7 minutes of fame

Eleven years ago, I was on the radio, on NPR's Weekend Edition. It was the Sunday Puzzle segment featuring Will Shortz. It was thrilling and a lot of fun, and by tightening up the pauses while I was thinking and editing out at least one question that stumped me, they made me sound cleverer than I am.

P.S. I still remember the answer to the stumper: (Doctor) "Phil" and "ill". It'll make sense when you've listened to the program.

Sunday Puzzle 2003-07-06


Riveal 11.1

Well, this update became bigger (and took longer) than I expected. It was meant to be just a few fairly small changes but it grew and grew. This new version of Riveal extracts sounds, movies, and textures from a bunch more games, and does a better job with several of the games it already supported.

Riveal extracts media from most iOS apps, and version 11.1 adds particular support for several iOS games: BioShock, Revolution 60, Amerzone, Batman: Arkham Origins, Tappy Chicken, and Epic Zen Garden. It also extracts media from most Unity-based games, whether on iOS or on other platforms.

Speaking of other platforms, the new version of Riveal adds support for several Windows games, including Dishonored, Amerzone, Syberia, Syberia II, and the Batman series (Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Origins). The Mac versions of Amerzone, Syberia, and Arkham City are also supported.

The extraction of sounds and textures from the BioShock series and from the Borderlands series has been greatly improved. Levels in a game typically share many sounds and textures, with the result that there can be much redundancy when these assets are extracted. Riveal 11.1 looks for duplicate sounds and textures and filters out the redundant ones. There are now many thousands of files fewer to wade through to find what you're looking for. This filtering is, of course, also done on the newly-supported games.


Finally: Riveal 11.0

The latest version of Riveal is done at last. It adds support for extracting sounds, movies, and textures from several big games (BioShock Infinite, Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and realMyst: Masterpiece Edition) as well as quite a few smaller ones. Thank you for your patience.


OS X Mountain Lion compatibility

One of the useful new security features in OS X Mountain Lion is Gatekeeper. By default, Gatekeeper prevents an application downloaded from the internet from running, unless the app came from the Mac App Store or from a developer registered with Apple. In both cases, the app's code has been digitally signed by its creator, allowing Gatekeeper to detect if the app has been modified by a bad guy. The signature also identifies the source of the app to Apple if it turns out to do something bad to people's Macs — Apple can then throw a switch and shut down the app worldwide.

Riveal 10.5.1 and Revelator 7.1.3 are digitally signed for Mountain Lion. On earlier versions of OS X, the signature is ignored. The Windows versions of the apps are not code-signed. Both apps now also require a Java SE 6 (or later) runtime — that means at least Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and Windows XP.

By the way, if you want to run an app on Mountain Lion that hasn't been code-signed, there is no need to turn Gatekeeper off in System Preferences. Leave Gatekeeper turned on and instead right-click or control-click on the app, choose Open, and confirm that you really want to run the app. You only have to do this once to say that you trust this app forevermore, and Gatekeeper will still be there to protect you from rogue apps in the future.

The new version of Riveal also has improved for fans of Cyan's early game Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel. For technical reasons, sounds longer than a few seconds — mostly music — were broken into many short segments within the game. Riveal now combines them into complete songs. In addition, many more pictures can now be extracted from the Windows version of Cosmic Osmo.


Riveal 10.5

Here it is: a big new release of Riveal. This version extracts media (sounds, movies, and textures) from the two most-recent iOS games from Cyan Worlds, realMyst and Bug Chucker. It also extracts media from the recently-released BioShock 2 for OS X and from BioShock Mobile 2D, a curiosity from a few years ago that runs on Java-enabled phones.


More unpacking

Tahgtahv's Myst 4 Viewer for Windows is now here.

If you're looking for a (very!) full-featured viewer/editor for Myst IV, check out realXCV's Revelation Editor. It's terrific.


Unpacking boxes

RivHackMac is a Mac OS X program to display or modify values from a saved Riven game. Or, more accurately, it did so on versions of Mac OS X earlier than Leopard (10.5) — Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) was the last version to include the Classic environment that Riven needs.

Without an easy way to run Riven on modern Macs, RivHackMac is probably obsolete. I am making it available here in case someone wants to experiment, perhaps with an older Mac configuration.


We're moving!

For the past 7 years, Riveal and Revelator, my two game media extractors, have lived at That site is closing at the end of this month, however. I think Apple is knocking it down to make room for their new campus.

Anyway, my applications now have a new home. Welcome to!

Some content from the old site is still packed away in boxes. It will reappear here soon.