The Reverse Engineer

The first cryptic E-mail message looked like a spam. I deleted it. The second cryptic E-mail message still looked like a spam. The third message came from Lysdon, whom I once employed as an information retrieval specialist in one of my projects. He asked me to reply to the E-mail messages from the Halutza UFO Institute.

Three days, a nice bank deposit of advance fee, a shower and change of clothes later, I saw the UFO in an underground hall in the Halutza UFO Institute. Seldon, the Chief Scientist of the Institute, explained to me that their scientists found few dark slabs, which have time-varying regular structure suggesting that they are storage devices. They also found that one of the slabs is undergoing changes all the time, and correlated some of those changes with changes in lighting and noise levels in the hall.

They made an experiment of trying to read the slabs and transfer the read data to the Institute’s computers. Reading all the slabs yielded about 10TB information, which was reduced to 30GB after lossless compression.

My assignment was to decipher the information and figure out what does the software embodied by the information do.

(To be continued sometime in one of the potential future timelines. Meanwhile I want to continue to read Introduction to Reverse Engineering Software!)

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.