How to 'steal' sprites from Apple II games ?

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How to 'steal' sprites from Apple II games ?

During development of a graphics card for the Apple-1 I ran into the problem to procure some nice looking on-screen figures found in Apple II games for demo purposes. Alas, the process using a real Apple II (clone) is too tedious, it takes me about 15 minutes until have a a captured screen image on my Linux machine to work on it, only to find out it was taken while the screen buffer was incomplete (software still drawing the 'sprites' or the fixed objects). So I moved to AppleWin-1.30.12.0 emulation where I have the debugging console. This solves the problem with incompletely drawn screens, but I need to work in a Windows ennvironment, and then move all the data to Linux, and since my development computers all are air-gapped and USB sticks are prohibited on them, it's another tedious data transfer process (the problem with any USB device is that it can hijack the computer, so I don't use them with the machines where my own work is stored).

 

So, do you know of any efficient, time-saving way to 'borrow' / 'steal' / 'hijack' sprites or other screen art from Apple II games, please tell me. I'm also looking for an efficient Apple II sprite editor which knows the artifact color tricks.

 

The best solution I could think of would be an Apple II emulator which has a mode to produce a 'video stream file' from a game being played in the emulator. One mode could use page soft switch flips to trigger the streaming of the 2 x 8k screen buffer contents to hard disk. These then could be examined frame by frame and edited / copied as needed. Not all games use page flips, though, but those with good animation do.

 

Any thoughts / hints / tips ?

 

- Uncle Bernie

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Why don't you make a Windows

Why don't you make a Windows PC with AppleWin part of your air-gapped intranet and RemoteDesktop to it from one of your Linux dev machines?

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Why don't you run the Apple

Why don't you run the Apple II emulator directly on Linux so moving datta around wouldn't be an issue?  I don't use Windows at all for anything.  Acually, I don't even have it.  I don't even permit it on my network...

 

I've never needed to capture video out of an emulator like that, but there are several Apple II emulators for Linux, maybe one can do what you need? 

 

 

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All Apple II emulators I tried won't compile or run on Linux !

In post #3, softwarejanitor wrote:

 

"Why don't you run the Apple II emulator directly on Linux so moving data around wouldn't be an issue?"

 

Uncle Bernie answers:

 

Because none of the Apple II emulators I tried to compile under Linux mint 64 bit would  compile completely (the older ones, I suppose, want libraries which are not there anymore). One or two did compile to an executable but quit with a segmentation fault just after being started. I do not have the time to sort these things out. The only Apple II emulator which would run out of the box was WinApple, and this runs on the dreaded Windows platform.

 

If you know about any Apple II emulator able to read WOZ files and which would compile and run trouble free under Linux mint 64 bit, let me know !

 

- Uncle Bernie

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Not sure why you are so

Not sure why you are so afraid of Windows. AppleWin happens to be the best Apple II emulator and I don't think it's available for any other OS.

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Why Windows is dreaded and impairs use of AppleWin.

In post #5, CVT wrote:

 

"Not sure why you are so afraid of Windows. AppleWin happens to be the best Apple II emulator and I don't think it's available for any other OS."

 

Uncle Bernie answers:

 

I'm not "afraid" of Windows as such. But I dread it for all its known and unknown backdoors and built-in surveillance tools the despicable 21st century epigones of the Gestapo have planted into it and use 24/7 to watch every step you make on the internet. They have built a huge data center in Nevada to store every keystroke, every email, every GPS location,all the internet session protocols, for everyone ever going online. They can remote control any Windows based computer and they can plant all the incriminating evidence against you on it without even breaking into your house. It is known that hackers have exploited the very same backdoors to encrypt whole hard drives and then blackmailing their victims to pay in bitcoin to get the decryption key. If you think that you can 'protect' your Windows based computer against such attacks, you are deluded. Big corporations with IT budgets in the 10's of millions have fallen into that trap and had to pay the ransom.

