January, 2007

Hiding Messages in Images

By on January 24, 2007

Everyone at one or another played spy games when they were kids. One thing that a good spy needed to be able to do was send secret messages to other spies. Normally, this would be done with a clever code or writing made with invisible inks. You would then need a special light or decoder marker to translate the secret message.

Fortunately, today in the high tech 21st Century, you don’t need to do this sort of thing anymore. You can send secret messages using Hide In Picture from Davi Figueiredo.

This program will allow you embed a small text file in a .JPG or .BMP file. You can specify Blowfish or Rijndael for the encryption algorithm. A password then needs to be selected. That’s all there is to inserting a secret message in an image file. The file size doesn’t change much from the original size and the program won’t allow you to insert large files in a bitmap.

The user interface for the software is very simple and it could be improved. The latest version is 2.1 which was made 5 years ago. I think it might be time to upgrade the software and make it more user friendly and include documentation that can be called from the program.

Overall, its a fun program to play with and its something that can be used to waste time when your bored. 🙂 You can download it at sourceforge.net/projects/hide-in-picture.

Finding the Physical Location of Your IP

By on January 6, 2007

Have you ever wondered where the location of your IP was? You would probably be thinking of things like this if you were one of those people who enjoy reading hacker magazines.

An easy way to find the real, bricks-and-mortar address where your IP was being hosted is with IP-adress.com. When you first open the web site, it will give the location of the IP of your Internet provider, which is an interesting bit of information. If you don’t know the IP of your web site, you can find out by installing the ShowIP plugin with Firefox and then opening your site with the browser.

IP-address.com also give other details about the IP’s location, such as the country, state, city, latitude, longitude, and organization. There is even a little map from Google showing where the company is located.

I found that the IP of my web sites were being hosting in Ohio. The office of my web hosting company is in Pennsylvania so I would imaging my servers are located there.

I’m not sure what practical use this web site can have but its to fun to play with.

Sharing a 2nd Hard Drive in OS X

By on January 5, 2007

I’ve been trying to share a 2nd hard drive on OS X for quite some time now. There was no problem sharing the main hard drive, but I couldn’t get the second one to appear on the network. I searched for solutions in Mac books, forums, and chat rooms and it seemed like no one in the world knew how to share a 2nd drive.

It wasn’t until I went to the Apple forums and was told about SharePoints from HornWare. No, this is isn’t the Microsoft Sharepoint application. This is an application for OS X which will easily allow you to share drives and folders on any hard drive in a Mac. It similar to the Finder in OS 9. In OS X, you can only share what’s in the public folder in your home directory. Sharepoints also gives user and group managment, and configuration of AppleFileServer (AFS) and Samba Server (SMB) properties.

This is definitely a tool every Mac user should have. The software is donation-ware and more than deserves payment from its users.

I created a link to the 2nd hard and then it was then able to access it on the network. It was very simple to use and it works!

You can download SharePoints from www.hornware.com/sharepoints.