[linux-elitists] Forbidden knowledge! The secret number is 67!

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Wed Sep 6 14:44:36 PDT 2000

Anyone else playing with the now-ubiquitous CueCat? (nice nightlight for
your computer, among other things.) Here's a description of how to deal
with its code, and I have two questions. 1. Is this text right, and 2.
Can "they" suppress it?

The string received from the cat contains three fields: the cat's serial
number, the type of code, and the code, separated by '.' characters.
Within each field, 0-25 are represented by a-z, 26-51 by A-Z, 52-61 by
0-9, and 62 and 63 by + and -.

To interpret each field, first convert it to a list of bytes. For
example, if you get an 'a' from the cat, convert it to a 0. Make sure
that the number of characters in the field is a multiple of four by
padding with zeros.

Go through the list in four-byte groups. Use the low-order 6 bits of
each byte to form a 24-bit number, which we'll call n.

Append the following three characters to the result: first, the
high-order 8 bits of n XOR 67; second, the middle 8 bits of n XOR 67;
and then the low-order 8 bits of n XOR 67.

Continue doing this as long as four-byte groups remain. Then chop as
many characters off the end as you had to add zeros.

The CueCat doesn't just read crap out of Rat Shack catalogs.  It will
also read UPC and ISBN bar codes.  Catalog your book collection!  Search
for boycotts on foods as you shop!  Print your own bar codes and
inventory your laboratory specimens!  Get your CueCat today -- go to 
Rat Shack, they're free ($0).  I expect all you people to have one,
or several.

Don Marti                                This email brought to you
dmarti@zgp.org                           by the number 67 and the 
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/                  operator XOR.
whois DM683     Software patent reform now: http://burnallgifs.org/

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