Bleemcasting: An Interview With Bleemcast! Developer Randy Linden

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SMiTH
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Re: Bleemcasting: An Interview With Bleemcast! Developer Randy Linden

Post#21 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:27 am

I am replying here but seriously we should take this to the bleemcast conspiracy thread..

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12161

|darc| wrote:When the cracker who originally released it says they're identical I believe he means they're all literally exactly identical, just locked to different Dreamcasts. Otherwise what you're suggesting is that a second person at some point came in and cracked Yellow, Green, Orange, and Purple and released them and we know they're different?


Here is a post by familyguy @ assemblergames

https://assemblergames.com/threads/making-selfboot-bleemcast-games.69929/page-3

FG wrote:Color versions are all the same, they were simply locked to different modified bios for testers. Once cracked they're all the same.

IIRC, the original cracker did manage to isolate a binary for BC! that'd work like any executable, but it was lost in a HDD crash. If someone has the time, skills, and motivation; it should be possible to distill that from the cracked retails, but it'd be tedious.

Retail BC! bypasses the normal bootstrap, most of the IP.BIN content is a red herring.

Edit:

He also made unlocked retail versions that will try to load any game, but the compatibility is atrocious, much worse than the beta. I guess the discs were greatly optimized for each target game.


I am going by FG's word about all of the bleem beta colors being the same.
FG sticks with the belief that the 5 color bleemcast betas were locked to 5 different dreamcasts that had modified bioses...
The only reason people have this belief is based off of the leaked bleemcast beta all colors .nfo file.
I am not saying that a second person at some point came in and cracked yellow, green, orange, and purple.
I have asked many times for cracked versions of each color so i can simply compare the .bins myself in a hex editor...
Also if you find the cracked bleemcast betas out there, some claim to be yellow while others claim to be blue.
And many people say the bleemcast beta used in the selfboot script is the blue beta.
Ian tested different region psx games and found that the blue beta wouldn't boot the game but the yellow beta would.
This is why I think that region is the only difference in the colors.

Code: Select all

The full .nfo from the bleemcast beta all colors:


Code: Select all

This is most of the conversation between myself "Me" and the person I got these from "Betatester"
Of course this are not the real nicks we use, I changed that to hide our identities.

These betas are VERY real. They are not locked down to 1 game. They are betas to test all Playstation games.
Now here is the tricky part, each beta tester was given different color coded Dreamcasts.
The betas has something in the code at will look in the rom on the specified dreamcast. The discs will
ONLY work on that machine and no other. Some how this code needs to be removed so that it is usable on any dreamcast.
Only other thing missing is an audio.nra which is the audio track to make the cd selfbootable. It should be the
same track this is used in the Echelon Selfboot Kit but in Nero Burning Rom audio format.


[03:49] <Me> what did ya'll have to use to burn it anyways?
[03:50] <Betatester> I've never really looked at how it works, before.  It looks like it's cutting the first 37376 bytes off the data part of the image, then appending something (That Rand gave us...  Included) to the beginning in it's place
[03:50] <Betatester> Just Nero, and some program that Rand gave us.  I think he made it.
[03:50] <Betatester> It looks like all it does is cuts up a binary file, though
[03:51] <Me> ok
[04:30] <Betatester> Well, each one was encoded to only work on that specific DC
[04:30] <Betatester> However, if you mean the burning process, no, it was the same for them all.
[05:16] <Me> i mean different color dc's got different builds
[05:24] <Betatester> Well, I'm really not sure if they were different builds or not.  I'm thinking that he might have done some kind of encoding on them, AFTER he did the builds, to make it work on the individual DC's.  But, I don't know that for sure.  He might have had the encoding done during the build itself, in which case they would be different builds for each color



|darc| wrote:Also, Ian says they're just different config settings, but the binaries are encrypted differently

Additionally, doing this doesn't even make sense. The emulator can load different configurations based on checking the disc's title ID. They wouldn't develop an entire PlayStation emulator in assembly and then be unable to do simple detection of the region, necessitating sending out multiple different builds. Why on Earth would they do that?


Why on earth would they have 5 "different" betas that are said to be all the same?
The title ID of the psx game in reference to the bleem4DC.ini allegedly makes no difference.

|darc| wrote:It's not about admitting to intentionally leaking data, it's about showing up out of the blue one day years later and posting how much of a shame it was what that leaker did to them :lol: They didn't have to do that and no one asked them to


That would be very good PR wouldn't it?
The public position would be to show that they were disappointed in the leak.
Baring no responsibility for the leak while reaping the benefit of free research from those interested in cracking the files.


|darc| wrote:Right, so if you think it's such a big deal then why would you downplay it and act like it's "just an emulator ffs"
If you and others are interested in releasing 250+ selfboots many many years later, how can you claim Rand wouldn't care much if it were leaked, as if this leaked beta wouldn't be pretty significant competition to their later released product?


