Verdex && Belkin 802.11

With a lot of grunting and groaning, a good amount of grepping through forum posts, and gallons of patience (coffee), I have finally got my verdex board to acknowledge my Belkin F5D7050 and bring the interface up. Due to a small bug in the zd1211rw drivers, the device needs to be brought up before an ESSID can be assigned to it. Without doing so, I would receive a permission denied error for a majority of the iwconfig options:

Gumstix == Success

This weekend I spliced together a couple of USB cables to allow me to attach my USB-A devices to the USB-B port on the Console-VX. I have successfully connected my USB thumbdrive, 60Gb iPod, and Vimicro webcam to the tiny board. I still need to compile the video drivers for the camera, but it was quite exciting to see the Verdex mount and search my iPod's 60 gig hard drive.

Gumstix Verdex has finally arrived!

I received my Gumstix Verdex XL6P and the matching Console-VX board from the friendly UPS man last night.

Thinking Outside the Box with Python

I recently came across this job posting in the The Scripts Developer Network forums. It has an interesting brain teaser as a requirement for applying. The brain teaser was stated as: "What is the exponent of the largest power of two whose base seven representation doesn't contain three zeros in a row?" The only stipulation was that the applicant use Python to solve the problem.

Visual Studio 2005 Express

I would just like to once again express how unequivocally pleased I am that Microsoft has produced free versions of their Visual Studio IDE, aptly titled Visual Studio Express. A product such as this is a boon to both the software megalith and individual developers alike. It allows would-be developers the freedom to explore the options at hand, without the moral dilemma of pirating software.

I'll shut up now,


Slipstream: Pathing

I completed the path-finding algorithm today. At its simplest level it is merely a Breadth-First Search on an undirected graph. This has a number of benefits:

With all that said, I am now in the process of rewriting the code. The major pitfall of the engine as it is right now is the lack of support for weighted graphs. To add to the robustness of the path-finding procedure, I am going to implement Dijkstra's Shortest Path Algorithm. This will allow the engine to take into account the difficulties of passing through certain terrains.

New Project: Slipstream

I have been recruited to work on a new project called Slipstream. We are still in the design and layout phase, but we have some hard-hitting experts in on the project and there are great ideas kicking around.

Character generation, and rendering engines are slated, the UI is going through some heavy construction, and I am tackling an AI path-finding engine which is approximately 35% complete.

Stay tuned for more on this project as we get our modules up in the repository.

Decompilation gets real...scary

Ilfak Guilfanov of DataRescue Inc (the people behind IDA Pro) has posted an entry on his titled Decompilation Gets Real. In it he announces the beta testing of a tool which, when given a binary file, produces accurate and well formatted C code. The immediate consequence of such a tool is the further reduction of the level of knowledge which a would-be hacker must have. Since compilers and assemblers have a distinct optimization fingerprint, it should not be long before automated tools, build from this code regeneration tool, will provide reverse-engineers and crackers with the ability to quickly and efficiently scrub through code for security weaknesses; buffer overflow, format string attacks, and any number of other exploits will be trivial to discover.

The speed and easy in which Guilfanov is able to go through code is what scares me. Take a look at the Decompilation Demo.