Desert Bunker

How to rip textures from Shaiya

I recently came across a relatively new MMORPG called Shaiya from Aeria Games. The first thing that came to my mind was, “I’ve got to build a bot for this game.” Instead of taking the long and grueling route of reverse engineering incoming/outgoing packets and having to deal with updated versions of the game (blah blah BLAH,) I’m taking the easier way out and building a bot using the AutoIt3 scripting language. With AutoIt, one could simulate keystrokes, mouse clicks, mouse movements, and various other naturally occurring Windows events. While tinkering with the game for a few days, I found a way to get a hold of the game’s textures. These can be used for any number of reasons but I’m going to use these for color tracking.

A rendered image from Shaiya.

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How to stream video or audio using VLC Media Player

Update:  This tutorial is tailored toward version 0.8.6i of VLC Media Player. The interface in the later builds of VLC are quite different.

However, it is recommended that you use 0.8.6i if you wish to stream without any issues. It seems the developers have neglected any progress on the transcoding aspect of VLC and as a result introduced many bugs that reduce quality as well as consume more CPU during runtime.

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Go here to read the summarized guide.

A few people have been coming to me and asking how they can stream videos to their friends or across their network. It seems that not many average users knew that this could be done with VLC media player. Many encoders are either too complex, require you to register with their website in order to use their software, or are just plain slow and clunky. There aren’t many programs that that I’ve come across that accomplish video streaming as well as VLC.

Luckily, the streaming portion of VLC isn’t too terribly difficult for anyone to operate, and today, I’m going to show you how you can do this yourself.

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Spore Creature Creator Trial Officially Released

For those who just can’t wait for the upcoming critically hyped game Spore, the creature creator demo has been released for the public to download. Anyone can create their own unique creature with a wide range of different body parts, colors, behaviors, and your creation will be fully compatible with Spore when the full game is launched. Control your species as it evolves through the game; from a microbial life, to full-fledged technologically advanced civilizations. Unfortunately, this version does not include all of the features that will be present in the final creature creator. I suggest downloading it anyway so you can get a feel for how the system works.

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Ventrilo Channel Mover

Here’s a very simple and nearly useless script I made awhile back. Hopefully, some of you may get some joy out of it. The purpose of the Ventrilo Channel Mover is to annoy your fellow Ventrilo users.

To use, make sure Ventrilo is open, and you are currently connected to a server. Open Ventrilo_Channel_Mover_1.0b.exe and click ‘Spam Channel Movements’ to start erratically moving about the various channels on the server. It works by focusing the Ventrilo window, simulating the Up and Down arrow keys, then pressing Enter. While this is happening, you will not be able to send clicks or keypresses to other applications without disrupting the Channel Mover.

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The MAME Cabinet

The completed MAM cabinet with glowing hardware.

I found out that a friend of mine and his buddy just completed their MAME cabinet project. The cabinet utilizes a PC (specs unknown,) Windows XP as the host operating, with GameEx, Mame 0.123, MESS, and nullDC as the emulation software.

I’m really digging the glowing trackball and buttons, and the multitude of different classic platforms that it supports. It looks like the construction took a painfully long while, and I’m not sure if the construction of this thing justifies throwing down $1600, but the end result was certainly and authentic retro style arcade machine.

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Homemade Directional Wifi Dish – Part 1

A frontal portrait of my uni-directional Wifi extender.

This thrown together hunk of junk was made in a matter of fifteen minutes, but significantly improves my ability to detect and use access points previously untouchable by my consumer-grade USB Wifi adapter, the DWL-G122.

I salvaged the dish from my roof, of which I didn’t even know existed until I went out back the pick weeds and noticed the oddly shaped semi-dome in a strategically hidden location. The presentation stand was found innocently wasting away in my garage.

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Laptop Revival – Part 2

I was finally able to get all of the critical parts that I needed to put my beloved but obsolete Gateway Solo 9500 laptop back to working condition again. Since I’m seriously considering putting this whole motherboard into a custom case of some sort, I decided not to buy new screws and/or keyboard keys.

I dug through dozens of boxes in my garage, and came across the USB and sound input/output module, so I that’s another ten dollars kept in my pocket. I found a perfectly working Solo 9500 CD drive on ebay, which only set me back about twelve dollars, plus shipping. Another part I was very lucky to find, was the USB and sound input/output module. Some crazy snake oilers were peddling this hard to find piece for about eighty-eight dollars, while there was a single seller from Philadelphia who was kindly only asking for ten dollars. If it weren’t for him/her, my restoration project would have screeched to a complete halt for a while, possibly months.

Adding pictures of my collected parts and the re-assembled laptop soon.


Laptop Revival – Part 1

A picture of my laptop before being mutilated.

Patient: Gateway Solo 9500

My goal is to get this eight year old laptop to full working condition, without spending a lot of cash. Some of the problems I might encounter during this procedure are:

  • Missing Screws (though might not be a problem if I find another suitable enclosure)
  • Overheating CPU, on a count of not being used for many years
  • Rare/hard to find parts
  • Boredom

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Homebrew Multi-Touch Pad

This is my crappy version of those $10k touch screens that allow multiple inputs. The software I used was TouchLib, and I followed several tutorials from Instructables.com. A big thanks goes out to cerupcat for this ingenious yet cheap and simple implementation.

    Parts needed:

  • A webcam with high FPS.
  • A small to medium size box.
  • A piece of blank paper.
  • A sturdy piece of flat and clear material.
  • Scotch tape.
  • Soft, even, and non-directional lighting (make sure you have multiple light sources to prevent hard shadows.)

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