Releasing “Capture The Flag”, a simple Java-based game

Capture the flag is the name of a game I programmed in a small team in a Java class in high school. Because I haven’t released any new or interesting content in quite some time, I decided to share this project on my blog, as well as having a copy of the project on a GitHub repository. The project is no longer maintained, but I may decide to clean up the code a bit in the future, or release some bug fixes. The game is written in Java, and it should work just fine on Microsoft Windows, as well as any modern version of Linux using Pulse Audio, as long as a reasonably new version of Java is installed. The game has been tested to work with both OpenJDK and Sun Java 6. I’ve been rather busy with a lot of work lately, but I felt that posting a copy of this code was a good idea. It is likely that some of the assets in the project are copyrighted, as we were looking to create a game that worked well for educational purposes, rather than create a commercial-grade videogame, so all assets [images and audio] are copyrighted by their original owners, and we are not taking credit for creating them. Most of the game’s resources are embedded into the actual source code using Base64 encoding, rather than having separate files for these resources. Anyways, the project is available on GitHub, and you are welcome to fork the code, just let me know if you decide to do so, as I’m interested in knowing if anybody actually uses this in another project. Not all features in the code work properly, but if you leave the code as it is and compile it, it will work just fine. In addition to myself, the game was also designed and programmed by Rhyan Smith, Justin Gompers, and Manny Castillo. If you hit F1 during the game, you can see a list of pieces and game rules.  Enjoy! :)

Incorrect FiOS WEP Calculator Mobile Browser Detection Fixed

Today I fixed a bug in the FiOS WEP Calculator mobile browser detection code. iOS devices and BlackBerry phones are no longer detected as Android devices. This fix will make the site more usable for users by displaying more relevant information under the download section. To check out the changes, visit the FiOS WEP Key Calculator website on your mobile device.

Introducing FiOS WEP Calculator Mobile!

For all of you who don’t have an Android device, it’s been difficult to calculate a default FiOS WEP key using your mobile phone. Well not any more! Now if you visit the FiOS WEP Calculator website on any mobile device, as long as your device supports JavaScript, you can calculate a default WEP key (I’m also planning on porting the script to PHP, and using server-side calculations for devices that don’t support JavaScript in the future). The mobile optimized version is incredibly lightweight, with no CSS files (all styles are embedded in the main page) or images, what-so-ever, and all unnecessary formatting in the source code removed. On a 3G connection, the page should easily load in under 1 second almost every time (the entire page is less than 3kb). I believe that this new website will make it significantly easier for users of every mobile platform to use FiOS WEP calculator on the go. To check it out, visit goo.gl/D6P5x on your mobile phone, or scan the following QR code:

FiOS WEP Calculator Site is Now Valid XHTML Strict!

I’ve been working on optimizing the FiOS WEP Calculator website for a while now, reducing the sizes of the image files, and reducing the amount of code, in order to get the page to load faster on slower connections. After messing around with the source code for a while, I can finally say that I managed to get the page to be 100% valid XHTML Strict! Having a page that’s valid XHTML is important, since it ensures that the page will work properly in as many browsers as possible. I also took the liberty of adding meta tags for description and keywords, so that the site will look better in search engine result pages.

UPDATE: The site is now extremely optimized in order to reduce page loading time, especially on slower Internet connections, such as dial-up for those of you who still have it.

FiOS WEP Calculator Site Moved to New Domain

You may remember that, a very long time ago,  I created a Java application that calculates the default WEP keys of most Verizon FiOS routers (I have a blog post about it on this blog). I had the application and the site for it hosted on Webs. Needless to say, Webs is terrible for hosting anything serious, and the old website I had was very basic, and only  a single page. Despite the ridiculously simple layout of the site, the complete lack of any kind of manual search engine optimization, what-so-ever, and any content other than a download for the FiOS WEP Calculator application, my FiOS WEP Calculator site has maintained the number one spot in the Google search results for “FiOS WEP Calculator” for over a year, and has received a very large number of hits and downloads. Today, I’m proud to announce that I have finished the process of moving the site over to my new domain, with it’s own subdomain on this website. All of the old content is still on Webs, but the main page that contains the link now contains JavaScript code that redirects all visitors to the new website. In addition to that, I added a note on the page, after the previous description of the applicaiton for all users of browsers without JavaScript support, stating:

Update: I now have my own dedicated domain name! Click here to visit the new site!

