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

Neil Cerutti neilc at norwich.edu
Tue Jul 9 15:00:48 CEST 2013

On 2013-07-09, Dave Angel <davea at davea.name> wrote:
>> 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.

Interestingly similar scheme. It wonder if 5-bit chars was a
common compression scheme. The Z-machine spec was never
officially published either. I believe a "task force" reverse
engineered it sometime in the 90's.

Neil Cerutti

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