Because it was such an early build and in no way represents the final product released. True competition could garner something from it but to what extent?
How many sh4 asm coders truly were there that could reverse engineer a bleem!cast clone?


|darc| wrote:Apple has been rumored to have their employees work on fake projects so that if any information in the media pops up about these fake projects they can know which employees they cannot trust.

I'm not really sure Apple or Microsoft are comparable to the type of business bleem! was. If this product leaked their entire company could go under. Rand already believed that was the entire reason Sega went under. Even being a startup, an IBM websphere clone is not a piece of software whose dependence is threatened by an environment of rampant piracy. I don't think this is comparable to a games market on a console that is open season for thriving pirates.


I see your point here.
But I think it is absurd to think a small company such as bleem! would have created a work environment so entrenched in protecting IP that it would make top level security clearances and practices seem like a joke.
Of course piracy would hurt bleem! and I understand the protection would need to be severe to thwart any efforts. But to protect the bleem betas in this manner seems absolutely insane.


|darc| wrote:He believed the entire existence of his business and his ability to make a living only depended on it! :roll:
Rand used to rant about swimming upstream in trying to make a living off of emulation as everyone who was into emulation were just in it for piracy.
So I say again, if you don't understand how/why Rand would be motivated to do this -- then you just don't understand who Rand is.


But only Rand knows who he is.
Whatever he chooses to disclose is all anyone will ever know about him.
Its like that with everyone.
Its not like anyone here is buying a round of beers with him.

|darc| wrote:I haven't done any code analysis so no, I cannot confirm it.
Even if the cracking is way over your head, just think about what you're suggesting. Copy protection must check for something. It obviously can't check for anything on the CD-R because it's a basic image CD-R with instructions for anyone to burn it. Thus the copy protection must be checking for something on the Dreamcast otherwise why couldn't anyone just burn it and "test" it on their Dreamcast? How else could the beta work when it's being used by a tester but not work when it's being used by someone who is not a tester?


How do we know that the story is true about the locked bios to beta colors?
Its still based off the .nfo file from the "leaked" beta.
You believe that the testers were each sent modified dreamcasts also?
I think its utter bs.
Why wouldn't they at least wait until the beta was more useable and then send it out to testers?
Why would they want to use insane security measures to protect the IP of an early build that barely worked and very few people would even have the knowledge to reverse engineer?


|darc| wrote:Again, this is going out of your way to lie about it :lol:

So what evidence do you have FOR your theory other than speculation and dismissing anything contradictory?


The same amount of evidence that you have.
All hearsay and information from forum posts over the years.
The original thread from your stomping grounds at dcemulation.
The leaked beta .nfo

Unless you have more information than the rest of us do?


Ian Michael wrote:It was a fun not meant to be fact it's just speculation the thread he quoting from was not meant to be serous..

I respect rand a lot and he did talk to me in pm a few times but never about bleemcast.. Was about my own projects at the time..

Far as i know it was leaked on dcemulation irc channel by a tester thats it everything is is speculation

Like i said if anyone knows the truth it's DARC


I was given the uncracked version by someone in email asking me to crack them.. i never did that.. For one i did not know how.. at the time did not even know what bleem was and i was working on pcsx for dc.. which bleem leak pretty much killed all the other coders working on it..


Well, you tested the psx games with bleem beta?
And you found that different AUS region PAL would not boot?
This does not seem like speculation to me.

|darc| wrote:I don't want to claim that I know everything though. Sometimes I'm wrong :) But nothing about this theory sounds right to me, and now we know that we have no evidence that it has anything to do with the game regions.


The evidence is that Ian tested psx games and found that different AUS region PAL would not boot.
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Re: Bleemcasting: An Interview With Bleemcast! Developer Randy Linden

Post#22 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:06 am

It is true my pal australian releases would not boot on it but ntsc version would. Pal uk release would so it was checking for the ID some how i guess they did not have pal australian release ID numbers because it's the same as game as the pal uk release yet it does not boot..

That is true I had to donwload pal uk release of the same game i had that i own just to get it to boot the said same game.. I can say thats 100% true.. At first when i tryed the bleem beta i thought it was BS almost every game i owned did not boot but for Grand trismo 1

Allways thought it was strange but others on the list testing games had the same problem was not just me.. these games were real bought pal australian release.. way i got them to boot was rip them patch the iso to ntsc selector PPF patches from copyworld then they would work but not allways..
Last edited by Ian Micheal on Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bleemcasting: An Interview With Bleemcast! Developer Randy Linden

Post#23 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:07 am

SMiTH wrote:I am going by FG's word about all of the bleem beta colors being the same.
FG sticks with the belief that the 5 color bleemcast betas were locked to 5 different dreamcasts that had modified bioses...
The only reason people have this belief is based off of the leaked bleemcast beta all colors .nfo file.


Why is it unbelievable that the NFO file that came with it would explain the true nature of the files?
If Rand Linden leaked the emulator on purpose, why would he lie about what the colors are for?

