Monday, January 28, 2008

Sea Monkey Fun

From the Official Sea-Monkey® Handbook: You are about to begin a NEW amazing hobby that is so fantastic, it STAGGERS THE IMAGINATION! With only water and the "crystals" in your Sea-Monkey® kit, you will create INSTANT-LIFE®. Yes, singlehanded you will raise up the world's only living, breathing INSTANT-PETS® - amazing live SEA-MONKEYS® With the act of giving your Sea-Monkeys® life, you join in the immensely rewarding experience of fellow hobbyists throughout the world! As a creator of Sea-Monkeys®, you share with them, the knowledge that through your willingness to explore the unknown, you have stepped across the threshold of one of the strange worlds of tomorrow's science...TODAY!

Sea Monkey, the very phrase conjures up childhood memories, those little things, neither monkeys nor from the ocean still tug on the nostalgic heart strings a little bit - Who doesn't remember ordering a Sea Monkey kit from the back of a comic book. But seriously, they are a fun pet that can teach kids responsibility, and for less than $10 US can be a doorway into learning about science in general, besides that, they are lots of fun to have and watch swimming around.

Fun Sea Monkey Links

Just what are they? Here is an expert from the official Sea-Monkey website. "Are they Brine Shrimp?Sea-Monkeys® are a unique species of brine shrimp, known by the scientific name of Artemia NYOS. We not only unlocked the most elusive secrets of their life cycle, we created new formulas to keep them alive under conditions found in the average home—an accomplishment never before achieved! Finally, after years of crossbreeding, we developed a hybrid. These amazing new hybrids grow larger and live longer than any "natural" variety of brine shrimp. Resulting from the most exquisitely sophisticated “aquaculture technology”, by true pioneers in this science, only the utmost resources of a leading marine biological research center working for a span of many years has made this project a complete success." *Note from Scott -Check out the anatomy of the Sea-Monkey. The black spots in the picture of the female are eggs.

Official Sea Monkey Propaganda

Really nice video of the city set with great views of the Sea Monkeys

Some pretty big Sea Monkeys in a Space set.

Buy Sea Monkey Stuff

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Warning from Space: 1st Color SciFi from Japan

The movie isn't all that good, but it is worth a watch. Love those effects.

Warning from Space or Mysterious Satellite is a 1956 science fiction tokusatsu film produced by Daiei, and the first Japanese science-fiction film produced in color. A group of starfish like aliens from the planet Pyra, which is on the same orbital plane as Earth but on the opposite side of the sun come to Earth to warn mankind about a runaway planetoid known as Planet R that is on a collision course with Earth. It is feared that when Earth is destroyed that their planet will be destroyed as well. However, their form causes people to panic, so they chose a female member of their race to take human form to spread their message. They then decide to contact a prominent scientist who has invented a new source of energy that can also be made into the most destructive bomb the world has known to destroy the planetoid. Unfortunately, the scientist is kidnapped by enemy agents who want to use the bomb for their own purposes. Now it becomes a race against time to find the scientist so he can complete his formula and save mankind. -Text from Google Video.
Sci-Fi movies from EBay

YouTube Videos I like right now

America- Fu*k Yea! (language)

Brokeback to the Future

Darth Vader Being an Ass

Sleepless in Seatle Preview Recut as Horror

Mary Poppins, the Horror Version

Superfriends meet Friends

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Using Rainbow Crack Tables for XP Password Discovery

How does Windows NT/2k/XP/Vista store your local passwords?

Windows doesn't actually store your password in plaintext anywhere on your computer, that is to say, you can't just go poking around and find some magic file with everything listed. What windows does instead is store a HASH of your password in a what is called the SAM (Security Accounts Manager). Simply put, windows stores an alpha-numeric string that is the result of some arbitrary one way function, what you see doesn't help you get the password- it only works one way. In this manner, windows can verify your password not by storing your password, but by comparing the hashed result of whatever you type in to the hashed result it has stored.

What is Rainbow Crack? Why not just reset the Administrator password?

