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Author Topic: How to increase interest in hacking?  (Read 36453 times)

BlackDog61

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #100 on: March 07, 2016, 03:23:33 pm »
I'm with Ghanmi on this one.
My Visual Basic experience tells me i don't want to ever do any more of that again.
Also, what's the point of virtualization if you don't run a linux VM?  :angel:

RyanfaeScotland

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #101 on: March 07, 2016, 03:33:00 pm »
...or Java (both can be an endless source of frustration due to all the memory leaks)...

There are no memory leaks in Java.

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KaioShin

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #102 on: March 07, 2016, 03:55:23 pm »
This thread makes me sad on so many levels.
All my posts are merely personal opinions and not statements of fact, even if they are not explicitly prefixed by "In my opinion", "IMO", "I believe", or similar modifiers. By reading this disclaimer you agree to reply in spirit of these conditions.

DackR

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #103 on: March 07, 2016, 05:39:14 pm »
This thread makes me sad on so many levels.

Same.

BlackDog61

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #104 on: March 08, 2016, 02:23:59 pm »
This thread makes me sad on so many levels.
Then give us a good joke to cheer us up!!

What kind of library would make your life easieron your projects?

ThegreatBen

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #105 on: March 08, 2016, 04:53:24 pm »
Videos detailing exactly how to do specific things and not general things would be the most helpful.

VicVergil

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #106 on: March 08, 2016, 06:01:51 pm »
Videos detailing exactly how to do specific things and not general things would be the most helpful.

FAST's DS romhacking guide was pretty in-depth and covering most general aspects. There's even examples to practice on. It's an excellent starting point, I'd say. Its 2009 version was what got me into romhacking in the first place  ;D

That aside, not all games are created equal. I know of a pretty in-depth Fire Emblem modding guide (I can't find it anymore though) covering most graphical  and balance aspects and even sound if I'm not mis-remembering it, but it ends up only useful for the three titles using the GBA FE game engine (dunno if useful for Sappy in general though). Specific examples to illustrate a given concept (like relative search, different types of pointers, compression...) are good, but the general theory is essential (not to mention romhacking implies the hobbyist does the "figuring things out" part on his own).

FAST6191

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #107 on: March 08, 2016, 06:24:00 pm »
Videos detailing exactly how to do specific things and not general things would be the most helpful.

You are not the first person to want videos and I doubt you will be the last. However I truly struggle to conceive of a format that would do well here and I have not seen one, and there have been a few efforts, that get close.

To that end what kind of format would work here? I will run through my present thoughts on the subject

On specific things then the trouble often becomes that you now know how to do a specific thing -- I tell you how to relink the sound and sequenced banks in Tetris DS and you know how to relink the sound and sequenced banks in Tetris DS. I could go a tiny bit more abstract and talk about the SDAT format as a whole but then I have to cover addressing, endianness, general concepts in file formats and more besides. Doing that loses those that know* and not doing that loses enough of those that do not. I do not care much if it is just archival for my purposes, my personal amusement or something but if I have set out to teach people things then I have problems. Granted people will watch hours of let's play videos so I might be underestimating the boredom threshold but I doubt it. There have been times when seeing a mouse cursor move does better than someone speaking or trying with still images, some of the Final Cut or Adobe After Effects/Premiere stuff on http://www.youtube.com/user/Filmriot being a great example for me, however they purposely hold back and have to say "this is what worked for this clip, figure out what you need yourself" a lot. Sometimes it is even an instant clarification/realisation... but not often.

*I pick up a book on a new programming language and it wants to teach me about the exciting world of boolean logic and the sort of operations that go along with it, mainly as they are very useful in programming, and struggle to not skip ahead (which I can't do as I will not then know the syntax and quirks). I make it through that and chapter two is on the basic types of programming loops and I lose the will to live. I pick books deliberately to avoid this but sometimes it happens anyway.