The only logical conclusion from this dire situation is to a) avoid use of the Windows based operating system (hard, some desirable software is only available for Windows) and, b), if Windows can't be avoided, treat the  computer infested with it as a "burner": no important stuff on it, don't do important work on it, just surf the web with it, and if sh*t happens, pull out the hard drive and plug in the duplicate you made. If the problem comes back, the malware has infested the flash memory, and scrubbing that takes more time, so it may be more reasonable to throw the infested machine away (or sell it on Ebay ;-) and buy another one.

 

As for AppleWin, I agree that it is the finest and most powerful Apple II emulator there is, but since it's not in the Linux world, I can't modify and re-build it from the sources, and so I can't put my "video stream" idea into it.

 

I used AppleWin to 'steal' a few sprites from Aik Beng's great DROL game, but still I had to write four (!) little tools under Linux to extract the sprites from the YAM files. This took me a whole afternoon. Too much for what I 'harvested'. There must be a better way. I want every sprite, every phase of animation, everything. Without spending weeks of my RQLT on it.

 

I would not ask the Apple II gurus in this forum if I would not have tried to find that better way. So far, no luck.

 

- Uncle Bernie

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CVT wrote:Not sure why you
CVT wrote:

Not sure why you are so afraid of Windows. AppleWin happens to be the best Apple II emulator and I don't think it's available for any other OS.

 

I am not afraid of Windows, it just sucks and Microsoft is a disgusting unethical company that I refuse to do business with.  There are perfectly fine Apple II emulators which run under Linux.  I mostly prefer to run on real hardware though.

 

 

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I was able to compile

I was able to compile LinApple from source on Ubuntu without any issue.  

 

git clone https://github.com/linappleii/linapple.git

cd linapple

make

sudo make install

 

I did have to install the libsdl-image-dev package, but that was it.

 

sudo apt-get install libsdl-image1.2-dev

 

 

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UncleBernie wrote:I'm not
UncleBernie wrote:

I'm not "afraid" of Windows as such. But I dread it for all its known and unknown backdoors and built-in surveillance tools ...

 

If you believe all that, then you should stay away from Linux too, unless you are willing to analyze every single line of code that you compile and run. It’s much easier to add a backdoor to open source software (both willingly and unwillingly) and many such cases have been discovered.

 

softwarejanitor wrote:

I am not afraid of Windows, it just sucks and Microsoft is a disgusting unethical company that I refuse to do business with. 

...

 

Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are just as unethical, have you boycotted them too? What about anything made in China, because they take the unethical to a whole new level!

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I run KEGS natively on Linux.

I run KEGS natively on Linux. I send and receive using the Terminal via PR#1 and IN#1. I also run AppleWin using Wine on Linux. The "best" emulator to dump memory would be Virtual II but it is proprietary, for Mac only, and you have to purchase it to run it without the nag screen.

That would be a cool project to have the 7 bit maps with artifacts in an editor. It depends what format you want.

I agree that big tech is a dumpster fire.

 

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Apple Google and Facebook? 

Apple Google and Facebook?  Not nearly as unethical or have done the long term damage to the industry that Microsoft's illegal trade practices have.  Microsoft has also brought a certain kind of stagnation of development of new or different things over the years.  During the 8 bit era before they became the evil 800lb gorilla of the industry there were dozens of platforms.  MS-DOS and Windows PCs killed them with their hedgemony and Microsoft was able to parcel out small incremental steps to maximize their profit at everyone else's expense.  They killed competing software on MS-DOS and WIndows by practices like giving their own developers priviledged access to tools an documention for their platform, product tying, product dumping and buying and killing smaller competitors.  None of those other companies have ever had the opportunity to exercise the kind of monopolistic power over an industry.  The only company that ever came close was IBM.  And Microsoft even screwed them.

