Written by Chrysalid Zombie
The Text file. Strange isn't it? To think a collection of plain, uncompressed, barely formatted binary bytes strung together could have any relevence when placed next to 200 GHz processors, Wireless networking and Voice Analysis software that just 10 years earlier the Secret service would have literally killed for... But a text file can be worth more than its HDD space in platinum, or IP addresses if you trade in them.
Milligan_Rincewind, as he was known, had only seen a few text files in his life. Most software companies abandoned them in 2003, and before then he'd not really noticed computers at all. Of course he was 17 now, so a lot had happened since he was 10, especially to computers. Milligan_Rincewind was a hacker for Uplink, you probably wouldn't read on if he wasn't, after all this is meant to be all about Uplink, being in the Uplink universe and all. However, he wasn't a very good one... He'd been stuck around the 50th rank mark for about three months, and there was no changing that. He just wasn't a nutural hacker, much to the laughter of his online gits... I mean friends.
Once, as a joke of course, 486Fiend (as he was known) had hacked into his home PC to see what he could find... And promptly downloaded and deleted his... erm... erotic art archives. All 4 Gigabytes of it, which took two years to gather with a slow modem and newsgroups that never seemed to work whenever he was online. Git.
But that's another,
less exciting story that doesn't have as many explosions, screams or even
a decent amount of funny bits. Better luck next time you erotic art lover.
This story revolves around something, the sun, as due to Newton's law
of gravity, every action has an equal and opposite re-action, which leads
naturally on to seeing the sun as the center of the story. The sun (which
is the center of this story) was shining as usual, in it's hydrogen combusting
way, over Milligan's house. He called it Base, due to a lack of erotic
art that had affected his brain adversely. By sheer coincidence he also
Having lost the battle of wills with the sun (which is the center of this story) he drew the blinds, threw the pathetic doodle in the bin and closed the curtains. His computer spoke: "You've got Mail and poor security on your computer system." It was 486Fiend again, saying hello in the only way he knew how... Git. Milligan went to check the Email.
Greetings my less
able hacking counter-part. I hope this note finds you angry and confused
by your poor password protection and proxy. Anyway, I've found a little
something you may enjoy more than ranting at your monitor. Head over to
108.659.125.111 and browse the goodies. I particularly like the Blonde
in file 15698 if you get the idea ;)
"The 486 did not die, it just stopped getting so many error messages."
Milligan smirked at the signature, it changed every time and he still hadn't run out of things to say about the old, decaying computers he kept in his room. Oh well, time to start filling up the 4 Gb of extra empty space on his hard drive again.
Milligan dutifully connected to the internet and browsed on over, typing in the IP in Internet Explorer's address bar. Nothing but "Error 1258915464 - No page. Please contact someone who gives a crap". Microsoft had got fed up in their old age and because of a distinct lack of competition just mocked you with error messages. The Blue screen of death no longer had stupid numbers that no one understood... It just stated rather (un)subtly - "You've not had an error for a few seconds, just seeing if you're still there"... Gits.
Milligan now understood what the Email was actually about. By "browse" 486Fiend meant Hack, and by Blonde... God Milligan hoped it still meant Blonde. He connected to his Uplink Gateway. It bleeped at him as he connected, it didn't mean anything to the average person, but Milligan knew that tone of tone... It was sulking about a lack of memory again. "Too bad" he thought and carried on.
He bounced the signal around a bit, using some of the half decent IP addresses he'd got hold of, that meant one mainframe and then a few million internal service machines, but starting at his own personal bouncing favourite. Only he and his circle of friends used it, and only they would bother to be honest. 486Fiend had taken some of his prime stock of salvaged computers from Pre-2005 junkpiles and made a delightful AMD K6 III-500 MHz that acted as bouncing point for them. It formatted itself every two days, re-loaded from a network Ghost image and then carried on. It was hidden under the floorboards at 486Fiends house, even if it was traced no one would find it without a full search. For letting him use it Milligan had traded him the mainframe IP, which he'd actually had to work for. Git.
