[ubuntu-uk] Reverse engineering data files

Gareth France gareth.france at cliftonts.co.uk
Sat Nov 22 22:12:06 UTC 2014

I am a PAT tester and have found over my time in the role that the 
software is a total rip off! If you purchase a digital camera, scanner, 
webcam or anything else that interfaces with a PC you get the software 
to make it go. Spend £1,000 on a PAT tester and you are then expected to 
pay £300 on top just for the privilege of being able to download the data!

The latest version of the software in question is even worse, it costs 
£109 + VAT annually! And of course it doesn't work on Linux. I have 
methods of accessing the basic data required but have just found out the 
latest and greatest machine I would love to have has several features 
which are only downloadable in their custom format which is not text 
readable. My machine has the old version of this custom format and the 
machine I would like uses a revised version. I am told it is very 
difficult to reverse engineer it.

An example of the older file format is here:

So my question is this, how does one go about accessing a file like this 
when they do not know the format? I have worked with text based files, 
CSV etc but never something which does not load in a text editor.

Any assistance would be appreciated.


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