 

Linux isn't perfect from a security standpoint.  Nothing is.  However, compared to the sorry track record Micosoft has had, where they've had more exploits, more serious exploits and taken longer to resolve them than just about any other major OS vendor...  Linux is just a better choice if you are concerned with security.  I'm far from the only person who believes that.

 

As for China...  even though a lot of us have a profound distrust of the Chinese government, there isn't really a whole lot we can do about it.  Microsoft however, there are viable alternatives to them.  And because they've lost the mobile market when Windows Phone and Windows Mobile for tablets failed, in the end it looks like they will lose the war.  They've lost the cloud to Amazon (probably a bigger monopolistic threat than any of the 3 you mentioned) who has 80+% of that market and are an also-ran with other competitors like GCP, Oracle, IBM, Rackspace and a bunch of small players.  It will just take years for Microsoft to dissipate since they've got massive stockpiles of cash.  But they've lost the server market and the desktop PC OS or applications markets aren't the important things anymore.  It's all cloud and mobile apps.  And the Cloud is mostly Linux and mobile is Android (Linux based) with iOS in second place.

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Apple
softwarejanitor wrote:

Apple Google and Facebook?  Not nearly as unethical or have done the long term damage to the industry that Microsoft's illegal trade practices have.  Microsoft has also brought a certain kind of stagnation of development of new or different things over the years.  During the 8 bit era before they became the evil 800lb gorilla of the industry there were dozens of platforms. 

All well said (the whole post). 

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softwarejanitor wrote:It will
softwarejanitor wrote:

It will just take years for Microsoft to dissipate since they've got massive stockpiles of cash.  But they've lost the server market and the desktop PC OS or applications markets aren't the important things anymore.  It's all cloud and mobile apps.  And the Cloud is mostly Linux and mobile is Android (Linux based) with iOS in second place.

 

I don't think so. They have experienced a tremendous revival ever since they got rid of Balmer. Just look at their valuation before and after Feb of 2014 when Nadella became CEO: absolute stagnation for 16 years before him and then 10 fold increase in just 8 years.

 

 

Otherwise it is true that Microsoft has the highest number of detected security vulnerabilities, but detection bias is a large factor according to some security experts: click! 

 

Of course protecting yourself effectively lies in technical understanding on per case basis and not just choosing an OS that is simply perceived to be more secure. I would still like to iterate that no matter the operating system, compiling other people's source code and then running it is very risky.

 

And finally regarding who screwed who during the early days of Apple, Microsoft and IBM, you should really see Pirates of Silicone Valley.

 

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That stock price graph alone

That stock price graph alone doesn't really tell you much though.  If you look at Google, Amazon and Apple, their MAX graph like that shows pretty much the same pattern so much the charts from a distance would be hard to tell apart.  It's the whole tech market going up.  I don't think you can really point at just Nutella as the driver.  Although he certainly stemmed some of the problems of Ballmer, mostly not having a loud and beliferent mouth.  I don't buy that he is a great visionary any more than I believe that Tim Cook is.  The big thing about him compared to his predecessor is at least he isn't a complete @$$#013.  On the other hand, few believe it when he says things like "Microsoft loves Open Source" or even less when he says they love Linux.  He's kind of got to say those things because as I said, the Cloud runs on Linux and even on Azure, a significant percentage of the installations are Linux, some reports it is over 50%.  But does anyone really believe any of it?  I don't trust Microsoft, it would be hard to ever trust them.

What bias there is in detection doesn't really matter -- even if Windows is more heavily attacked and thus more exploits are found, it doesn't change anything if you are trying to defend systems.  And the interesting thing now is that if the targets are just based on installed base, then Android and iOS both rival or exceed desktop Windows these days so they should be as big or bigger target and yet, they have fewer zero day exploits.  And for value of targets, Linux powers the vast majority of the servers running the Internet and the Cloud(s).  Despite that, Windows server still has a poorer track record.  Part of that may be of course that Windows Server is these days largely deployed by organizations with under-developed IT organizations.  But that's a big change from where things were 20 years ago when the big organziations were betting big on Windows.  Few other than optimists in the Open Source world expected the shift we''ve seen over that time.  In fact, most of the big names laughed at Linus Torvalds when he joked about Linux world domination because they didn't believe it.

