Author Archives: JonLech

Sago pudding

I love sago pudding. This is the recipe that I use:

Ingredients
1l milk (proper, not the fat-free crap)
4 tbsp butter
80g sago
50g sugar
2 eggs
10 drops of almond extract

Directions
1. Bring milk and butter to the boil in a microwave oven.
2. Add sago and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
3. Add whisked egg and sugar. Mix carefully.
4. Add drops of almond extract. Mix.

Serve cold with cherry sauce.

Hacker Bar

Black Cherry Almond Clif BarMy new favourite snack: the Black Cherry Almond Clif Bar. Great for all-night reverse engineering sessions.

(I did not get paid for this blog post, but I’m hoping someone from Clif Bar & Co. will see this and send me a few boxes!)

Update: Thanks Amy!

“A digital thing lasts forever”

This comment over in the Ars forums:

The need for backups was more of an issue back in the days of magnetic media, where the originals could and did degrade over time to the point of being useless.

reminded me of this comment by Jack Valenti, former president of the MPAA:

Where did this backup copy thing come from? A digital thing lasts forever.

A while ago I bought GoldenEye on DVD. New discs of this Bond movie are not being made anymore so I bought it used. The disc did not have any noticable scratches yet all my DVD players were unable to play the last 30 minutes of the movie. Most likely a bad case of DVD rot.

Jack, DVDs do not last forever, but comments such as this one probably will:

I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.
— Jack Valenti, “Home Recording of Copyrighted Works,” Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives, April 12, 1982

Gadgets for sale

Nokia 770I am selling the following items. If you live in downtown San Francisco I will personally deliver the item(s) to you.

  • Nokia 770: Used for 6 weeks. This unit is very special as it has been touched by the iCEO! (oh, and me, but I’m not quite at his level of fame). Runs Linux and is very hackable. $300.
  • 3G iPod 40GB: Used for 2.5 years. Own a piece of DRM history! This is the iPod I used when I reverse engineered FairPlay in winter 2003/2004. Battery needs replacing as it doesn’t last very long anymore. $150.
  • Firewire PCMCIA card: Nothing exotic here. Used only for a few days. $10 with purchase of any item above $50.
  • AUDIOTRAK OPTOPlay: Used for a few months. $30 with purchase of any item above $50.

Update: The Nokia 770 and the iPod have been sold.

Audiobubble Music Store

I received an email from the Audiobubble team about their online music store.

Audiobubble isn’t your average online music store.

It began in early 2005, when two musicians, Shaun Russell and Tom Chambers, decided to create a music service that was fair to artists and fair to customers. Tired of puny 30 second previews, lack of customer trust and lack of freedom for the artist, they created the Audiobubble concept.

We don’t use DRM because we know it isn’t consumer friendly. Shame that Napster, iTunes and other online music giants can’t wake up to this fact. Audiobubble is about freedom. Join the revolution!

I signed up for an account and was listening to previews in no time under Ubuntu Linux. The only information asked for during signup was email, username and password.

Payment is handled through PayPal, so if you don’t have a PayPal account and refuse to sign up for one you’re out of luck.

Other online stores that sell music files without DRM: Magnatune, Bleep, Mindawn, Audio Lunchbox.

Reverse Engineering

Do you want to learn reverse engineering? Here’s how I got started out in the 90s:

Essential reversing tools:

You can get by with only free tools, but for serious reversing you will need to spend around 4000 USD on commercial tools.

Godspeed aspiring reverser!