This will ensure that if anybody linked to the old website, all visitors will know that I migrated to a new domain name, and likely bring more traffic to this website. As of today, I am proud to announce that my new FiOS WEP Calculator website is now the number one result for a Google search of “FiOS WEP Calculator”.

Catch The Ball, My Not-So-Secret Android Project

So lately I’ve been working on something pretty major — a fully animated 2D game for the Android mobile operating system. The object of the game is simple: Catch the ball. So what makes this challenging you might ask? Well, as you progress through levels, the ball gets increasingly faster. In fact, at the moment, I have it moving at 7X the starting speed at the hardest difficulty. You have to catch the ball within a certain time limit, or else you lose. The amount of time you have depends on the difficulty level. Also, every time you miss the ball, you lose a second. This game is very simple, but it’s my first Android game, and I decided I’d share it with you guys before it’s done. Because it’s so simple, it will probably be 100% free in the Android market, and right now, I have no plans to put any advertisements in the game. However, that may change in the future, depending on how much money I make from my other applications. Did I mention this game is open source software? That’s right… not only am I releasing this game for free under version 3 of the GNU General Public License, but the full source code is already available on github! This is my first open source Android project, and others are more than welcome to help with the development process! Keep in mind that the code is in a relatively early state, and there are still a few bugs to be worked out before this game reaches a state where I feel comfortable shipping it. The difficulties are subject to change, but right now, here’s what I have planned:

Easy Mode: 12 seconds

Medium Mode: 9 seconds

Hard Mode: 6 seconds

Insane Mode: 3 seconds (!!!)

Also, I have the NullWire Trace.jar file included in the project by default. Basically, if the program crashes on anyone’s device, logs (stack traces) will be sent to NullWire’s servers, to help fix bugs and crashes. These logs are available on the page for the catch the ball package at trace.nullwire.com. In addition to updates about my other projects, check back often, as I will be posting news and screenshots of Catch The Ball as I develop it further.

FiOS WEP Calculator PRO is Back for Only $0.99!

If you’ve been wondering where the ad-free version of FiOS WEP Calculator went, well wonder no more! I removed the old Pro version because I originally published it for free, and I wasn’t making any money. I only made $0.57 so far with AdMob, and that’s almost nothing at all. I don’t really like charging very much for my applications, so the Pro version of FiOS WEP Calculator is now available for only $0.99! If you use/like this application, please consider purchasing the “PRO” version. The PRO version has all the same features as the Lite version, except it doesn’t have any advertisement, it uses absolutely no copy protection what-so-ever I don’t believe in locking down my products with worthless DRM — if you buy it, feel free to use it on as many phones as you want. I don’t mind that much if you pirate this application, but really, please consider purchasing it. It only costs $0.99, which is the minimum amount you can sell an application for on the app store, and of those $0.99, I only make $0.66 ($0.30 processing fee + 2.9% of sale price). Your purchase supports the development of this application, and all of the other Android projects I’m working on. I code applications as a hobby, and not just for profit. If you don’t pay for the application, please at least rate it and leave a positive review if you like it! Thanks for your support! :)

UPDATE: If you area looking for the free, but advertisement supported version, it’s called FiOS WEP Calculator Lite. Please consider purchasing the ‘Pro’ version to support future development. Thanks! :)

FiOS WEP Calculator Lite Edition is Up and Running!

market://details?id=com.dylantaylor.fwc_liteI finally got an AdMob account set-up so I can receive advertising revenue from people clicking ads in my application. The application is called “FiOS WEP Calc Lite” in the Android Market. I had a “PRO” version up for a few hours that I was planning on keeping free for a limited time (letting anyone who downloaded it while it was free keep it forever), but unfortunately you can’t change it to make it paid later (for those who download it after I change the price), so I pulled that until I get my account set-up to accept payments. The minimum possible price for an application in the Android Market is $0.99, so that’s the price it will cost. I’m not doing this just for the money, so if you download the “Lite” version, please rate the application, and write a review. I know that one developer, Kismet Iheke, is selling a similar application on the market for $1.99, and they have between 500 and 1000 downloads so far, so yes, I do realize that I’m losing money, since I only get paid anything at all if people click my advertisements, and even so, PayPal takes $0.30 plus like 2.9% out of my revenue, but hey, it’s better than nothing. And besides, I don’t really want to charge for my application. I want to make it free to as many people as possible. Anyways, here’s a few screenshots:

Enjoy! :)

P.S. If you notice that you are unable to enter special characters in the text field, that’s a feature, not a bug. In addition to that, all lowercase letters are automatically converted to their uppercase equivalents, since all FiOS network names are all caps, using only alphanumeric characters, and the text box has a maximum limit of 5 characters. It is not possible to calculate a WEP key for an access point that changed its ESSID from the default. Also, both the lite version and the pro version of this software have absolutely no copy protection what-so-ever. People who pirate my application will find a way around the copy protection, and I doubt very many people would pirate something when an advertisement supported version is available for free.

P.P.S. If you long press on one of the bottom boxes, you can copy the text to the clipboard… ’nuff said. ;)

UPDATE: The ‘Pro’ version without any advertisements in now available. Please consider purchasing it to support future development. Thanks! :)

<img src=”http://dylantaylor.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/lite_qrcode1.png” alt=”market://details?id=com.dylantaylor.fwc_lite”I finally got an AdMob account set-up so I can receive advertising revenue from people clicking ads in my application. The application is called “FiOS WEP Calc Lite” in the Android Market. I had a “PRO” version up for a few hours that I was planning on keeping free for a limited time (letting anyone who downloaded it while it was free keep it forever), but unfortunately you can’t change it to make it paid later (for those who download it after I change the price), so I pulled that until I get my account set-up to accept payments. The minimum possible price for an application in the Android Market is $0.99, so that’s the price it will cost. I’m not doing this just for the money, so if you download the “Lite” version, please rate the application, and write a review. I know that one developer, Kismet Iheke, is selling a similar application on the market for $1.99, and they have between 500 and 1000 downloads so far, so yes, I do realize that I’m losing money, since I only get paid anything at all if people click my advertisements, and even so, PayPal takes $0.30 plus like 2.9% out of my revenue, but hey, it’s better than nothing. And besides, I don’t really want to charge for my application. I want to make it free to as many people as possible. Anyways, here’s a few screenshots:

Enjoy! :)

<strong>P.S. </strong>If you notice that you are unable to enter special characters in the text field, that’s a feature, not a bug. In addition to that, all lowercase letters are automatically converted to their uppercase equivalents, since all FiOS network names are all caps, using only alphanumeric characters, and the text box has a maximum limit of 5 characters. It is not possible to calculate a WEP key for an access point that changed its ESSID from the default. Also, both the lite version and the pro version of this software have absolutely no copy protection what-so-ever. People who pirate my application will find a way around the copy protection, and I doubt very many people would pirate something when an advertisement supported version is available for free.

FiOS WEP Calculator for Android Done!

I finished coding the entire FiOS WEP Calculator application, and I signed up for an Android developer account. I’m currently in the process of trying to sign and upload the application. I’ll update this when I get that working.

FiOS WEP Calculator

A little bit over a year ago, in June 2009, I wrote a Java application to calculate the default WEP key of a Verizon FiOS Actiontec MI424WR router after reading a blog post written by Kyle Anderson called “Verizon FiOS WEP Calculator!“, and Mr. Anderson was even kind enough to add a prominent link to my website that I set up just for hosting the application. At the time of writing this, my site is currently the first result on the Google search results page for “fios wep calculator“. As I said on my website, this is for educational purposes, and I am in no way responsible for how you use it. Anyways, I created this application to demonstrate a major security flaw in the way the routers generate their default password. This application will only generate the default WEP key for the access point. If the WEP key was changed from the factory default, it will not work. This is one of my earliest coding projects, and I’ve gotten better at coding Java applications since then, but this gets the job done as it is, so I see no need for any major updates any time soon. Anyways, the download is available on the FiOS WEP Calculator website.