Reversing a format. I can sit at my computer for hours looking at things, doing searches for crumbs of data, trialling and ultimately failing 400 times, whizzing around in a hex editor or something as my whims take me (that bit which I think is either a pointer or a size value said that, this would be where it is if it is that, it is not but I see something else so is it offset or something, how about I slice that out and see, what else is known that I might use that instead, nothing so I guess it is time to compare 30 of these files and rapidly switch between them to see patterns in hex... being something that could have been snatched directly out of my head). I vocalise (or subtitle) what I am doing and thinking and it takes twice as long which is still doable. The result however is some of the least compelling footage you would ever see. I might be able to make something somewhat compelling for another ROM hacker (it would turn out something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjw0NDeP-0Q ) but no chance of it being a useful tutorial.
Some of my favourite videos to watch are those from machinists and woodworkers. A lot of it is "cut this, drill this" but you move even into the basics of accuracy or strength (and there are serious bonuses for doing that and more for doing more) and, well there is a reason it is considered a skilled trade. Those would be what I look to but I realised the time is kind of reversed -- you know what you do and just have to set it up, run through some logic and then spend hours drilling and reaming 60 holes, surface grinding something, milling something or playing on a lathe, back in ROM hacking I figure out the pointer and name scheme for an archive format and a few minutes later I have a batch file that has just sliced it up and handled any decompression, or maybe a few hours and I have a python script to handle building as well. Even something more labour/tedium intensive like mapping out an encoding and making a table is probably not going to be much better; you watch me brute force one bit of punctuation and you have watched the lot, same idea if I have a custom kanji table/order to deal with.
Oh and I have various numbers of screens, usually at least two with one in portrait mode and I think I have a compelling use case for 4K screens as I could really do with the screen real estate for hacking. That does not make for nice to edit video.

There are things that make so much more sense, though most are incidental rather than any kind of tutorial. I think my favourite was OAM (the thing that handles the location of sprites on a screen) for the GBA and DS. I was writing a document and covering it and where I can kind of show it in words and text then 2 seconds of watching an emulator and the OAM memory update in real time makes it completely obvious -- if it was rendered in neon green text then it would have looked like a scene from the matrix as it perfectly mapped/mirrored the things on screen, or in this case the two screens of the DS.

There is a part of me that wants to tell me that I am over thinking it and should just do it. On the other hand we know machining/woodworking makes for compelling TV (how many years did New Yankee Workshop run?) but I have never seen a coding TV show worth a damn that was not a science show or lecture or something that happened to be about algorithms and such like. I linked it before but https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFfq2zblGXw seems fitting again, I have also seen several hosts of Discovery channel various TV shows say parts were cut because they were just coding*. I watch any of the command line/wireshark/coding videos on something like https://www.youtube.com/user/Hak5Darren/videos and even if it is something I want to know and even with the rapid editing and energetic hosts I find myself distracted and falling asleep in my chair (and as previously covered I can do it for hours on end myself).

*two of the big ones were Mythbusters have said they wanted to do a lot more computer related things but were shut down or shut it down themselves, another was in various defcon or similar American hacker conferences a handful of the people presenting that Prototype This show made similar comments (by the way if you were a bit ambivalent about some of those presenting that show then watch those conference videos, or don't if you don't want to dislike Discovery Channel editors/editing policy even more than you probably already do).

It was once said that the best person to teach something is one that just went through it. You risk a few bad habits or heuristics that fail in the real world/more fiddly stuff but there is more than an element of truth to that. Might that also be a problem here?

zonk47

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #108 on: March 08, 2016, 07:42:23 pm »
It seems like it's possible to instruct an emulator to translate a game.

Here's how:
- Have the emulator scan the CHR-RAM for characters which are Japanese. Alternatively, allow the user to designate areas of CHR-RAM that are Japanese. When these characters are blitted to the background, copy their romanji to a buffer. Compare the romanji with a list of words which correspond to kanji, then do a phrase search based on the kanji and dump the matches whenever the sentence ends.

The lynchpin of this approach lies in the fact that there are Kanji equivalents for most katakana phrases and all hiragana/classical words. While it is difficult to match a stream of syllables to english, it is not difficult to match kanji to English. This approach is not meant to replace the hacking end of things, but to relax the burden on the translator. Naturally fluency in Japanese is still needed for RPGs because direct Japanese-to-English conversion is impossible particularly as regards conversational Japanese.

