Hackers 1n Tra1n1ng

The adventures of one H4x0r in training, his friends and the many stupid bystanders and inanimate objects that get in their way.

Sunday, April 3

The Great Tree Hack

So as I was going about my business today doing what had to be done, I asked myself why would anyone trust me with a item that could be used as a deadly weapon?

The it hit me...or rather it hit the tree, the axe that is. The reason I was given a dangerous item was to do something I really felt like wasting my Saturady on, and that was chopping the fallen tree in my backyard that had nearly killed all my mothers plants. So of course I got the ardious task of "hacking" the thing to bits. Since I had accidently used the term hacking to describe to my friend(second in command) what I needed his help on for this fine day, though I think I may have emphasized the wrong words because he came over with tools in hand from our last project...poor bastard, mwahahahaaa!

So we trudged oursleves to the backyard to investigate what we had to tackle for the day...it seemed a little challenging considering we had only gone to sleep 3 hours prior after finishing a Halo2 party, and working on some intermittent homework. This is what we came upon (as seen from overhead).

From the above picture you can that the tree ends at the left with it's top and the bottom strecthes another two to three yards off to the right, and ranges in thicknes from three inches to about maybe a foot or so. We decided the best plan was to cut as much out of the garden as possible so that we could roll the rest down the little hill and cutt it later with an electric circular saw.

We traded off cutting away at the damn thing for a while and when it was my turn, my friend managed a video clip of me hacking away at the last half we were going to cut off today.

Here is the clip

Just right click CLIP and "save as" that should work, if not let me know. So there you have it with the a few chops of a rather dull axe between us both the last piece came off in only a few minutes. Aren't you all proud...it was a "green" hack too.

Read more!


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Saturday, April 2

A day to be remembered....OUCHIES!!!

I'm so proud, it's the first casualtie of the H.1.T. Squad...... see our first group hack, the 8.0 Surround Sound TV for more details on this most excellent of sacrafices.
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Thursday, March 31

If everyone hacked there iPod would you?

....Yes, yes I would, and if I did I think it would look something like this.

Thats what it looks like from the front and yes all the buttons are functional, albeit a little finicky, but then again the buttons were never very quick to respond at least for mine which is now about a years old. I came across the idea to do this little cover for my iPod around the time HP released there skins for the new "click-wheel" version of the iPod. In fact I took the screen part of their template and used it myself. Sadly I no longer have the original template I used, but all it consisted of was the screen part of the HP template and then a large area that is in the neighborhood of about seven inches wide and just lightly taller then the iPod itself.

Then there is a strip that is the same width as the screen which extends from the top and bottom of the outline and goes behind the iPod first then the side strips, it can all be the held together with a few strips of either invisible tape or glue.

As you can see from this image I opted for the cheap tape style just for a trial run of it and it seems to work out really well. The main reason I decided to do this mod was because well frankly mine like most iPods has gotten pretty beaten up in the short time I have had it. So this allows me to cover up the bad looking parts as well as change the outside depending on what I feel like looking at that week. I had a few mocked up skins for it, one that looked like an old Gameboy Pocket in blue, and another that gave it a woodgrain body and a wood frame around the screen with wooden buttons and wheel (I liked that one the best but it was hardest).

Now some of you may still be thinking that yeah it looks nice and protects but you can't use your iPod without plugging in the control, but in actuality basic inkjet paper not only has the added benefit of being cheap but also thin enough that buttons easily respond to the heat and pressure of your finger tips. For those who need proof here is a small video for you to download to see.

iPod Hack

The image above is that of another iPod hack online, perhaps you have heard of people doing it as of late. They download the firmware software for the iPod and edit it according to their tastes therefore customizing certain aspects of the iPods menu system like rename certain menus, change fonts, icons, etc. One of the more popular mods is to change the little icon that appears when you connect it to your computer, first one that pops up says "Do Not Disconnect" after it's alright to unhook it the icon changes and so does the text saying "OK to Disconnect". So I took a page from some peoples mod of puting Hello Kitty on the icon to a picture of the kitty with a gun to its head when it says "Do Not Disconnect" and when it changes to the OK message well you can see for yourself that everything was taken care of and it's alright to disconnect. Sick and twisted I know but hey at least it's unique right?

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The Great 8.0 Surround Sound Speaker TV

This is the first project of the Hackers in Training, the hackers being myself and my friends. It will be an ongoing project because I am not really sure what all will be needed for this hack, but for now I will at least outline what the goal of the project is and what my basic plan for it is.

So anyways the goal of this project is to basically create a TV with eight speakers so as to simulate a "surround sound" type effect. This project came to me from my friend, one the members of the Hackers in Training. He has managed to collect eight speakers from several different shelf top stereo systems so these aren't really big speakers but then again they aren't really small either. The speaker boxes are about a foot high containing a main speaker at about six to seven inches in diameter, and also a smaller speaker for the treble sounds (also known as "tweeters"). The speakers have the basic positive and negative wires which have an un-shielded end to them for sticking in the special inputs on the back of the stereo system.

Now most of these speakers came from stereo's which contain amplifiers for them, but his TV is rather old and uses really small speakers barely bigger then the "tweeters" used in the speaker boxes, so they have little to no amplification. We managed to get a hold of a large amp from a large stereo system, it is about as big as any of the speakers so it is nice...except for the fact that it will not go out of standby mode, therefore it will not work for our needs but that is okay. What anyone else can do is go to like a garage sale and try and find one or buy a cheap portable amp from say Walmart. Either way you'll have to basically do what we did except hopefully...your amp will work.

