locate and edit this individual data. I suggest corruption, as most people in the Fire Emblem hacking community aren't familiar with or bothered enough to use an understanding of ASM to figure it out--but no one seemed to understand how helpful, and somewhat easy, corruption is for figuring out data.

If you're really open to the idea, I can link you over to help out some peeps. This would probably be more concentrated efforts than merely corrupting ROMs at-large to figure out where some data may or may not be.
I make no promises but post your links.  What games and platforms are we talking about?  What is currently known about this data?  How are the porting it between games without understanding where the data is (with a tool that no one has the source code for, I assume)?

I find that having a good guess about the format of the data is key.
Having a good guess is essential with my method.  I don't do it randomly.  I usually pick a known value, like defense for a piece of armor, and then I find and replace every instance of that value in the ROM (or the save state) until I find that value.

That's what ROM/save-state corruption is.  But there are so many opportunities to save time and effort.  What I like to do is go halfway through the ROM/save-state, and then replace all down.  If it loads and it doesn't change the value, then I've eliminated half the ROM/save-state as the possible data location in about a minute.  Then I go halfway towards the beginning of the ROM/save-state and do it again, until I either find the value or it stops loading.

Not only is it fast and easy, it usually works.  You often find other goodies too, literally random things.  I found some addresses that effect available battlefields in Ogre Batte - TMOTBQ while searching for lycanthrope data that way (which was only half successful, since I only found half the lycanthrope data).

I really wish I had a hex editor developed specifically for ROM corruption.

Thank you creep.

What is the idea behind corruption?

I don't mind things being time consuming. I already expect that doing things the hard way will be needed if i hope to figure things out in the ROM. But at least I wanna eliminate things that were figured out already, or futile attempts from approaching something from the wrong angle.

Any advice on analyzing the CT SNES ROM? Or maybe good tools for the job?
I explained the idea behind ROM/save-state corruption above.  With an SNES game your better off corrupting the ROM instead of save states.  I don't know if a more accurate emulator is better for this task or not, so use whatever emulator you like (you want an editor that tolerates lots of bugs, because you'll make them as you corrupt swaths of the ROM).

If you wanted to find the item data for Chrono Trigger, then you have to make some educated guesses about how that data is stored based on available information.  That info was found years ago, but for the sake of this example lets say that you only have the game itself to go on.  Go to GameFAQs and download a guide that lists all the stats for equipment.  Then download a hex editor (I recommend XVI32) and make a backup of your ROM.  Then play the ROM until you reach a point where you can quickly open the menu and not be bothered.  Make a save-state.  Open your backup ROM with xvi32 and then use "count" to count the number of instances of the visible stats for each armor, until you find one that has the fewest occurrences.

This is important because fewer occurrences means less data for you to sort through.

Let's say that the armor with the most common value is "Iron Helm", which has a defense of 26.  Convert 26 from decimal to hexadecimal and you get 0x1A.

Now you have some options.  You can go about halfway through the ROM and replace down all occurrences of 0x1A with something else (let's say 0x2A).  If this doesn't break the ROM and actually loads, then you can eliminate half the ROM as the location of that data if it doesn't change the defense of Iron Helm.

If it doesn't load, then you can go partway between where you began your search and the end of the ROM and try again until you pinpoint the place where the game breaks.  Sometimes I do this and then I alter the address that breaks the game to something that doesn't break it, so I can continue to replace all down.  In this case you could try changing that 0x1A to 0x19 or 0x1B.

But usually I give up on that, go to the beginning of the ROM, and start changing stuff there, one occurrence at a time.  It helps if you keep very good notes in something like notepad or leafpad or your favorite plain text editor.

I wish that there was a hex editor that let your replace all occurrences of a value between any two addresses.  I think Gemini's hex editor did that, but he said that you have to highlight the values to do that and that's a pain in the ass.  I don't want to sit there for 10 minutes and highlight half the damn ROM, I want a text box where I can enter these values myself.