There are many utilities to reset your XP administrator password out there available to the consultant, but only one that will discover your password for you and that is a Rainbow Crack Table. A rainbow crack table is a large (very large - 610MB to 64GB) table of pre-computed hashes to be compared with the hashes pulled from your computer. In this manner, instead of brute forcing your way through and spending all kinds of time looking for the password, you are looking through a database, comparing hashes, then printing out the corresponding password. Much faster. If do much consulting, it might be to your benefit to pre-compute a set of tables just to have on hand, or you could try an online password recovery service like (free and fee based) Although in many instances it doesn't matter if you reset a password or discover the password if you EFS on your system, you won't have access to it anymore.

Running Rainbow Crack

Running rainbow crack should really be done on multiple machines speed things up, I ran mine on 5 Compaq Presario 1.6ghz machines and I spent the better part of a month computing the 36GB database. (I also stopped them multiple times to move the computer room) so you can see the advantage of splitting the task up for many cpu's. I'm going to give you an overview of the process on XP, but it is similar in Linux.

Generate and sort your tables as per Tutorial

  1. Download and unzip it, it is all command line driven, so put it somewhere easy to type to.
  2. Figure out how accurate (and how much time and disk space you will use) by picking out a charset from this list
  3. If you have multiple machines, just give each machine a few of the jobs from the list and have them save to the same place on a network share.
  4. When you have computed the tables, use rtsort.exe on them to make rtcrack.exe faster.
  5. Crack the hash with rcrack.exe and the sorted rainbow tables.

Isn't there an easier way?

Why thanks for asking, yes in fact there may be a couple! I say may because the bootable cd Ophcrack has the 650 MB set of Rainbow Tables, so it might not work if the password is tricky. The second option has always worked for me, but you wait a week for results unless you pay a fee.

Useful Resources:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bloxorz puzzle game

Check out the puzzle game they have over at, I just ran into it when I put the Duke3d Soundboard on the previous post.. Pretty fun.

Go Play Bloxorz at -Scott The object is simple, roll your brick shaped block into a hole without falling off the level. You can either roll "head over heel" lengthwise or roll while the brick is lengthwise on the ground. Like most fun games, this one is simple and quick to learn, but it won't be easy to complete the 30 levels included. Game by

There are only a few things to remember about the levels:

  • An "X" switch is only activated when you are standing up on it.
  • "O" switch can be activated by laying down on it.
  • The "()" switch is a teleport switch activated when standing upon it.
  • The orange squares cannot support the full weight of a standing block, so you have to lay (or is it lie) down and roll across it.

Have Fun!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Duke Nukem Forever & a Brief History of Duke

Coming "When it's done" from 3D Realms for the PC.

3d Realms has just released a new teaser for Duke Nukem Forever.... Looks like It might actually come out before the sun becomes a cold black cinder. Go to Teaser in HD Although it doesn't really show anything about the game but I have faith in any game that takes longer to develop than the Apollo Moon Project, the Manhattan Project or the combined length of both World Wars. I really hope it is good, but in the meantime I went looking around for some of the old Duke games for the PC to play and ran across some cool stuff which you'll get links to and I'll give you a brief history of old Duke for those whose memories are a bit rusty. (It has been a REALLY long time, after all!) Now just might be the time for you to play some of the older versions around to warm you up for DN Forever - you just might have forever to warm up.

Youtube Video of the Teaser

Brief History of Duke Nukem

Early Duke- Both Duke nukem I & II were pretty basic shoot the bad guy side/vertical scrollers with nothing new that hadn't been seen for some years on the 8-bit Nintendo system, what made them semi-unique was the fact that they pushed PC hardware of the day beyond what most people thought was feasible. Duke Nukem I came out in July 1991 with 320x200 16 color EGA graphics and not much in the way of sound - a pretty lame game if seen on a Nintendo 8-bit of the time, the game was state of the art for this type of thing in the PC world. Apparently though, it made enough money to inspire a sequel, the MUCH improved Duke Nukem II now with really nice 256-color VGA graphics and much improved sound via MIDI music and digitized sound.

Duke Nukem3d came along in 1996, and like Doom before it was a first person shooter, but unlike Doom or the other games it spawned, Duke3d allowed you to interact much more with the environment than merely open doors, you could shoot pool, pee,break all kinds of stuff and even tip strippers. (games need more strippers if you ask me) The engine was light years ahead of the doom engine and although it wasn't truly a 3d engine like quake, you had a fully immersing environment with puzzles, and richly detailed environments. (quake seemed almost make for deathmatch style fighting, the single player mode comes across to me as almost an afterthought).

