Recent Posts

Password Puzzle Trail

I have created a puzzle trail where the goal is to find the cleverly hidden password and get to the next puzzle. The puzzles start out fairly easy and get more difficult as you solve them. I have tried to make them fairly obtainable however they will test logic and as you get further your knowledge of the internet, cryptography, steganography, control of temper etc. Its still very much a work in progress (although I can assure you they all do work, and there is a solution). You should never have to guess a password.

Inspiration for this has come from many sites such as Hack Quest and Project Euler which I have played around on for years. I have many ideas and the trail should be growing all the time. If you have any suggestions let me know! To get started and dive into the rabbit hole, you can use the form above or start here.

Twitter Bot

For fun, I decided to create a bot that randomly tweets bird noises such as ‘cheep’ ‘tweet’ ‘quack’ etc. I can imagine it would get annoying incredibly quickly so I have thought about making it tweet very infrequently (once a week-ish maybe?). There is some generation with the bird call i.e. sometimes one or two calls and a large list of calls to choose from (although getting something other than ‘Tweet’ should be uncommon).

It was suggested that I make the bot tweet at sunrise/sunset which I thought was a cool idea and I may pursue it. I have looked for existing library’s to calculate these times on a day by day basis but all the (Java) librarys I found were not even close to accurate. It looks like its easiest to implement my own sunrise/sunset library; for the moment and I have an algorithm to implement and I could make use of some existing code I just need to convert.

If you want to follow my bot, it would love to have some friends and you can do so here. The Twitter Bots wiki page is here.

Desktop Wallpaper Image Scraper

nterfacelifpageSome time ago I came across a great desktop background website, InterfaceLift.com. When I first went to it, there weren’t that many images, but the number of background images they have seems to be steadily growing.

I decided it would be nice to get a copy of all the images for myself so I built a little scraper to do the job for me. I wrote it ruby so that I could take advantage of a great ruby gem called Watir. The script works by going through all desktop backgrounds, selecting the largest available and making a nice link in a separate text file. Afterwards a download manager like DownThemAll can be used to download all of them.

At the moment the script works in Windows with Internet Explorer but I am working on making it work with FireFox 3 in Linux. Its wiki page is here.