Searching for an occurrence, replacing it, loading the ROM/save-state, checking if it worked, writing it down, correcting the replaced occurrence and then repeating shouldn't take more than 90 seconds.  It should not take more than 90 seconds because you WILL do this thousands of times before you are done.  I went through 1,880 occurrences to find the item data in SaGa Frontier, and about 600 occurrences to find part of the Brave Up (or was it Regenerator?) reaction routine (though nobody ever expanded on what I did and eventually some ASM hackers duplicated - and completed - my efforts independently).

Ideally, any ROM hacking community should have a few ROM corrupters or data divers handy.  They can find the easy stuff, and give the ASM hackers a good place to start looking for more difficult to find things.

Corruption is little more than replacing random parts of the data with junk.
Yep.

I don't know if you'll be able to help, but I have what I think is probably a simplistic request.

In the English, European version of Tales of Eternia for PSP, there's a super annoying always on battery gauge that isn't present in the Japanese version of the game. It's ALWAYS present, even during loading sequences and cutscenes.

Could you see if you could find where it is, and disable it?

I've got a thread on the topic:

http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,17018.0.html

thanks.
You could probably find that using Tile Molester.  I don't want to go through the hassle of finding a PSP ROM and then finding a PSP emulator that works on my crappy computer.  Open the ROM of that game with Tile Molester and fool around with the viewing settings until you get something that works.  Since it's a PS1 game ported to the PSP, I'm guessing 2-dimensional; 4bpp, linear, reverse-order; and maybe 8 x 16.

I don't know what to do once you find it, but there are people here who could help you make it transparent, if you ask nicely.  I imagine it would require you to replace the actual image of the battery with all zeros in the ROM, which should be easy once you find where it is.

This is a really basic question.  At least half of ROM hacking is knowing what tool to use.  I'm surprised no one recommended it for you.

Is there a sticky somewhere that tells what tools to look for for certain tasks?

Are there any programs to open up the ISO into its files and folders? You may be able to find the UI textures and blank out that battery icon specifically. That seems like the easiest method for what you want.
Are PSP disc images compressed?

77
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Zelda: Link to the Past - HUD Hacking
« on: September 07, 2013, 03:48:08 pm »
Wasn't there a hack to replace the hearts meter with a numerical meter or something?  I'd much prefer numbers for both health and mana, because they take up less space.

78
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 07, 2013, 03:47:06 pm »
I don't know assembly language.  I find stuff the time-consuming tedious way, with a hex editor and a lot of free time.  I'm really good at finding data, but when it comes to things like animations and images the most I can do is figure out how to make them not work.

This sounds like a job for Faustwolf.  He's a competent SNES assembly hacker, and he knows a thing or two about Chrono Trigger.  You'll find him here:
http://www.verve-fanworks.com/SMF/

79
ROM Hacking Discussion / I'm taking data diving requests
« on: September 05, 2013, 11:19:22 pm »
I found the item and ability data in SaGa Frontier, some of the initial character data in SaGa Frontier 2 (Alas, it was compressed so finding all of it is beyond my skills for now), item data for Saiyuki: Journey West, and class and encounter data for Tactics Ogre: The Knight Of Lodis.

I'm taking data diving requests for the following games.  I don't want to call it hacking because I'm not actually doing any hacking, I'm just very bored and I like tedious data corruption once in a while.  Anyway, the games:
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Brigandine
Darkstone

Generally it's easiest if you give me a specific request, like find the item data for Castlevania: Circle of the Moon.

I'll consider a game outside this list, but it's up to me.  Your best bet is anything RPG-ish on the SNES, GBA, or PS1.

80
General Discussion / Re: Leaving the house
« on: September 05, 2013, 09:44:54 pm »
Ok, so I was inspired by some chat on IRC about not leaving the house. So how screwed up is everyone around here? Me, I'm somewhere in the middle. I leave the house here and there.
Former homeless guy here.  I considered the outside world my house and I became grumpy when all these fucking tourists were sitting on my park bench.  They owned the houses and the yards, and I owned everything outside of those places.

EDIT

http://imgur.com/r/funny/dbBu5rk

Image relevant to topic in general.

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