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Home » Stars! Clones, Extensions, Modding » Stars! Extensions » Utility to clean .m files
Utility to clean .m files Wed, 13 November 2019 22:13 Go to next message
ricks03 is currently offline ricks03

 
Officer Cadet 1st Year
Creator of TotalHost and Stars! utilities
Created TotalHost and Stars! utilities

Messages: 221
Registered: January 2012
Location: NC
While trying to find information on the forum on something else, I stumbled across a thread about information in .M files that's actually other player information.

With some help from Ron and more from Raptor (and at least a nod to Xyligun, who created a similar tool years ago), I'm adding a .M file sanitizer to my tool suite:
starstat.pl - basic Stars! file information
starsPWD.pl - the ability to remove passwords from a .M, .X, or .HST files.
starsClean.pl - remove information from .m files that you shouldn't have.
TotalHost - a Stars! web-hosting program.

I've also uncovered a few bits more (literally) of the file structure of Stars! files, which I've added to raptor's github site at https://github.com/stars-4x

Once I get starsClean, well, cleaned up, I will incorporate StarsClean into my hosting program, so that games have the option to remove that information from player files.

The information about decryption and block structure is all out there and available. I also intend to release StarsClean as a standalone utility to raptor's Github site (and my own) so that other hosts can include sanitizing .M files in their turn generation process.

Thanks!

Rick





https://www.irelandbybicycle.com
http://totalhost.sinister.net:999
https://github.com/ricks03/TotalHost

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Re: Utility to clean .m files Sun, 24 November 2019 00:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ricks03 is currently offline ricks03

 
Officer Cadet 1st Year
Creator of TotalHost and Stars! utilities
Created TotalHost and Stars! utilities

Messages: 221
Registered: January 2012
Location: NC
It's completely understandable that the Jeffs included information in the .M file that didn't need to be there. They data-compressed things to the nth degree but one additional nibble here or there meant saving space in the code. They didn't need to worry about file security. Files were encrypted. The front end managed access, and it was password-protected. Disassembling things back then was expensive. And Stars was play by email. People didn't have access to all the files. The host would, but then again regardless of security the host could always copy files off and generate turns forward to find things out. That's inherent in their game model. Yes, there was hotseat, but that was LAN-based.

The internet world is VERY different now. That they wrote a game we're still playing is a testament to their game.

But, that doesn't mean we can't now make some changes.

I've update my github site (https://github.com/ricks03/TotalHost) for TotalHost with:
StarsClean.pl - cleans out information from player files that shouldn't be in there. If you automate your turn generation, just include it in your process.
StarsRace.pl - lists out race details included in most Stars! files (I had to figure it out for StarsClean anyway).
StarsMsg.pl - lists all the player comms in a .m or .x file (useful if you want to store those messages)
StarsByte.pl - dumps out, in various formats, the decrypted bytes in a Stars! file. I use it for debugging my code for the above utilities.


I've also updated TotalHost to include the StarsRace functionality - when you view an uploaded race on TotalHost, if displays the race characteristics (even the icon Laughing )

Might be a bit, but I'll add the StarsClean functionality to TotalHost as a game option after I've had a bit more time to be certain it's not breaking anything (at least TotalHost backs up each game turn by turn, and can be restored through the site). Given the vast multitudes playing Stars! (not) no ones exactly beating a path to my door :-




https://www.irelandbybicycle.com
http://totalhost.sinister.net:999
https://github.com/ricks03/TotalHost

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Re: Utility to clean .m files Wed, 18 December 2019 17:50 Go to previous message
m.a@stars is currently offline m.a@stars

 
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Messages: 2765
Registered: October 2004
Location: Third star to the left
Great! Work at computer

[Updated on: Wed, 18 December 2019 17:51]




So many Stars, so few Missiles!

In space no one can hear you scheme! Deal

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