hex dump w/ or w/out utf-8 chars

Dave Angel davea at davea.name
Tue Jul 9 14:54:28 CEST 2013

On 07/09/2013 08:22 AM, Neil Cerutti wrote:
> On 2013-07-08, Dave Angel <davea at davea.name> wrote:
>> I appreciate you've been around a long time, and worked in a
>> lot of languages.  I've programmed professionally in at least
>> 35 languages since 1967.  But we've come a long way from the
>> 6bit characters I used in 1968.  At that time, we packed them
>> 10 characters to each word.
> One of the first Python project I undertook was a program to dump
> the ZSCII strings from Infocom game files. They are mostly packed
> one character per 5 bits, with escapes to (I had to recheck the
> Z-machine spec) latin-1. Oh, those clever implementors: thwarting
> hexdumping cheaters and cramming their games onto microcomputers
> with one blow.

In 1973 I played with encoding some data that came over the public 
airwaves (I never learned the specific radio technology, probably used 
sidebands of FM stations). The data was encoded, with most characters 
taking 5 bits, and the decoded stream was like a ticker-tape.  With some 
hardware and the right software, you could track Wall Street in real 
time.  (Or maybe it had the usual 15 minute delay).

Obviously, they didn't publish the spec any place. But some others had 
the beginnings of a decoder, and I expanded on that.  We never did 
anything with it, it was just an interesting challenge.


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