Links -n- Info:
  • 3d Realms The company website with the shareware versions of Dukes I & II, and Duke 3d with source code for those lonely friday nights.
  • The 3d Realms yahoo store can be found Here.
  • Xduke is a port of the source code to Win32, so Windows Xp users can play it without lugging out the old pentium I out of storage.
  • The JonF port has OpenGl support so it looks great.
  • The Duke 3d Cheats can be found here rather than list them all out to Duke3d
  • Duke Nukem II cheats are:Press n + u + k for a random weapon plus everything you need to complete the current level. If that doesn't work, press d + u + k + m.
  • Duke Nukem Waiting for Forever is a Fangame that is fun in its own right, kinda like Duke Nukem II on steroids.

Not too related, but I couldn't resist...A fun Soundboard

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Old Time Radio: X Minus One

This is the first in an occasional series covering my favorite Old Time Radio (OTR) shows. If you are new to OTR, these shows were broadcast on radio anywhere between the 30's and the late 50's with X minus one being a sequel to Dimension X and originally broadcast in the late 50's. I am starting with X-Minus One because it is not only my favorite, but when you look through the authors of the scripts or the stories upon which they were based, you are reading a who's who of early science fiction. Bradbury,L. Sprague de Camp, Lieber, Pohl, James Blish, and many more are all represented here. I hope you enjoy them as much I do.

A few episodes I recommend in no particular order: (Descriptions from

  • A Gun For Dinosaur Episode 38 A safari into the Cretaceous to hunt for Tyrannosaurus Rex is endangered by a reckless glory hound, whose ineptitude and arrogance are matched only by his capacity for murder. Story by L. Sprague de Camp.

  • The Cold Equations Episode 114 Classic story about the pilot of an EMS (Emergency Medical Shuttle), on a mission to deliver vital serum to a plague world, who discovers a young woman stowaway whose extra weight must condemn her to death for lack of sufficient fuel. -remade into a new Twilight Zone or Outer limits episode, I can't remember which.

  • Mars is Heaven Episode 3 The first astronauts to land on Mars discover-- Earth; a planet where their long dead loved ones are waiting for them in a small Midwest town just like home. Story by Ray Bradbury; part of his Martian Chronicles series. A remake was done in an old Twilight Zone episode. -Scott

  • Perirgi's Wonderful Dolls Episode 7 A dollmaker sells a father an unusual doll which seems capable of responding to people, presumably by recording voices and replaying them in its own voice. Is it just a bit of technical wizardry, or is there something more to this doll than meets the eye?

  • First Contact Episode 20 Classic story of a starship which encounters an alien vessel in the Crab Nebula, and the dilemma they both face when they realize that neither ship dares depart for fear of giving away clues as to their origin. Story by Murray Leinster.

  • The Roads Must Roll Episode 32 In the future the country depends on an electro-hydraulic road system which acts as a conveyor belt to transport people and cargo. The system works well, until the engineer's union which maintains the roads stages a strike as a bid to gain power. Story by Robert Heinlein.

  • Surface Tension Episode 62 The world is headed for unavoidable destruction, so a brilliant scientist conceives a microscopic civilization in a drop of water; one day, however, his 'children' must begin to wonder what lies beyond the surface of their cosmos. Story by James Blish. One of my favorite SF short stories of all time, this is a bit different, but still good. -Scott

  • Tunnel Under the World Episode 39 Every day seems to be a repeat of June 15, but only one man in the entire city is aware of the anomaly. Story by Frederik Pohl. Remade into an old Twilight Zone Episode. -Scott

  • Zero Hour Episode 26 & 73b Neighborhood children invent a new game called 'Invasion'-- or is it just a game? Story by Ray Bradbury.

Sites to go to:

Episodes 000-015 Episodes 016-030 Episodes 031-045 Episodes 046-050

Episodes 061-075 Episodes 076-090 Episodes 091-105 Episodes 106-122

Battlestar Galactica Announcement

Battlestat Galactica Film Contest

The folks over at scifi have started a little contest where budding directors can film a short 4 minute film, the winner to be shown during a broadcast. There are already some pretty cool entries online, check it out at Hurry! ends Jun 1st.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Infocom Games

You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.There is a small mailbox here.