The computer conencted with the sound of beeps, blops and the odd 'thump' noise which Milligan assumed was secret code for blip that only his defunked speakers used. No password screen, no decryption routines required, the file server just came up. It looked to be someone's personal server, much like 486Fiend's bouncer creation. Only... It had lots of files on. All kinds of files, including the ever famous ".jpg" file. Milligan liked the old fashioned style of picture, as they took up less space, shame about them only being 2D, but you can't have everything. He took a sample originally called "5598716.jpg" and looked... Thank God, he did mean blonde! He selected all of it and started downloading directly to his home PC, dangerous, but only if he was actually being traced. The tracer program remained quiet...
The day passed, the sun (which is the center of our story) stayed still whilest the Earth rotated an extra 90 degrees, making it night time in Milligan_Rincewind's time zone. After so many hours of downloading he'd recovered about 1 Gigabyte of art, amazing progress can be made when not using unreliable newsgroups. The cataloging started as Milligan divided the art into varous sub-folders like "Fakes" or "Huge" and deleted the ones he felt weren't up to scratch. 10 minutes later he saw an odd little file. It only took up 5K, which wasn't a very good picture... If it was one.
Now then you poor excuse for a human being. Nice collection btw, I'll try and find an IP to make up for it. Anyidea what a ".txt" file is? None of my decrypters or file expansion progs will have it and the thing is only 5K! What the hell can be 5K and not be compressed or something?
"I'd think of a signature, but my titanic brain is pondering more vital things"
less able hacking counter-part. I hope this note finds you angry and confused
by >your poor password protection and proxy. Anyway, I've found a little
something you may enjoy >more than ranting at your monitor. Head over
to 108.659.125.111 and browse the goodies. I >particularly like the
Blonde in file 15698 if you get the idea ;)
486Fiend smirked, he'd always used that signature, for three years! Then he smirked some more at his dumbass friend, who was woefully uneducated in pre-2005 computer science, despite his trying.
You're welcome on
the 'collection', I found it running an automated IP testing bot, just
walked right into it :). As for the IP, I doubt you've got anything I'd
want, I am the one after all that acquired the local supermarket's IP,
and what could you get to top that little man? ;)
"All your 486 are belong to us"
Again, Milligan smirked att he signature... It made no sense but again it was original. Git. But at least he'd got an answer to the .TXT question. He looked at "legacy.txt" and pondered about what truesures it may hold... Maybe an even bigger erotic archive than his! Best check it out quickly!
~~~ An hour later ~~~
After fighting through Microsoft's mocking for having a system not running "Windows 2010C" and having to fix broken links himself he'd found it. "Notepad.EXE", on his desktop and ready for use... Double click? Oh, it must mean like those pointing thingies they used in the old days... After a quick bit of "Mouse (?) emulation" he opened the file with Notepad.He read a bit, he blinked, he screamed.
of god! I've foubd somerthingsa aso b ig I can't type too wellllllllllll......... the text file was a lidtn of UP adfressds""""" BIG ONES!
I'll be brief: wtf?
The text file! It has IP's in! Biog azz ones! I'll meet you in the chat room!
486Fiend opened mIRC and went to the usual place he and the others chatted at. When he got there Milligan_Rincewind was already blabbering to XComtrooper in a strange, totally alien gibberish.
Milligan: And then
it had in ti all thses number sand things and they joook likf IO addressed!
-486fiend has logged in-
Milligan: Tell him
486! Tell him waat I fund!
-Xcomtrooper has logged off (Quit:)-
-Xcomtrooper has Logged on-
-EarthwormJim has logged on-
Jim: Good day to
you gentlemen. What seems to be the trouble? :)
-EarthwormJim has logged off (Quit)-
other IPs are there?
-Jim has logged on-
Jim: You keep it
and don't tell anyone else.
What will happen
to the four inept nutters? Who is/was Yoda? Why did I even bother writing
"486 users do it slowly..."
Uplink is a trademark of Introversion Software