Anyway we talk about what emulators can do but not much about who is gonna make the mods. Most windows emulators are no longer in development, and they were made for WinXP besides. We really don't know how long Windows will remain XP compatible, so that's not a solution. Goodness knows most folks don't know where to begin now with those 16-bit commandline tools... gotta install FreeDOS or at least get an image (and the fun doesn't stop there!).

I saw something today which I consider kind of instructive of the situation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ucCxtgN6sc

If I was a high school or college student pursuing comp sci today, the choice of where to spend my time would be clear for me. I'd be trying to learn iOS and Android, NodeJS and that cluster of like 30 different techs around those. People forget that hackers tend to start as teens and gain mastery in their early tweens, then gradually withdraw from the scene by their late tweens. Family and job demands > repressed childhood fascination (though it seems like most here now are familiar with that). This is only now apparent that the first generation of internet hackers is moving into middle age, but it does seem like trend likely to endure.

I wonder if it's even possible to "increase interest"... everyone knows about emulation by now and translations. It's just that people find more value in doing other things. It may be that the only thing we can do is try to reduce our own hacking times by looking at things we do a lot and trying to optimize around those.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 10:37:10 pm by zonk47 »
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FAST6191

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #109 on: March 08, 2016, 08:51:54 pm »
So you are wanting to combined OCR (optical character recognition) for Japanese*, and then either make some kind of furigana or do the most basic approach to machine translation there is (context and memory free single word dictionary lookup).

*not the easiest task, especially for nice computer characters. Thankfully we tend not to see Tensho/imperial seal fonts in games.

There might be something to that for the blind and hard of sight crowd, and I would be curious to see if you could feed it to some kind text to voice synth (or even make something like Bastion out of it), but as a straight up translation then not really.

zonk47

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #110 on: March 08, 2016, 10:05:34 pm »
OCR at that level would not be difficult. Old Japanese computers have character rom built in, which is referenced repeatedly. Given that only a few 8x8 katakana/hiragana typefaces are used by older games for dialogue, it probably isn't necessary to reference the copies in the game data themselves, meaning they don't have to be decompressed from the ROM to be used.

It would be much easier to do with the microcomputers than with the consoles, because kanji rom reads could be intercepted without actual recognition.

The computer industry is in upheaval right now so it's not clear what platform(s) to support. It does seem a definite though that the 16-bit tools are on life support. ReactOS is available so Win32 won't be dead just yet. Might be able to reach a compromise on the GUI vs CMD divide by making front-ends for those who want them.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 10:40:02 pm by zonk47 »
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BlackDog61

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #111 on: March 09, 2016, 12:08:42 am »
It seems like it's possible to instruct an emulator to translate a game.
That seems to have limited hopes of success in my view, for the games I care for.
- From GBA and beyond (maybe a bit before), console games have had varied font graphics to render Japanese. (The RAM addresses vary also, but that could be input per game if needs be.) OCR'ing on this leads to unreliable results, I'm told. Even the human eye makes a number of mistakes, and context is the best way to resolve graphical ambiguities.
- Machine translation is just plain not up to my standards. (I use it to check I'm looking at the right bit of text and such, though. It's very useful for that. I could learn Japanese otherwise, but I wouldn't have done anything at all here then.) (Also, if I cannot find a translator when I set a project up, I may end up using that as a teaser for translation proof of feasibility.)

zonk47

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #112 on: March 09, 2016, 01:05:51 am »
I'm making my own machine trans tech which I intend to improve over time. Japanese-English machine trans is bad now because it doesn't take into account things like sentence structure... it doesn't even negate correctly. I think there are lots of little improvements to be made, though of course it will never replace a professional because it will be literal without that extra touch of meaning and finesse (fine for townsperson dialogue, however!)

I know it sounds extreme, but for the NEC microcomputer games especially it seems like the only way it'll ever get done. Of course those games need more than just translation... they also need video code revisions to correct the jerky scrolling.