I've seen Pirates of Silicon Valley.  It's dramatized, and certainly I think a lot of the people depicted in it would have issues with how they were portrayed and it certainly shouldn't be taken as a historically accurate documentary.  There is a ton of hero worship out there for all of those big figures, and often the cult of personality drives a mythos which isn't completely in touch with reality.  That's obviously true of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and to an extent all those people.  Woz is unsuprisingly one of the most down to earth people out of that group.  Really out of place in a way with the big egos of most of the others.

 

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:That
softwarejanitor wrote:

That stock price graph alone doesn't really tell you much though.  If you look at Google, Amazon and Apple, their MAX graph like that shows pretty much the same pattern so much the charts from a distance would be hard to tell apart.  It's the whole tech market going up. 

...

 

They show the same pattern as the whole tech market, but not the same increase in value. The NASDAQ has only gone up by a factor of 3 or 4. These 4 have done much better and I don’t think any of them will disappear any time soon, unlike the company that got screwed in Pirates of Silicone Valley (with the chapter 11 rumors a couple of years ago and everything).

 

Windows still holds about 70% of the desktop market and in the last 5 years it has lost only 5% to MacOS, while Linux is still under 2% of market share. This market is super important, since it includes the computer people have at work. It is also the reason why Windows is targeted more often by hackers: businesses have more expensive secrets than individuals.

 

Another point I would like to make is that the number of zero-day exploits found does not capture the severity of the exploits and the damage it can inflict. All those leaked naked pictures of celebrities were not made with hacked Windows Phones, I can tell you that much!

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About Windows vs. Linux "backdoors".

I did not want to provoke a "Windows vs. Linux" insecurity discussion by my humble request for pointers to "sprite stealing tools". (Oh, I did succeed with the linapple recommendation of post #8, although I had to crack the root password of the sandbox Linux machine I compiled it with, since I had long forgotten that password. It took me less than 5 minutes to do that, and I was "root". So far the Linux "security" if you have physical access to the machine. In this case, "security" does not exist.)

 

About the Windows backdoors: I got the impression that none of the commenters above understands that these backdoors are not due to incompetent programming. Instead, the "21st Century epigones of the Gestapo" have paid a visit to Microsoft and - we can assume - coerced them to put these backdoors in. Working together with Microsoft programmers, these Gestapo epigones then proceeded to develop a software tool suite to remotely access any Windows based machine and then they had the ability to gain full control over any machine running windows if that machine is somehow connected to the WWW. This remote access tool suite then was stolen from these Gestapo epigones by hackers and/or a certain Mr. Edward Snowden, who knows, all we know for certain is that it became accessible to hackers worldwide. This tool suite also includes the software to turn USB sticks into vectors for computer worms and viruses. That USB vector tool suite was used to sabotage the uranium enrichment ultra centrifuges of  Iran. Once the code was out, hackers have modified it to break into corporate computer networks, to encrypt their data, and then make them pay ransom for the decryption key. All these crimes (yes they are crimes) have been perpetrated with leaked / stolen tools developed and paid for with U.S. taxpayer money, and this is you and me. It's disgusting. But this is the actual elephant in the room. All the other exploits not using any of the intentionally planted backdoors are just that - exploits of poor programming. Which certainly also do exist in the Linux source code.

 

This is why I keep my critical Linux machines air-gapped. I have more than 20 computers and notebooks running Linux and / or Windows. The oldest Linux machine I have still runs Kernel 1.3.8. (IIRC). I have some where I compiled the Kernel myself and disabled certain functions which could be vulnerabilities. These machines can't access LANs nor do they have full USB support - i.e. they can't download drivers from USB sticks. So only very old USB sticks would work with them.