SMiTH wrote:I am not saying that a second person at some point came in and cracked yellow, green, orange, and purple.
I have asked many times for cracked versions of each color so i can simply compare the .bins myself in a hex editor...
Also if you find the cracked bleemcast betas out there, some claim to be yellow while others claim to be blue.
And many people say the bleemcast beta used in the selfboot script is the blue beta.
Ian tested different region psx games and found that the blue beta wouldn't boot the game but the yellow beta would.
This is why I think that region is the only difference in the colors.


Ian literally just said above that he did not test anything other than the blue beta.
Yellow/Green/Orange/Purple were never released in a cracked form online as far as I know. Please give me a link to one of these purported Yellow builds.

Rand Linden wrote:Why on earth would they have 5 "different" betas that are said to be all the same?


Because they are intended for different people using different Dreamcasts. This is really simple and you're making it out to be something tremendous.

SMiTH wrote:That would be very good PR wouldn't it?
The public position would be to show that they were disappointed in the leak.
Baring no responsibility for the leak while reaping the benefit of free research from those interested in cracking the files.


The fact that you think they would keep this charade up for years -- to what end? -- is ludicrous.

SMiTH wrote:Because it was such an early build and in no way represents the final product released. True competition could garner something from it but to what extent?
How many sh4 asm coders truly were there that could reverse engineer a bleem!cast clone?


I'm talking about competition from their own emulator in its broken state. As in, having customers that think the beta is "good enough" -- even if this is only 10% of people, that's still 10% potential sales down the drain.

Look at all the attention given to shitty broken Genesis and Super Nintendo emulators during that era. Rand knew people were fine with half-working emulation if it's free to pirate.

SMiTH wrote:I see your point here.
But I think it is absurd to think a small company such as bleem! would have created a work environment so entrenched in protecting IP that it would make top level security clearances and practices seem like a joke.
Of course piracy would hurt bleem! and I understand the protection would need to be severe to thwart any efforts. But to protect the bleem betas in this manor seems absolutely insane.


What are you talking about, top level security clearances and practices seem like a joke?
Rand already said it was like maybe 10 lines of code to protect the beta.
You are really blowing this out to be more than it is.

Every Dreamcast game has code in the IP.BIN that writes to a log in flash partition 3 with a record of that game on the system.
The code to do this is trivial.
It would be extremely simple to put a record on that flash partition on 5 Dreamcasts and give them to the employees of bleem! who were testers and have the bootloader Rand wrote check for this.

SMiTH wrote:But only Rand knows who he is.
Whatever he chooses to disclose is all anyone will ever know about him.
Its like that with everyone.
Its not like anyone here is buying a round of beers with him.


Ian and myself have actually spoken to Rand several times on IRC in a friendly chatting environment talking about random topics other than Sega Dreamcast.

SMiTH wrote:How do we know that the story is true about the locked bios to beta colors?
Its still based off the .nfo file from the "leaked" beta.
You believe that the testers were each sent modified dreamcasts also?
I think its utter bs.
Why wouldn't they at least wait until the beta was more useable and then send it out to testers?
Why would they want to use insane security measures to protect the IP of an early build that barely worked and very few people would even have the knowledge to reverse engineer?


I don't know what you mean by "why wouldn't they wait...?" Wait for what? This wasn't the only build... There were more. Do you think I'm suggesting they sent a Dreamcast to every tester for every build? They likely continued to release encrypted versions encrypted with the same key every time the tester got a new build.

SMiTH wrote:
|darc| wrote:Again, this is going out of your way to lie about it :lol:

So what evidence do you have FOR your theory other than speculation and dismissing anything contradictory?


The same amount of evidence that you have.
All hearsay and information from forum posts over the years.
The original thread from your stomping grounds at dcemulation.
The leaked beta .nfo

Unless you have more information than the rest of us do?


You have nothing but your own imagination.

I have my past communications and relationship with Rand Linden and one of the beta testers, all the public statements made by Rand and Rod, the NFO file that came from the same source as the actual binaries with no specific reason do doubt its veracity, the fact that the people who ended up cracking it never made any claims to the contrary to the NFO file and confirmed that all 5 builds are the same, and that someone like FG who spent hundreds of hours trying to reverse engineer the bleemcast releases and is very familiar with them agrees with it.

And you call what I'm saying 'utter bs' :lol: :lol:

SMiTH wrote:The evidence is that Ian tested psx games and found that different AUS region PAL would not boot.


All 5 colors wouldn't boot it. So what? So his Aus copies are incompatible for whatever reason? This proves what exactly?
Last edited by |darc| on Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bleemcasting: An Interview With Bleemcast! Developer Randy Linden

Post#24 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:13 am

Yeah i would not know if the other versions would boot pal australian version i was given a version said to be yellow but megavolt looked at it and it's the same as the blue.. so I dont know what pal australian games proves why they dont boot.. i would say because it was small market .. some were in the code it does not have ID for them..

I only tested with blue like every one else i had been given in email something said to be yellow ive seen others given the said same version i got.. but it's still just the blue version

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Re: Bleemcasting: An Interview With Bleemcast! Developer Randy Linden

Post#25 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:30 am

Somebody nuked my post lol? Can I see a warning er what

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