I tried persuading Japanese speakers on anime IRC channels to give those games a look, but they weren't interested. I did find this one couple who live in Japan and do lets plays of (newer) adventure games with narration; I posted a link to their channel on here and it got deleted for some reason or another. As far as I can figure, what we've got now, is all there will ever be. I mean there could be a resurgence in interest in old games as millenials grow old and retire, but there might not as well.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 03:48:13 pm by zonk47 »
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furrykef

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #113 on: March 09, 2016, 03:36:40 am »
The problem with machine translation is handling the context clues that humans rely on but machines are completely ignorant of. For that, merely translating is not sufficient; you need a program that can actually think like a human. Suddenly the problem is no longer one of translation but of general knowledge and intelligence.

How do you parse "time flies like an arrow"? We intuitively understand it to mean that time flies in the manner an arrow flies, but to a computer could just as easily parse it as command ("time some flies, and time them the way you'd time an arrow"), or as a statement about a variety of fly called the time fly ("time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana"). The only way to arrive at the correct parsing, other than hard-coding a response to the particular phrase, is to grasp the context of the sentence.

Revenant

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #114 on: March 09, 2016, 03:55:49 am »
Improving machine translation is something people have been trying continuously to do at least since the 1950s, if not earlier. The fact that (e.g.) Google Translate ignores sentence structure in favor of pattern recognition is arguably one of the reasons it even manages to sometimes produce something vaguely comprehensible; otherwise, as furrykef points out, you could turn one perfectly structured sentence into another and end up with something that is technically sound, but so disconnected from the source material in actual meaning that an actual human translator would consider it unusable, if not completely meaningless.

To wit, and to look in the opposite direction for a minute, how would you machine-translate "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" into Japanese?

FAST6191

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #115 on: March 09, 2016, 04:52:40 am »
OCR at that level would not be difficult. Old Japanese computers have character rom built in, which is referenced repeatedly. Given that only a few 8x8 katakana/hiragana typefaces are used by older games for dialogue, it probably isn't necessary to reference the copies in the game data themselves, meaning they don't have to be decompressed from the ROM to be used.

It would be much easier to do with the microcomputers than with the consoles, because kanji rom reads could be intercepted without actual recognition.

The computer industry is in upheaval right now so it's not clear what platform(s) to support. It does seem a definite though that the 16-bit tools are on life support. ReactOS is available so Win32 won't be dead just yet. Might be able to reach a compromise on the GUI vs CMD divide by making front-ends for those who want them.

I would sooner do computers than handwriting but the small and squashed/simplified bitmap fonts we see in games are not quite ideal either. Though I suppose if you can train it and have it work well for a decent number of games, possibly plus those considered to be of higher quality, then that could work.

On platforms then something with long term prospects if we look to the history of ROM hacking (games don't change and as discussed we are not likely to see the halting problem sorted any time soon so we get to have humans do much of the heavy lifting), which I guess means look suspiciously upon android and IOS. Earlier someone mentioned a virtual platform, I have toyed with that in the past, though more for general console hacking and related tasks than ROM hacking, but even with several things being open source I hit the problem of quite a few things probably needing extensive work and tweaking.
I am not seeing this divide either. Sure there are cases where command line is kept with because making a GUI is a pain but most of the time it is used it is the superior method for those doing hacking work, for end users then having them fumble with patching is not great but hacking work. I might have to relearn autoit though and see what can be done.

Oh and if we are sharing machine translation fun then the box is in the pen.

RyanfaeScotland

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #116 on: March 09, 2016, 05:14:44 am »
Good write up FAST6191.

I think you capture a lot of the problems but I think a well thought out series of videos could address many of them and for me this is where the main issue lies, to create a good tutorial series a lot of time has to be spent planning, filming and editing and most people would prefer to just stick a screen recorder on, perform a task and then get it online.

Have you saw ever followed a PluralSight course? They cover technology topics such as programming and are broken up very nicely into short videos covering specific parts of a wider topic on the full subject. Sorry for the long image but here is 1 of their courses on Python:



You can see from there that it is very easy to find exactly the part you are looking for and to skip out the parts you aren't interested in. You mentioned getting fed up of re-reading how Boolean logic works or how While loops work, then you can easily skip those parts. But as you mentioned you then don't see the subtlies of their implementation in this specific case which brings in another important point: know your audience!

