[ubuntu-uk] Reverse engineering data files

Gareth France gareth.france at cliftonts.co.uk
Sun Nov 23 00:26:23 UTC 2014

I have already been peeking in hex editors. I have picked out 80% of the 
data and been able to read it into perl (since posting this). However I 
have noticed some characters which appear to act as boundries between 
certain fields which are not in the standard ascii set, so I'll have 
trouble evaluating those in my code, I know how to do it in Quick Basic, 
I've never tried in perl.

The next big problem is that the most important data appears as 
gibberish. I think I will need to experiment with several data files and 
look for similarities and differences. I'm getting there though.

On 23/11/14 00:01, Tony Pursell wrote:
> Ghex will show you what is in the file in hex and ascii format.
> Tony
> On 22 November 2014 at 22:12, Gareth France
> <gareth.france at cliftonts.co.uk <mailto:gareth.france at cliftonts.co.uk>>
> wrote:
>     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:
>     www.cliftonts.co.uk/SSS <http://www.cliftonts.co.uk/SSS>
>     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.
>     Thanks
>     Gareth
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