Breaking Eggs And Making Omelettes

Topics On Multimedia Technology and Reverse Engineering


Meet mlbms

February 27th, 2006 by Multimedia Mike

Janusz Dziemidowicz has been making some nifty progress with his mlbms program for mounting game resource archive format (GRAF) files. Check this out:

$ mlbms bms/ resource-files/alg-lib/maddog.lib mount/
$ ls -al mount/
total 1
dr-xr-xr-x  2 melanson users       0 Feb 26 23:05 .
drwxr-xr-x  7 melanson users    1120 Feb 26 19:07 ..
-r--r--r--  1 melanson users  305172 Feb 26 23:05
-r--r--r--  1 melanson users   24912 Feb 26 23:05
-r--r--r--  1 melanson users  314245 Feb 26 23:05
-r--r--r--  1 melanson users  338277 Feb 26 23:05
-r--r--r--  1 melanson users  278177 Feb 26 23:05
[... ad nauseum ...]

Slick, huh? I knew you’d think so. This command mounts the LIB GRAF from Mad Dog McCree as part of the normal filesystem.

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Graph Traversal Puzzle

February 26th, 2006 by Multimedia Mike

Pickover came through with a slightly more involved brute force challenge. As usual I’ll spare you the flowery setup (though I did find it curious that it involved a character named Ben trying to reach one named Jennifer) and distill the essential details. Given this graph of values:

 1  2  3  4  5
 6  7  8  9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25

find a path from any square in column 1 to any square in column 5, moving up, down, left, or right, such that the sum of all squares traversed tallies 90.

I liked writing this program because it is the most algorithmically interesting thing I have done in a long time, even though I originally solved the wrong problem. The way I originally read the problem, the task was to move from node 1 -> node 5, traversing up, down, left, or right, and find a path where the values sum to 90.

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Posted in Pickover Puzzles | 2 Comments »

Send More Geese

February 23rd, 2006 by Multimedia Mike

Pickover’s puzzle for the weekend of February 4-5 challenged the reader to find 8 numbers to stand in for the letters D, E, G, M, N, O, R, and S such that the equation SEND + MORE = GEESE would be true. Again, there are multiple solutions. I’m pleased to report that I found 3 orders of magnitude more solutions than the big brain himself.

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Another Pickover Puzzle

February 22nd, 2006 by Multimedia Mike

Cliff Pickover’s puzzle from 2006-02-22 queries the reader to come up with 3 pairs, or possibly more, of numbers, m and n, which satisfy the equation n! + 1 = m2. I didn’t think too hard about it. I just went straight to code which turned out to be a good thing because one of the solutions is quite large. Click more to see the reasoning I went through and the solutions output from my program.

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Posted in Pickover Puzzles | 4 Comments »

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