If you were to watch the While Loops video mentioned about you'll find that it makes no mention of how a while loop works because it assumes the viewer already knows this and if they don't there are 100 other places to go for detailed explanations. All it does in the 4min 35s it has is explain the types of While Loops available, how they compare to other languages, how to do something you can't do (there is no Do While in Python so it explains an equivalent) and then a quick use case for the specifics (breaking and so on).

To look at your specific example of Reversing a Format I could see that being broken up into 5 or 6 videos each addressing a different method / part of the process. You say it can take hours and 400 failures before you get the success then this is what you'd have to do, but not during the tutorial! You do it before hand, taking notes as you go of important points and then once you are happy that your done and know how to repeat the process you do so, this time recording sections and emphasizes the important points i.e. "Now we need to find the XX section. To do this we do AA, BB and CC as follows. Now I had to do this 400 times to eventually find that the XX section was hiding here..."

This is what I was aiming to do with my series of videos on the matter. The production value is pretty poor on them and I have a pretty boring voice compared to many YouTubers of current (my vids are around 6 years old) but you can see the 3 videos I have in the series go:

ROM Hacking - Decimal Tutorial
ROM Hacking - Binary and Hexadecimal Tutorial
ROM Hacking - Making Changes Tutorial

So it is easy for people to skip parts they already know inside out.

The plan was to continue along these lines:

ROM Hacking - Decimal Tutorial
ROM Hacking - Binary and Hexadecimal Tutorial
ROM Hacking - Making Changes Tutorial
ROM Hacking - Finding Values Through Save State Comparison
ROM Hacking - Save State To RAM
ROM Hacking - Game Genie, Action Replay, RAM and How They Relate
ROM Hacking - RAM to ROM
ROM Hacking - Making Your Changes Permanent
ROM Hacking - Distributing Your Changes

Hopefully you can see the progression across topics, how they tie into each other and how you can easily skip to the parts you are interested in without having to repeat sections you know.

Hell, if you'd like a worked example of what I'm trying to get across I don't mind putting myself in the firing line with ROM Hacking - Making Changes Tutorial, it's 15 minutes, I have no doubt you know it all already (it is basically how to copy and paste from the web into a hex editor) but I think it covers a few of the points I think can make video tutorials work.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 09:03:39 am by RyanfaeScotland »

FAST6191

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #117 on: March 09, 2016, 01:01:19 pm »
I think you got more Scottish as you went along there. Also couldn't the savestate edits be ported to action replay easily enough? I know it is a years old video and not the point but it was something of a concluding/ending remark.

Never so much as heard of PluralSight but I would agree heavy indexing is necessary.
Part of my... apprehension might also be because of the lack of easy web video jumping around. In a nice PDF it involves a scroll wheel and is instant. On youtube it involves hunting with a mouse on a small bar, then suffering dash or "an error has occurred" and maybe a second or two delay on top of that, and if I want to watch a 10 second segment 5 times in a row as the would be tutorial maker gets bored and reverts to rapid clicks from almost muscle memory...

That said if not machining then CAD might be something to look at. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJHWLa-w7XU being a nice example of CAD, and possibly also the specific tutorial problem (you could make that assembly quite happily, I would not rate your chances of being able to go into basically any assembly and make things happen if that is all you learned from.
Thinking back to Python though I did once watch the Khan academy attempt at teaching it ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=husPzLE6sZc&list=PL36E7A2B75028A3D6 ). I might be able to pull something from that.

Related to the possibly overthinking it thing there is also my personal problem with always wanting near flawless video, I am happy enough to shoot on what I have and seen as it is mostly only OS level recording then I probably would not even benefit from having to sell my firstborn to Blackmagic design and Canon but editing wise I have frame accurate editors (that specifically work to frames) and intend to use them. I try not to go for the near hyper edited stuff like you might see any number of vlog people do (I saw something similar on a cooking show earlier... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zgkHL5rBt0). That said https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbKwUSH9NiY has an idea that might work and he will often overdub, go for illustrations and simplifications rather than trying stuff in real world devices (or ROMs in this case).

