Saturday, November 29, 2003


Are you (bulletin) bored with typing?

My favourites (or bookmarks if you like) consist mostly of forums which require a username and password to gain entry. Because it's not a good idea to use the same password for each forum I must remember which password is associated with which forum, otherwise I'll find myself locked out. Each time I clear my cookies, this information is lost and as a result I have to re-login to the forums on my next visit.

If you find yourself in the same situation, rather than hammering away at your keyboard trying all the various password possibilities, what you can do is store this information within the actual URL of your bookmark file. For instance, if you're a member of the vBulletin Forum, the URL you need to store in your bookmark file would take the following format:

This format works for all vBulletin forums, but not for all forums. The URL for an UBB forum will take a different format, but because I'm not a member of very many UBB forums I can't be any more specific than this (answers on a postcard!).

This technique will also work with lots of non-forum sites for which you are required to enter a username and password. For non-forum web sites the URL you need to save usually takes the form:

Monday, November 24, 2003

, ,

The lamb they couldn't silence

Just recently I had an email from a Kookosity reader informing me that Clone CD had been discontinued. This isn't actually the case though you'd be forgiven for thinking so judging by the terminal 'game over' message left in place of the section of the Elaborate Bytes web site devoted to the no. 1 CD duplication tool.

Owing to the introduction of new copyright laws in Germany, where Elby are based, Clone CD could no longer be sold and supported within the country of its origin. Therefore to keep the project alive, the rights to continue developing the software were sold to Antiguan-based company, Slysoft Inc, who will not have to operate under the duress of such stringent copyright laws. Two of the three programmers responsible for creating Clone CD have relocated and continue to update it on behalf of the new owners. It doesn't take a genius to join the dots - Ollie, the founder of Elby, likely has a very conveniently placed finger in the Slysoft pie... allegedly. ;)

As a consequence of the legal ping-pong between Elby and The Powers That Be, Clone CD has fallen behind the competition, though loyal fans can rest assured that Slysoft fully intend to make up lost ground to re-capture the no. 1 spot in the CD protection bypassing biz. An updated and re-badged version of Clone CD has already left the starting blocks and the word is that it represents a step in the right direction.

The most significant change in this rendering is that Virtual Clone Drive, the CD emulation software integrated into previous versions of Clone CD, has had to be omitted as the rights to distribute it were not included in the deal agreed upon between Elby and Slysoft. Slysoft, in recognition that this is a popular component of the software, plan to code their own CDless ISO mounting gadget in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


It was so colossal the line snapped!

According to the developers of Earthstation 5, their file sharing client offers water-tight anonymity, is more secure than Fort Knox, has been translated into 12 languages, downloaded 22 million times and supports more than 15 million simultaneous users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Operating from a refugee camp in Palestine, the pioneering company responsible for bringing P2P bliss to the masses are so successful that they are able to keep 1500 staff on the payroll!

This is undoubtedly the most elaborate fairy story since the bible was cobbled together! It's not unusual for software developers to over hype their beloved progeny, yet few would stoop so low as to deliberately introduce malicious code which could allow remote attackers to delete critical Windows files from the computers of unsuspecting file sharers. This is precisely what clued-up peer to peer junkie, Random Nut, alleged last month.

The predictable, official ES5 response came in the form of a half-denial of the accusations. The lead programmer conceded that while it may be possible for a hacker to exploit the client in this way, providing the means to do so was not a deliberate attempt to compromise the security of computers connected to the ES5 network. 'Filehoover' goes on to assert that what Random Nut has exposed is not a booby trap, rather an essential part of the software's auto-update feature. Nevertheless, a hastily released update of the ES5 client, minus this component, was made available to reassure users of the network, while Random Nut's vitriole towards the developers was put down to bad blood emanating from previous clashes.

I'm aware this is old news, however, as I suggested not so long ago that if you are at all concerned about the lack of anonymity offered by the majority of file sharing clients you should check out ES5, I felt I should bring this information to your attention. I don't know if the allegations are justified or not, though judging by ES5's dubious PR history and the developer's misuse of the Zero Paid forums I'd advise you to think twice about installing the client if you value the data stored on your computer.

Monday, November 17, 2003

, , ,

What is a .par file?

If you've ever dabbled in a spot of spanned archive downloading you'll know that getting them to work isn't always plain sailing. Several bytes are often lost on the long journey from remote servers to your computer, and even more infuriating, sometimes the uploaded files are corrupt to begin with. Par files are designed to combat these problems as they are capable of rebuilding partially intact archives.

For instance, if you have downloaded twenty rar files, yet one of them is corrupt, rather than downloading that file again, providing you have the accompanying par file, you can rebuild the missing file to complete the set. Making use of such a technique is obviously subject to your ability to get hold of your archive's accompanying par file. If there isn't one available you will have to re-download the rogue files as you would normally. The 'par donor' doesn't necessarily have to be the person who created the archive originally since anyone with the complete set can construct an accompanying par file and then pass it on to anyone who is having problems extracting the set. For more information refer to the Quick Par home page.
, ,

The future's bright, the future's... the past?

Two of my most enduring passions are radio and classic gaming, so imagine my elation upon discovering that the two had been married together in the form of Lovingly crafted by the entertainingly opinionated Shane R. Monroe, the show has been 'on air' since 1998 and is broadcast at monthly intervals. Weaved into the proceedings are retro hardware and software reviews, emulation news, IT fueled rants and interviews with the people who helped to sculpt the modern gaming industry we all know and l... well let's quit while we're ahead shall we? ;) Since their inception the shows have consistently been growing lengthier - so much so that the latest edition clocks in at a whopping three hours! Each of these presentations are accessible over the internet for a limited time before being archived and made available for purchase on a series of CDs. As they are encoded using the highly versatile MP3 format, you are free to choose between downloading the complete files to be sampled offline at your convenience, or listening to them there and then as they are streamed over the web.

Computer games, past and present, receive so little coverage on mainstream TV and radio stations here in the UK so it's really refreshing to see this arm of the entertainment industry getting the attention it deserves via alternative mediums. Of special interest to die-hard Amigans this month is the commencement of a new series of Amiga segments which will focus on the history, hardware, emulation, games and demos of this seminal platform. If you want to skip straight to it you can slide Winamp's 'seeking bar' to 127 minutes, 16 seconds.

Shane, not only do you passionately speak your mind unswayed by the media hypeobabble associated with modern gaming, you're the only person I know over the age of 15 who can impart the idioms, "that game so owns", "x requires tons of leet skillz" and "I'm a slut-pig-whore for genre x", and mean them in all seriousness... and for that, sir, I salute you. Actually, that's a lie. Stop it, it's irritating! By copying immature, brainless, hacker-wannabe school kiddies, future generations of brainless, immature, hacker-wannabe school kiddies will copy you copying them and soon enough we'll have leet hacker freaks running amok and irritating people who know how to use the English language. :p That minor quibble aside, great show! Keep the retro flag flying!

I'm your host and you've been listening to Kookosity Radio. That was me being a DJ. Nice touch, huh? I'll get my coat *hangs head*