Remember Zork I? If you do, you'll recognize the line above as the starting of the game. I just loved the Infocom games, you might remember the old text (that's right text, just letters and stuff) adventure games the likes of ....... While Infocom didn't invent interactive fiction, but they certainly made it popular to the tune of 20-30 games on every major platform of the early-mid eighties, so it is easy to see that I was pleased to discover there now there are resources out there to play them again via emulation/interpretation in pretty much any platform that supports java.
What you need to do to play the is a program that will run z-code and allow you to run z-files and some z-files themselves. Listed below are some resources for public domain z-files, the actual infocom games can be a little hard to come by, but diligent searching will turn up results.

Z-Machine interpreters:

Other resources:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Commodore 64 Resources & Emulation

I remember the day I got my Commodore 64, it cost a whopping $149.25 at the PX on Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. It was December 20th 1984 and I had saved forever to get it. No floppy drive, that was next year for $223.53 and the local Sears in the mall. Man how I was jealous of those people who could play games without waiting for up to 30 minutes to load from tape. The machine a full 64K, graphics and sound that only the Atari could match and the IBM of the day could only dream of- it also had the slowest disk drive known to man. Just loading Raid on Bungeling Bay usually involved me going to dinner first before we could even play.
If you are really young and have no idea what a Commodore 64 is, I once again suggest using wikipedia-

In the early 1990's I beta tested an emulator for my 286 (yes...286) that allowed me to run some very limited programs on the PC. Nowadays the state of C64 emulation is much improved over those first steps so you can pretty much run anything execpt some stuff from the demo scene.

My Favorites:

  • Ultima III: Damm you Richard Garriot! my brother and I wasted an awful lot of time because of this awesome game.
  • Raid on Bungeling Bay: Just bomb the factories, avoid planes missles and anti-aircraft fire attacking, defend your carrier and destroy the enemy battleship. Eash huh?
  • Archon and Archon II: Like chess with an action phase, these two were about as close to chess as we got at the time.
  • Spy vs. Spy I&II: Great fun almost every day before school for about two years. What else bonds brothers like blowing each other up with coconuts.
  • LodeRunner: This game alone has gotta be one of the top 50 of all time- right up there with tetris and Super Mario Land for originality and really using the limited resourses available to the programmer.
  • Choplifter: Fly the chopper, avoid the enemy planes and tanks and rescue people from burning housess, the only disturbing thing I found about this game is that you often have to bomb the house first to set it on fire to rescue the people. I am not sure what kind of lesson that taught us , but they never found the bodies anyway.
Commodore Stuff on Ebay:

Magazines & Books from Amazon:

Magazines/Books Atricles Online:

There exist out there a number of online resources for old printed C64 related to stroke that nostalgic memory we have for the beloved Commie.

Links to Emulators/Utilities/Software for your C64

  • Need instant gratification, play C64 stuff online now in your java enabled browser.
  • Play offline, Sourceforge site for the java based Ja64 listed above is at:
  • How about a Flash 9 based player? GPL'ed
  • CCS64 Is a really nice Windows Emulator that has lots of nice features not found elsewhere like these listed on the site. Paddle joystick and mouse support. Support for 4 emulated 1541 drives. Cartridge support.
  • Zophar's domain has a reasonably up to date list of various emulators available
  • COCOS Searchable sitelist with everything from gaming to emulators to hardware. If you don't like looking through lots of junk hits in a search engine, look here.
  • C64.Com 3000+ Games to download and read about.
  • Lemon64 A great site with info on over 2000 games inc. covers and screenshots.
  • Arnold One of THE main sources of C64 software, including scanned magazines.
  • C64 Game Guide Contains info and screenshots from over 4000 C64 games, there's also info on C64 companies, GFX artists and musicians.
  • Star Commander Allows you to connect a C64 to a PC for transfer, or slave an old PC as a harddrive! Cool!

Cool Commercials:

64k! How the hell can I fill that up?

Straight up propaganda..

OK it's not a C64, but rather a VIC-20, but I swear I'll give Shatner all the damm airtime he deserves.

This one is from Australia where they have the joysticks, cassette player and 4 tapes for only $499 Australian, sounds like an awful lot but I believe that is around $37.50 American.