On failures then some take less than 10 seconds to test, 20 if I have to vocalise things clearly. More along the lines of I see numbers, if I add them together does it equal something close to this location that I know something to start/end at. Most of the time that does not work and at best would look like https://xkcd.com/1271/ to people watching but it will eventually get there. I would want to emphasise the amount of failures, faffing about and fiddling though as there are few things I see be more disheartening than someone "immediately" seeing the solution. Call it a legacy of maths classes and having to show my working.

Anyway some more things for me to think about. I absolutely think it is solvable problem, I am just stuck trying to find a workable solution.

RyanfaeScotland

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #118 on: March 09, 2016, 05:11:40 pm »
Yeah, probably, I always start off pretty apprehensive and then become more relaxed as the video goes on. Yup savestates to Action Replay would be easy which is why it would be the next part after save state comparison, it is easy to do and it adds a new skill and it lets learners see something really cool, their edits working on real hardware.

Yes YouTube jumping back and forth kinda sucks which is another reason for many small videos rather than lots of topics in one half hour one. Could also use the description and timestamps in it to make life easier for people.

Sure PDFs are good as a reference to have along side or even to read when on the bus or just chilling out but there is a call for the same stuff in video as well. Sometimes it is good to see exactly what the teacher is doing, you can also watch and learn from it in other situations such as having it on in the background whilst doing another task whilst reading requires your full attention.

The CAD video is good, I'm not too keen on that tutorial voice but it is clear and easy to follow.

The flawless video thing can become an issue. I hate the de'syncing in my current videos but you can only re-edit, re-render and re-upload to YouTube so many times before you just say 'Screw it, close enough.' If you are the type that likes everything perfect your either going to have to get decent editing software (as in better than Window Movie Maker that I went with) or be ready for a lot of pain and upset.

You are right to want to let people know these things take time or I think people would be pretty put off pretty quickly if they went to do your 10 minute font finding technique and found they had got no where with it after 2 hours! But you edit around that, use fade outs, fast forwards, a clock in the scene, explicitly say "It has been N hours and I've finally found it". People will get to know the pain naturally, you don't need to tutorial them in it!

The best advice I can really give is get out there and try it. You'll find what works for you and what doesn't and the more you do it the more confident you'll become in it which in turn makes for better videos.

FAST6191

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Re: How to increase interest in hacking?
« Reply #119 on: March 09, 2016, 05:58:27 pm »
Video editing software is not a problem. http://avisynth.org.ru/docs/english/ is what I go in for and love the workflow there, so much so that if I play with a timeline editor it feels clunky. Note for others reading and recalling my earlier comments that this is not what I meant when I said about video editing going quasi scripting, I was thinking more some of the muxers and DVD creation tools. Fast forward in overlay windows was something I considered for that.

I suppose I might be waiting for video to improve to be flexible a la conventional text and static images, some seemed to think HTML5 and canvas might be it, and it possibly could still be but everything I saw there seemed like a solution in search of a problem. Personally I would prefer something slightly different, and as much of a nightmare as MP4TT is then it is probably one of the better attempts (truly MP4TT is a horror so have http://www.simonwhatley.co.uk/mark-pilgrim-a-gentle-introduction-to-video-encoding-captioning instead if you are curious).

"such as having it on in the background whilst doing another task whilst reading requires your full attention."
There are plenty of things I can and have learned like that, none of them skills that I might use in hacking, coding or machining or anything, even for something that will only hurt me by advancing RSI rather than potentially subjecting me to pieces of flying metal. I will listen to a podcast (the freakonomics one is great for that) or a less visually intensive lecture for general background but maybe other than having something to distract my hands then nothing I might ever have to use, repeat or adapt to my needs as far as "practical" skills go would I be able to have on in the background.

That said many of the videos I watch and have been linking have been more "I found/bought this cool thing and now I am pulling it apart". I already mentioned the ROM hacking techniques for the everyman flash cart/emulator user articles I have done at times, and I always enjoyed just ripping apart a ROM as soon as it was released or just randomly because why not. Maybe that rather than tutorials would be a better place to start, at least for me. Similar perhaps to rather than translating a ROM then having it do something very silly, but still quite technically involved*, instead.

*possibly one of the issues I had with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmLi8Mx7Yf0 come to think of it. Most were just basic 3d basics (whoo scaling...) or mapping nodes/bones to a 3d input that the game has.