 

But wait, it gets worse. Modern Intel CPUs have a hardware engine (actually, a small microcomputer) built in which allows various things, such as modifying the microcode, and all that without any operating system yet running. I did not dig too much into it as my RQLT is precious, but to me this looks like the MOAB - "Mother Of All Backdoors". The "little maintenance computer" as such is legit and traces back to more sophisticated mainframes and minicomputers of the 1970s and 1980s. IIRC, the Data General Eclipse series had a built-in "microNOVA" for that purpose of loading and running diagnostics, and the operator console, before the OS was loaded. The Cray-1 also needed such a little computer to get going. But such little helpers can also be used for nefarious purposes.

 

I could go on and on but here is a final hint: next time you see a herd of cattle, look at their ear tags. Then look at your "smart phone" or "smart watch". And then say "Mooooooh !".

 

- Uncle Bernie

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UncleBernie wrote:About the
UncleBernie wrote:

About the Windows backdoors: I got the impression that none of the commenters above understands that these backdoors are not due to incompetent programming. Instead, the "21st Century epigones of the Gestapo" have paid a visit to Microsoft and - we can assume - coerced them to put these backdoors in. Working together with Microsoft programmers, these Gestapo epigones have developed a software tool suite to remotely access any Windows based machine and then thay have the ability to gain full control over the machine.

 

If you actually believe that the government of your country has done this to Microsoft, why would you not believe that they have also done it to Apple, Google and many others?

 

softwarejanitor wrote:

Apple Google and Facebook?  Not nearly as unethical ...

 

I don't know about that. Microsoft has never disabled and prevented me from ever installing again a perfectly well running program on a computer that I own. Apple and Google have done it on multiple occasions, forcing me either to buy a new device or live without that application. The old AppleTV and iPad I don't mind that much, but one of the devices was an Android multimedia for my car that cost me quite a bit to import and install. I don't see a lot of ethics in that.

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No computer, no smartphone, no internet is "safe".

In post #17, CVT wrote:

 

"If you actually believe that the government of your country has done this to Microsoft, why would you not believe that they have also done it to Apple, Google and many others ?"

 

Uncle Bernie answers:

 

I actually believe everything is compromized, has backdoors, and spies on you (and me). This is the nature of the game.  Oh, and it's not only "my government" - which I did not elect, the aptly named "Dominion"  machines did that for me - who engages in these nefarious acivities, every government in the world does it - and did it since "government" was invented. Guess why the "Post Office" in every country in the world is run by the government ? There used to be a "secret chamber" in which the letters of targeted persons were opened (i.e. over steam) and read and copied. Back in the day, by hand. Tracking and reading all your emails (by "AI" first, then then by humans, once the "AI" flags it) is just a modern version of that.

 

What eludes me is that most people actually pay their own money for the very devices (and "internet providers") who spy on them 24/7. I don't do that. I have a flip phone which is OFF (not 100% safe, I know) ALL the time - unless I want to make a call - and I do not have internet access in my home. I use public wifi. With a computer who belongs to a "John Doe". You get the idea.

 

- Uncle Bernie

 

 

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Oh yeah, there is some degree

Oh yeah, there is some degree of national security and police surveillance in every country, but I don’t feel like I need to worry about it since I haven’t done anything criminal my entire life. Of course I can’t speak for the future and should I decide to take that road I will definitely do everything in my power to cover my tracks like every smart criminal out there. :)

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On the fallacy of "I didn't to nothing criminal" ...

In post #19, CVT wrote:

 

"... there is some degree of national security and police surveillance in every country, but I don’t feel like I need to worry about it since I haven’t done anything criminal my entire life. Of course I can’t speak for the future and should I decide to take that road I will definitely do everything in my power to cover my tracks like every smart criminal out there."

