Breaking Eggs And Making Omelettes

Topics On Multimedia Technology and Reverse Engineering


Backdoor Data

March 13th, 2007 by Multimedia Mike

I have been poking at RealVideo 4 lately. Who knows? We might be able to make a Google Summer of Code project out of it. If the FFmpeg project is accepted for the 2007 season.

Here’s a curious artifact I found: A method called Decoder::getBackdoorOptions(). The function turns out to be a NOP, though. In the original source, I imagine the guts were protected by an “#ifdef DEBUG…#endif” pair.

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Robots Of The 80s, Part 10

March 8th, 2007 by Multimedia Mike

This is the final entry in my Robots of the 80s series so it’s fitting that these are probably the crowning pieces in my soon-to-be-dispersed collection. At the very least, my enduring favorites.

There was a trend in the Transformers toy line to have a team of several robots that combined to form a larger and more powerful robot. In retrospect, this was quite a brilliant marketing strategy. The first such group of robots were the Constructicons — 6 green construction vehicles that all transformed into robots and then combined into — I think — Destructor. Afterwards, there was a team of jet craft Autobots and automobile Decepticons (turning the usual Autobot/Decepticon forms on their ear) which refined the combination model so that it now involved a larger Transformer which formed the mega-robot’s torso and 4 smaller Transformers as the limbs.

My favorites were always the Technobots and the Terrorcons:

Technobots vs. Terrorcons
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Robots Of The 80s, Part 9

March 7th, 2007 by Multimedia Mike

Hang in there! Only one more part in the series after this one!

Now we come to the “Masters” series. I’m impressed that these Transformers remained in such good condition. That simply means that they were purchased when my interest in the toy line was waning but when I still wanted to collect a representative sample of each type of Transformer.

The Transformers toy line had Targetmasters, Headmasters, and Powermasters. The concept behind this was that the larger, more capable Transformers had little robot assistants who were humans who had undergone special operations to become special-purpose Transformers.

The first example of this is the Targetmaster. I think this one was named Slapdash. I have no idea what his gun was named.

Targetmaster, transformed
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Robots Of The 80s, Part 8

March 6th, 2007 by Multimedia Mike

Here is a grab bag of miscellaneous Transformers. First is a group of Autobots:

Miscellaneous Transformers batch #1, transformed form
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The 3 rightmost Transformers fit better into my discretionary toy budget which is why I tended to accumulate more of them. The 2 of the left (one of which I couldn’t figure out how to fully transform anymore), if I recall correctly, were some sort of special mail order Transformers. I could be mistaken.

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