• Cracking Dos Software

    From MIKE POWELL@21:1/175 to AKACASTOR on Fri Apr 5 09:59:00 2024
    If anybody else is interested in cracking some old software, I would love to swap notes and have some discussion.
    [A=>All]

    What are you using to crack it? I have seen YT videos about Ida and
    Ghidra, but I am not sure if you can use those on older DOS software or not.

    Mike

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  • From MIKE POWELL@21:1/175 to AKACASTOR on Fri Apr 5 10:06:00 2024
    Have you played the game much? I am curious if you've noticed some minor
    issues with the screen being cleared before messages are readable. An
    example: in case of a mutiny, I have to look in the log to see what happened. [A=>N]

    I have noticed it also. I wondered if it had something to do with the
    "speed up" solution offered in the documentation -- the SET OUTBUFF=ON parameter that is added to the BAT file before the game starts.

    Without it, it was so slow here it was almost unplayable. However, with it turned on, some of those messages do fly by. Only way I figured out I was getting mutinied during each move was that I noticed my crew member number going down to 0. ;)

    Also, slightly off-topic, but I figured out another one of the BUCK.CFG settings. Line 9 is the number of turns (I am guessing per day). It was
    set at default to 15. I increased it to 25.

    Mike

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  • From AKAcastor@21:1/162 to Mike Powell on Fri Apr 5 14:31:16 2024
    I have noticed it also. I wondered if it had something to do with the "speed up" solution offered in the documentation -- the SET OUTBUFF=ON parameter that is added to the BAT file before the game starts.

    I am not using SET OUTBUFF=ON on my system and I am having the same problem. Running in DOS 6.22 w/X00 FOSSIL, inside DOSBox-X.

    Also, slightly off-topic, but I figured out another one of the BUCK.CFG settings. Line 9 is the number of turns (I am guessing per day). It was set at default to 15. I increased it to 25.

    Nice find!

    I wonder if it might be feasible to patch Buccaneer to fix the messages flashing off the screen, and maybe any other quirks we find. I think I might give it a try. I need to make a list of quirks to check.


    For DOS reverse engineering, I am using IDA Pro 8.3 and the debugger in DOSBox-X.

    I guess the 16-bit DOS support was removed from the free IDA version a while ago, but there is an older version available that had 16-bit DOS support (I haven't tried it myself, since I own a licensed Pro copy).

    IDA Free version 5.0 is available here:
    https://www.scummvm.org/news/20180331/

    I think Ghidra probably has 16-bit DOS support but that's just a guess, I haven't used it at all (my guess is just based on its generally wide support).


    I was pleasantly surprised at how well IDA's decompiler worked on some functions in the 386 version of Blue Wave mail reader. IDA won't decompile 16-bit code (just disassemble it), but when the decompilation succeeds on 32-bit code it can be super useful. I actually copied and pasted some C code for the keygen.


    Chris/akacastor

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