 

Uncle Bernie warns:

 

This is the big fallacy. "I am no criminal, so I have nothing to fear". Nonsense. Any tyrant can turn you into a criminal with the stroke of his pen - signing a bill into law which turns you into a criminal for opinions, points of view, or statements you have expressed anywhere in your emails or postings of the past. Or, for possession of items you have legally bought in the past. The latter is happening right now, here in Colorado. And off you go to the extermination camps. Or, how about your upcoming China-like "Social Credit Score" ? Oh - sorry - with this social credit score you can't buy meat. Oh, and for the attempt to buy meat with that score we fine you 50% of your "CBDC" balance. Want to leave that sh*thole of a country - "sorry with this score you can't buy an airline ticket or any public transport whatsoever". All this can happen to you if "they" have your data. So it would be better if "they" don't have any.

 

And other than being targeted by tyrants, or a government gone rogue, or gone bankrupt, all these backdoors can and will be exploited by hackers to gain access to information that can be used for fraud, bogus credit card charges, blackmail, identity theft, asset confiscation, etc. etc.

 

I'm talking out of experience - my credit card data was stolen by hackers who had planted spyware into the point-of-sale terminals of a grocery chain. I was the main plaintiff in the big class action lawsuit against that chain, which made me no money, but did cost them more than half a million dollars in lawyer's fees. Then their liability insurance, also a scam, did not want to pay up, so they (the grocery chain) had to sue that fraudulent insurance company. Other than that, I am member of about half a dozen class action lawsuits against various credit rating companies and health care providers from whom hackers have stolen all my personal data including my social security number. Any clown on the darknet can now buy my whole identity data and assume my identity. And commit crimes  being "me". And then the government thugs come knocking on my door. If I blow them away, which I could, who is then responsible for all that death and mayhem ? The thugs ? The faceless anonymous bureaucrat who cowardly sent them to me  to initiate violence against me ? The criminal who assumed my identity and committed crimes under that assumed identity ? The hacker who stole my personality profile from a company which should not have had all that critical information in the first place ? The company who had inadequate protection for that data against being stolen ? The government spooks who coerced the software companies to put backdoors into software products so they could snoop around to catch "terrorists" ? (How many did they catch ? One ? Two ? In 20 years ?) This is the point where the loop closes and we could go on ad nauseam.

 

I think without all these backdoors and all this spying and all this data collection, the world would be a better place, and we could feel safer. Back in the day, health insurance companies had the information in files, on paper or on microfilm, and any scoundrel had to physically break into their office and then find the binders or the spools of microfilm. To plant incriminating evidence, they had to break into the office or the dwellings of the targeted person(s) or company(s). Now they can do all this nefarious activities remotely, from half a world away, via the internet and via the backdoors these idiots have mandated to be planted into our computer hardware and software. The car with a remote control "kill switch" is already signed into law.

I wonder how deep this rabbit hole goes. Maybe the CCP, the Chinese Communist  Party, already has the 'backdoor access tools' to make our newest fighter jets lose their fly-by-wire system and fall out of the sky. Sold to them by traitors in high places in our own government. You know, "10% for the big guy", courtesy of his cocaine snorting son.

We now must assume that every piece of hardware and software is compromised and has backdoors. I know for certain, from my professional realm, that Chinese semiconductor foundries have tampered with American integrated circuit designs sent to them for manufacture, and some circuitry not in the original design was added by them. Alas, the traitors have already sold out all the industrial manufacturing base of the USA to China, and we can't build the electronics for our defense systems anymore without using electronic components manufactured in China. Which opens the door to a lot of ... possibilities. Oh, and did I mention that without the garments and boots "Made in China" our soldiers literally would run around naked and barefoot. How can you wage a war against China under these conditions ? And still, if you paid attention, the mass media is drumming war drums that such a war will come soon. Clown world. Everything is deception and lies. We, the people, are being lied to and sold out to the highest bidder. Like cattle.

 

If I was snarky I'd say, let's put an Apple-1 into our F-35 fighter jets to control everything, just to be sure that communist saboteurs have not planted backdoors.