Now here is our amp that we attempted to use...frankly after we had opened it up to figure how we were going to hardwire the power cord to it we were a little worried about our chances of injury considering the inside of it was PLASTERED with high voltage warnings. We eventually lucked out yet again and found a similar cord to that of which was lost from the amp, and with some minor modification were able to connect it to the amp without any worries of electrocution from that piece.

Next up was the TV itself, keep in mind we still had no clue that the amp would not work, but we continued onward and removed the back of the TV and set it on its screen to get a better look at the inner workings of stuff. We noticed two things right off the back...One, the TV had about an inch of dust covering everything...and two, there was in fact only one speaker, this was a problem. Only one speaker meant that there was only a mono output and therefore meaning even if we got it all hooked up and working right, the simulated surround sound of sounds going from left to right in a 360 degree setup wouldn't even exist. The owner of said TV and creator of the idea said he in fact decided it would be okay because he figured that still with his proposed 360 setup it wouldn't be surround sound but you would get the fell of being in the "center of it all" so we pushed on.

After locating where the one speaker attached we realized an interesting feature, that the TV had a separate sound card just like a regular computer which used some weird proprietary SCSI like connectors. This though made our efforts a little easier allowing us to remove the card and work on it at our leisure...and leisure we did. All in all this project took about a day to plan and about a night to make, if you don't count the intermittent Halo2 games throughout the night. Back to business we decided to make our lives even easier and just use the plug to the original speaker and just extend that to the amps left/right inputs ( see amp above ). To test whether any of it would work or not we just twisted all the speakers positive ends together and all the negatives together for the left and right setups, and then connect them to the appropriate outputs ( again see amp above ). Pictured below is a bad pic of where we slid the modified audio wires through where the power cord came out of the TV. The one on the right is the power and the one on the left is the audio out.

The moment of truth was upon us, we were ready to finally test the SHARP TV,

8.0 Surround Sound *mono* Edition!

Sadly we knew not the fate that awaited us, we ignored the one bad omen.......


You can't really tell from that picture but that would be the second in command of the H.1.T. Squad displaying his war wound from doing battle with this great beast. On to the bad news though, as you know the amp ended up not working...so we took the cheap and dirty road and attached all the wires to their appropriate outputs and turned the TV on, and yes by god it WORKED.......yes I know, I need to hang my head in shame as a hacker but damn it all! I'M A HACKER IN TRAINING!!!!!

So there you have it our first project as a group, there was a third person involved but he has yet to be inducted as a member of the H.1.T. Squad. Tell us what you think and if you have any ideas for us, send them on down the line. Don't waste your time with "Get a life!" I'm currently still bidding on eBay for a decent, slightly used 21 year old life and it's up to about 35 cents.

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Wednesday, March 30

First "Hack"...I'm so proud

Okay so about a year or so ago I purchased a nice Microsoft wireless Intellimouse Explorer v2.0, and about two months back it broke on me. I figure it was the wires in the base station but I was never too sure, but with that theory in mind I went and opened it up to see if I could fix the cabling and well that really hasn't been panning out too well in fact I managed to desolder one of the main pinouts for either the power or data line, seeing as I am not a major electrical type person...I have no F*ing clue.

Now seeing as the "fix" hack didn't work I managed to find something that will be just as Hax0r worthy as soldering it back together if not more so. It seems that Microsoft has a bit of a gullible side, if your mouse stops working to factory specs for whatever the reason may be, all you have to do is call tech support hassle them for a while then they will give a toll free number to a Canadian parts replacement warehouse for MS, who will then in turn instruct you on how to fax all the right info from the bottom of your mouse to another warehouse in Canada that will then in turn send you a new version of your old mouse free of charge.

I sent in my name, address, email and phone number to the number I found on the web's linked to in this post. Also the most important parts being the PIT of the mouse and the header TO: MICROSOFT SUPPLEMENTAL PARTS. So all I did was type all the info up and then print it out, then I ran on down to Kinkos and faxed it. This was yesterday and hopefully I will get a reply in my e-mailbox by about Friday or Saturday regarding the mouse, if not...well I fear for the poor person I get to yell at when I call the support line.

This kind of hack is the kind known as "Social Engineering" which is one of the main types of hacks I like a lot. So keep an eye for more Social hacks in the future, next one will be something along the lines of free pizza...FOR LIFE!!

UPDATE: Well no word so far as to whether or not they even got word of my mouse application but I will give it one more week before I go yell at someone.

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The Great Not-So-Great Flamewar...

So I found this article at a website I frequent for gaming related news it's called Joystiq. Anyways I read this article and it's mostly a very bland article that I normally would have passed over, but the very last part of the article just said to me "joke time!" so I went with it.

As you can see from the first comment, I made quite the BAD comment but trust me it gets explained later on because someone comments on it later on and well he was an asshole so I of course had to show him how wrong he was by explaining my original comment and therefore put him in his place. He never even had the balls to comment back though the other reason behind that will be discussed in a second.

Something interesting happened later on though, as the day went on a surge of new articles flooded their site and somehow the article I commented on got pushed back by about two pages therefore anyone who frequented the main site would never even know about it and so therefore nobody ever saw it to see my comment and get enraged by it. So that is one very likely reason as to why "Tony" never managed to cough up any support for his comments or against my second comment...I still think that the real reason is that he knows he got 0wn3d!!


I would like to thank L'Emmerdeur for his comment against "Tony" that also p0wn3d him, for that click his name to visit his site it ain't too shabby.
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