99 Codes

The creator of Minecraft, Notch, was about to release the Xbox Live Arcade version of Minecraft. Basically he had 99 codes to give away before the release for free to the first 99 people. Rather than being first come first served, he decided to have a bit of fun and send out the codes censored. However he only censored certain bits to certain people. So basically some people got part of the code, and others got the other parts.

With so much data to process, it would have simply taken too long for a human to get the codes. As this was a race against people from around the world. People were posting their parts of the code online, so basically I made a piece of software that allowed me to analyse the data quickly into the uncensored codes.

My software worked, however I was sadly a few minutes late, as someone else had done the same and released the end list to the internet. Sadly this meant people who had not bothered to analyse the data got codes, and within seconds they were all gone.

Was a great shame, however also great fun racing against developers around the world and just got pipped to the post.

Looking back, the tools that I was stuck with due to being quite young to programming really held me back. If the problem were to arise again today, I would certainly not use the tools I chose. A simple python script would have done much better! Possibly a more hacky approach where I would try to figure the parameters that Notch was using to censor the data. However no regrets, I still might not have won a code (plus I didn’t even have an xbox…)!

I have not, and don’t plan to, publish the source for the project because in all honesty the code is a mess and pretty useless!


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