 

End of rant. I just wanted to show you how deep this rabbit hole goes.

 

- Uncle Bernie

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I think you should also

I think you should also consider the possibility that most of the things you are worried about are not real or not yours to worry about and it’s your own mind that is deceiving you that they are, perhaps after becoming a vicim of identity theft. Similar thing happens to people who have been in a car accident, having to deal with fear of driving after.

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On real or unreal dangers ....

In post #21, CVT wrote:

 

"... most of the things you are worried about are not real or not yours to worry about and it’s your own mind that is deceiving you ..."

 

Uncle Bernie answers:

 

OK, for some people it is probaby best to stick their head in the sand and pretend that evil does not exist, because with the head in the sand no evil can be seen anymore. This strategy certainly leads to better sleep and less worries.

 

About "not yours to worry about": as long as such nefarious activities - or sheer stupitidy of incompetent morons -  threaten the safety and well-being of my person or the safety and well-being of the nation I live in, it is prudent to at least keep an eye on these activities and see how they unfold.

 

Most people are oblivious to what is really going on in the world and most are so by their own choice. "To stop worrying and love the bomb." (from Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove"). Those who are alert and observant of course will worry more than the oblivious and gullible, but they can prepare for the fallout (and I mean not only radioactive fallout, it could be financial fallout, too).

 

The bottom line is, all the concerns about backdoors in computer hardware and software are real, I have seen the effects, and I have lost some of my own data to computer viruses (over 40 years, prior to 1980 viruses were rare). I am very interested in IT security, cryptographic algorithms, proper operating system design, fail-safe system design, and more, and had to deal with these topics for many decades, as I was involved in the design of floppy disk copy protection schemes (1980s), the test of military and medical electronics (1990s) and later, the design of secure ICs for chipcards. And guess what - it's always an eternal battle between the designers of such protections and cryptographic / security devices and the other side, the hackers and the spies / spooks. Ever heard of "side channel attacks" ? Pooof - the "security bit" of many programmable logic devices became worthless. They even sold readers (HW&SW) to extract the fuse map despite the 'security bit' was set. And then the debacle with the Keeloq encryption. Not my work, but in the end, 100's of millions of vehicles with wireless keys can be stolen, all it takes is to have some electronics in an attache case. If somebody with an attache case is near your car, don't push that button on your key to lock / unlock your car. Wait until that person goes away.

 

What I did not anticipate back in the 1990s when the WWW was launched, is that corporations would start to hoover up all the personal data for billions of people using the WWW, all their movements and searches and purchases and videos watched in the web, and then aggregate that to digital personality profiles to be sold out to the highest bidder. Anyone can buy your digital personality profile and then use the information to become a doppelgaenger. Or use that knowledge to harm you. And then, the hackers break into these data centers and steal all these personality profiles without even paying ! It's not only me, there are some 100's of millions of Americans whose personal data was stolen in such breaches, hence, the many class action lawsuits worth billions of US$ each. This is real - you can check it, online. But be careful - some things cannot be unseen.

 

What's worse, of course, is if the governments turn rogue and use the aggregated data as a tool to threaten, harrass, criminalize and blackmail citizens. In Communist China this is everyday practice. You can't live there without a smartphone which runs the (CCP) government approved apps that grant you access to public transport, venues, airline tickets, etc. Orwell on steroids. Coming to a country near you, or your own country, soon. Once they have rolled out CBDC all they need is to ban cash (with the excuse it has germs on it) and you are trapped in a digital gulag you can't escape.

 

Watch out for that. They are now beginning to roll out pilot projects of CBDC, wordwide.

"You will own nothing, eat those bugs, and be happy because you have to take your mandated pills / injections".

A dystopian future predicted by numerous SciFi novels and movies (i.e. THX1138) --- what none of them did foresee was the WWW which integrates all the tools of surveillance and control of the masses.

