Good time to repost this.
One of the disks that came with my Apple ][ clone contained a little game called Nightmare #6. At the time it completely stumped me, there seemed to be no way to beat the game. I’d worked out that a move consisted of two letters, no more, no less, and that it was possible to lose points quite quickly, and also possible to not lose points, but I never worked out how to actually gain points.
For some reason I thought of this game again the other day, tried to find it. This was not easy, but plenty google later I found it in the Apple Software Bank Volume 1.
Of course my BASIC is better than it was in 1980. I learned that:
So, NZ (14 + 26 = 40) is a valid move. So is OY, PX, QW, RV and SU. After playing these, you can’t re-use N, O, P, Q, R or S, but U, V, W, X, Y and Z are all set to 40, so UV, WX and YZ are legal moves for 80 points each, and leaves V, X and Z set to 80. VZ and XZ give you 160 points each, finishing the game with 1880 points out of a (claimed) possible 2080 points.
So I thought about it some more. Realised that while NZ is a good place to start, XZ (24 + 26 = 50) is better. Of course this means that PX is no longer a legal move, you can’t play the first letter again. OY, QW, RV and SU are still good for 40 points each, and YZ, WZ, VZ and UZ give 90, 130, 170 and 210 points (because the point value of Z increases every time). But this is only nine turns, and we need eleven. Fortunately we still have J (= 10) and T (= 20) to play TZ and JZ, for a total score of 2280 points.
I still don’t know how the author got to the “possible 2080” points.
Oh yes, and this is why I’m with Jason Scott — we’re not huge Wikipedia fans because they delete perfectly good information. Someone took the trouble to write something about Nightmare #6, and noted that it is possible to get more than 2080 points, but the editors decided that “WP is not a videogame guide“.
So you have a hard drive encrypted using Truecrypt. A very good solution to keeping data secure, but it does make your data more fragile. When* the drive goes TU, you can’t just run a recovery program on it, because encryption.
And of course so it came to pass. My hard drive developed read errors.
First thing, make a backup copy. For this you need a Linux box and ddrescue. And a large drive to recover to.
# ddrescue /dev/hdb /mnt/large-disk/diskimage /mnt/large-disk/logfile.log
(This takes a while, but when it’s done you can unplug your faulty disk, save it as much trauma as possible)
You now have an image of the whole disk. You want an image of the partition.
# fdisk -lu diskimage
Disk diskimage: 0 MB, 0 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 0 cylinders, total 0 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x2fa13928
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
diskimage 63 976768064 488384001 7 HPFS/NTFS
Your partition starts at “Start” x “Units”, which would be 63 x 512 = 32256 in this case.
# losetup -o 32256 /dev/loop0 diskimage
You can now attempt to recover /dev/loop0. I found this easier in Windows, so
# dd if=/dev/loop0 of=/mnt/nfs-volume/diskimage.tc
And then back in the Windows world, you can use truecrypt to mount diskimage.tc and if you’re very lucky your files will be there. If you’re unlucky, truecrypt won’t recognise the image as a truecrypt volume, and you’re in more shit than I can help you with today.
In my case, truecrypt mounted the volume but Windows did not recognise it as a drive (i.e. a corrupted file system). There are tools for this. Unfortunately most of them work on physical disks, not virtual ones. Thank Finagle for google, who told me about GetDataBack. Specifically, GetDataBack 4.25. Pointed it at the virtual disk (G:) and it recovered all my files with absolutely no worries.
* Not if.
In other words, the machine shipped with more power than you paid for, with some kind of a silicon handbrake to cripple the hardware until such time as you could afford to pay for an upgrade.
But that’s long ago and
we do things differently now some people don’t learn from history.
Because apparently Tektronix sells equipment with built-in capabilities that costs money to enable, except if you can program an EEPROM. And not with some encrypted password or string, no, apparently plain text available straight off of Tektronix’ website will do the trick.
Notes to Tektronix:
1. Streisand Effect. I wouldn’t have written this post if you had not got all upset.
3. Once the cat is out of the bag, it becomes trivial to replicate. Even if you DMCA the Wayback Machine, and me, and everyone else… you still lose. See Note 1.
So, learn from this and design better security next time.