brainstorm

Getting back into writing code.

I finally found some code that I wrote ages ago that I’ve been wanting to go back into and mess with in order to improve functionality, and make it more user friendly. It’s a text/rtf editor that I wrote many years ago to help mod the game Freelancer, it supports opening and saving Freelancer save game files and other formats, including normal text and rtf. I’d like to support opening and editing of PDF files, but I’m not sure if I can do that, as it’s normally tied to non-free software. But, with that said, I’m going to poke around the net and see what I can see in terms of open source code that I can hopefully integrate into the editor to make it more useful.

I don’t expect, or want, the editor to become yet another open office clone, nor do I have the coding chops or manpower hours available to do that. But I do hope that I can make it useful for other than just editing a very specific set of file types.

I suppose we’ll see where it goes.
Thanks for reading 🙂

Posted by Brian in brainstorm, Information, Musings, 0 comments

Trying out 3d modeling in Blender, after a long time.

This is by no means a complete model, or render, just something to show for now until it is complete. It’s a short video, because a GIF would have been far too big to play.

Synch-Coin-Video-Test

It’s going to need a fair amount of work, still, to meet my standards. But for what it is, it’s a reasonable start.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this is eventually going to be upgraded to be the logo I use in the org I’m part of in Star Citizen.

Here’s an updated, and modified version, just for fun.

And here’s another one, just for fun.

And yet another, I must be on a roll.

A GIF animation I’m working on. 🙂

Let me know your thoughts 🙂

This one is turning out to look really good. Not finished yet, but it’s getting there.
Latest version, some glitches, but it’s going in the right direction. Just need to adjust the renderer. It also might help not to render it on a laptop that isn’t meant for heavy Blender usage.

This is a good start on the latest version. Having fun, so far. 🙂
Posted by Brian in brainstorm, Cool stuff

A suggestion for enhancing Steve Gibson’s “Off the Grid” secure password generator.

Fair warning, this is going to be a long post…

Steve Gibson of GRC.com has created yet another masterpiece of technology. His “Off the Grid” paper-based password generation system is amazing and once printed out, amazingly low-tech, even to the point of being effectively no-tech, as it requires only a piece of paper with the specially generated and one-of-a-kind grid printed on it (I would suggest laminating it with something that is friendly to dry-erase or erasable markers/highlighters). You trace out the path of, to use his example, ‘amazon’ to shorten the URL of amazon.com, using a finger, or something else convenient and which won’t mark-up your grid (thus my suggestion of laminating it).

Here’s one of the unique grids that his system generates:

a grid generated by Steve Gibson's GRC.com secure paper passwords generator

One of a monstrously huge number of possible grids

Now, seeing that somewhat daunting image above, you’re probably thinking “How the hell do I use that?”. I know at first-glance it is daunting. But, if you follow the directions given HERE (I can’t give clearer instructions than the guy who invented it, so I am not going to try), you’ll pick it up quickly. Go ahead, I’ll wait 🙂

Now that that’s done… You DID go and look at that site, right?… We can go through and look at what happens when we take ‘amazon’ as an example on the grid above.

First, we go across the top set of blue letters and look for the ‘a’  (note that we’re ignoring the letter’s case, for now), finding that, we go vertically to the letter ‘m’, then horizontally to another letter ‘a’, then vertically to the ‘z’, horizontally to ‘o’, then lastly, vertically to ‘n’. No changes here so far, right? Right.

Here’s what we have so far:

What we have so far.

Next, we’ll go through and spell out ‘amazon’ again, also ignoring case, but paying attention to the case of the letters that we capture after we find our key letters. For example:

The encryption path, not including 'overshoot'.

Now, what you see above is not including what Steve refers to as ‘overshoot’ zones. These are the ‘key’ (probably a pun intended there) to the encryption process that he recommends. I’ll show those below:

Grid with both paths, and overshoot for encryption.

Now here’s the fun part. Based on what we have done so far, by pathing this out as we have, is we’ve developed a key for ‘amazon’. What is the key? Follow with me through the grid above, along the green path, pay attention to how the overshoot is read, it’s read according to what you cross first for each one. For example the first ‘a’ in ‘amazon’ has the letters ‘vh’ after it, and read in the order of encounter… I’ll explain further in the next step.

Continuing on to the letter ‘m’ in the green path we see the letters ‘dI’ following it, again note the order that we read those, it’s important for later where I add to this scheme.

Now, if you keep going and following the green path and reading the overshoot letters properly, you’ll get the following results: ‘vhdIKWMpFRLr’. I’ll break that into pairs for you: ‘vh-dI-KW-Mp-FR-Lr’.

Now, using just what we’ve done so far, you already have a very strong encrypted password for use on amazon.com.

What I’ll be presenting from here on is an additional layer to that encryption scheme, using the password that we just generated as the key to that. We can use this additional layer as ‘salt’ for the password, or as a kind of substitution code for the password that we have already.

Here’s how what I have in mind works:

Take each pair of letters as broken down above as a set of coordinates. For example, we’ll take ‘vh’ as the first set, since that is what it is. Then we plot those coordinates using the first row of blue letters on the grid as the X axis, and the first column of blue letters on the grid as the Y axis. We should get the following:

I’ll post each path result separately, so that you can follow my logic and reasoning for this idea. Be ready for a lot more images: 🙂

Grid with vh coordinates plotted.

As a result of plotting out ‘vh’ on the grid above, we get the letter “Q” as the output. Write that down below where you have ‘vh’ written on your paper, if you do.

Now, let’s do the same with the next set ‘dI’:

dI coords plotted out.

Note that for our purposes, the initial coordinates are ignored as to case, this is ok, since the 26×26 grid can’t cover both upper and lower case. We DO want to maintain case sensitivity if using the password as-is without these additional steps. We also want to keep them case-sensitive when using with these additional steps when we go to finally add the ‘salt’, which we’re in the process of generating, to them.

Now, I’ll go ahead and give you the remaining grids, next is KW:

Grid with KW coords plotted.

Now for Mp:

Grid with Mp coords plotted.

Next is FR:

Grid with FR coords plotted.

Finally, we have Lr:

Grid with Lr plotted.

Now that we have all the letters that we need, we need to do something with them…

Remember the password that you originally generated using the grid? No? Well, here it is again: “vh-dI-KW-Mp-FR-Lr”, also we have the results of our salt generation using the password as a set of coordinates: “Qyqcnp”.

What can we do with the salt? We can append it to our password: ‘vhdIKWMpFRLrQyqcnp’

We can replace every other letter of the password with a letter from the salt, to further obfuscate the password we originally generated:  ‘vh-dI-KW-Mp-FR-Lr’ becomes ‘vQ-dy-Kq-Mc-Fn-Lp’.

We can try any number of other alternatives, which I leave to you to discover.

Thank you for reading this and I look forward to any feedback on this little variant I have on Steve Gibson’s amazing ‘Off the Grid’ paper password generation system.

Until next time, surf safe 😉

Brian

Posted by Brian in brainstorm, Cool stuff, Idea, Information