Of course watching these fictional works may have primed me to see signs of that unfolding in the real world sooner than others, but the psychopaths and wannabe "Masters of the World" appear to use these works as guidance / blueprints in their quest to absolute power and enslavement of the rest of us.

 

- Uncle Bernie

 

 

 

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Being aware of online

Being aware of online security threats is one thing, but having a skewed view of reality where everyone is out to get you is quite another. It makes you much more vulnerable, since there are unscrupulous people on the Internet that prey on that.

 

Anyway, I think we completely veered off topic.

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Back on topic...  Any luck

Back on topic...  Any luck building LinApple on Mint?

 

 

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Successful LinApple build on Linux mint 64 bit !

In post #24, softwarejanitor wrote:

 

"Back on topic...  Any luck building LinApple on Mint ?"

 

Uncle Bernie (breathes a sigh of relief to be back on topic):

 

Yes, that worked great. The first trial run to compile bombed and the apt-get install for libsdl did not work either, but after:

 

sudo apt-get update

 

(which ran a looong time, much neglected sandbox machine) the apt-get install worked, then the compile worked, and I was able to load the Drol.dsk image and run it in the emulator. I have not yet figured out how to move the robot up and down. Left and right and 'fire' works. Had no time yet to figure out the controls. I'm not a gamer so I have no USB joysticks. But I'm quite confident that this is close to the setup I need. Some programming still required. The emulator has the F8 key to make .bmp dumps from screen memory. I will also look into that, maybe it's a quicker way to get at the sprite data I want. My software sprite library works with the Apple II screen byte conventions (the dot sequence backwards, but the byte sequence forward), so regardless which route I go, some little tools must be coded.

 

Other than that, thanks for the hint, softwarejanitor. I was not aware there was a LinApple. Maybe I saw it when I searched for emulators, but there are so many, that it fell below the table.

 

Oh, and just a few hours ago, when searching for the Drol image, I ran accross a site which has an online Apple II emulator, and there is a Java version of the game. So other people already liked it and ported it to Java. Alas, I ran out of battery and could not download the Java version yet. Maybe I find all the sprites in it . . . with no tedious work for me !

 

- Uncle Bernie

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Glad to hear the build worked

Glad to hear the build worked for you.  I never have really run into any major limitations with it but LinApple was originally forked off AppleWin, so I would imagine a lot of newer code from that project could be back-ported if you need it.  LinApple also works pretty well on Raspberry Pi and other small computers like that.  I do have USB joysticks, but I've only used them with LinApple on a Raspberry Pi.

 

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Linapple mod to "steal" sprites now available.

Hi there -

 

I made some progress with this project and developed a super simple mod to linapple - just a few lines of code - to allow it to produce screen traces in real time. This is how it works:

 

- You play the game, and when it gets interesting, press F7 (which in my version of linapple was reserved for a debugger which is not active in the code, so the key was free).

 

- From this moment on, the screen trace mode is active (shown by a small marker in the upper left corner of the screen) and whenever a screen page flip occurs (which is used in the game I'm interested in, DROL, to achieve smooth animation), then the 8 kByte HIRES screen contents is dumped into a file. This happens in the background. The game is not interrupted nor slowed down.

 

- Press F7 again to stop the screen trace mode.

 

At the moment I'm writing a small tool which can play the screen traces back and I'm trying to make it able to automatically convert screen sections marked with the mouse into the .BYTE assembly language definitions for my software sprite engine.

 

If anyone is interested in this work, please comment or send me a PM. If there is enough interest, I will refine the whole thing to a point where it becomes useful for others. If there is not enough interest, then I will just write the most primitive and rotten bare-bones code to allow me to 'steal' the sprites and graphics from my favorite Apple II game. Sort of throwaway tool kit.

 

Comments invited !

 

- Uncle Bernie

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Sounds like a fun project!  

Sounds like a fun project!

 

 

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I have a vague memory of

I have a vague memory of doing something similar 35 years ago using a "Wildcard", only much slower.

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