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: Blargh. My best current guess is that the JPGs are in some undocumented format proponented (that's not a word) by a company called Pegasus, which company is helpfully mentioned on the box the CDs come in. Dan from Be says that the data might be encrypted somehow. That'd be all I'd need.

I think that there are two factions within Be locked in a low-grade sort of mortal combat; one consisting of people with dull American names like Mike and Dan; and the other consisting of people with European names like Jean-Louis and Benoît, and that this internal struggle is what gives the BeOS its distinctive flavor. One day one side will triumph over the other, everyone on the losing side will change their name, and the BeOS will be altered forever.

: That last entry was not intended to offend anyone at Be. The people at Be can take it, I know, so I guess this entry is to stave off anyone who thinks they need to be offended for the people at Be.

: LUGFest LUGFest. LUGFest eighty-niiiine. LUGFest LUGFest.

: OK, the mystery is solved. One byte of the JPEG was obfuscated; adding 16 to it fixed the whole file. Only problem is, the files on the CD are encoded using arithmetic coding, a Super-Huffman-Coding technique which is patented by IBM. According to the data compression FAQ, this technique offers 5%-10% greater compression than the normal Huffman coding technique. Well, I (or my mother) may have been bilked out of $70, but at least I learned a lot about the JPEG file format.


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