Monthly Archives: July 2006

Cyberia c93

Thanks to VAG for reverse engineering and documenting yet another game-related multimedia format, this one even older than most. It’s a format with the extension .c93 that was used in the DOS game Cyberia published by Interplay. The game was also published for the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and 3DO. I wager that the first 2 ports made use of each respective console’s standard APIs while there is an outside chance that the 3DO version used this same format.

Cyberia Title Screen
Screenshot courtesy of MobyGames

According to my master spreadsheet, I have, not 1, but 2 copies of Cyberia in my collection. I’m sure there’s a funny story behind that. They’re on the queue of several dozens of games yet to peruse. Anyway, there are samples available and VAG has the complete specs written up here. This looks like another great entry-level format if any aspiring new multimedia hackers wish to try implementing support for FFmpeg.

HD-DVD “Hole”

IMDb’s Studio Briefing reports that c’t reports that a hole was found in next-gen copy protection, presumably AACS: Copy Protection Fault Found in HDTV DVD Players. Something about pausing the video and pressing the “print screen” button on the keyboard, along with the hypothesis that the process could be automated to obtain a perfect copy of every video frame, storage implications notwithstanding:

1920 pixels across * 1080 pixels down * 1.5 bytes/pixel * 30 frames/second * 60 seconds/minute * 90 minutes/movie = in the neighborhood of 500 GB

I’m not sure what hardware they’re using for this little science project and I’m too lazy to track down more research. What’s to get excited about? This is just the ever-present analog hole (roughly stated: If you can perceive it, you can copy it). We know that the copy protection will really be broken when we have an open source program that can figure out the content encryption key and decrypt the material for real time decompression and presentation.

This article reminded me to follow up on the Toshiba Qosmio laptop that was supposed to have an HD-DVD ROM drive. It turns out to be the Qosmio G35-AV650 model that is equipped with said drive.

QuickTime Docs

I have long desired to create better documentation for my favorite multimedia container format, Apple QuickTime. Now I am finally using the MultimediaWiki as a vehicle for that task. Up to now, the Apple QuickTime page has been a poorly organized mess of random notes I have jotted down over the years. However, tonight, I figured out how to use MediaWiki templates in order to create an alphabetical reference of all useful QuickTime atoms. Each atom links to the atoms that it can contain, and that contains it. Each still needs to be documented and there are undoubtedly a bunch more (useful) atoms missing. But I think this is a promising start.

Googling for “quicktime atom reference” currently turns up an atom reference @ It’s 404, though.