Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Commodore 64 Confuses Austrian Police 470

Posted by kdawson
from the at-least-it-wasn't-a-trash-80 dept.
toomanyairmiles writes, "It seems that Wolfgang Priklopil, the communications technician who kidnapped Austrian pre-teen Natascha Kampusch, relied on a Commodore 64 as his primary machine. Interestingly this is presenting some problems to the Austrian computer forensics people. Major General Gerhard Lang of the Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau told reporters it would 'complicate investigators' efforts' and would be difficult to transfer the files to modern computers 'without loss.' Could this be the latest in the criminal world's security strategy? Can we expect to see Spectrums, Archimedes, and Atari STs turning up in police investigations soon?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Commodore 64 Confuses Austrian Police

Comments Filter:
  • The Charge? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:00PM (#16048770)
    Can we expect to see Spectrums, Archimedes, and Atari STs turning up in police investigations soon?
    What are they going to charge them with? Living in the stone age?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:17PM (#16048872)
      This person was found to be connected to the terrorist Junis, a friend of Jon Katz. No doubt he is pirating movies and watching them on his computer.
      • by Garabito (720521) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:35PM (#16048966)
        About Jon Katz, former Slashdot editor. Taken from here [wikipedia.org]:

        "There was a large controversy when Katz posted an article about an e-mail he believed to be from an Afghani teenager named "Junis", writing to him via the newly-restored Internet. Katz never disclosed the original e-mail, but it was an evident hoax and probably a parody designed to fool him. According to Katz, Junis wrote his e-mail from "his ancient Commodore computer", which he had 'dug up' and was now using to download movies, pornography, and MP3s thanks to the recent liberation of Afghanistan."
  • Question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:00PM (#16048771)
    Could this be the latest in the criminal world's security strategy? Can we expect to see Spectrums, Archimedes, and Atari STs turning up in police investigations soon?

    Um, no. This was an aberration; nothing more, even if its use for those reasons was deliberate on his part.

    But here's an actual question:

    I can absolutely understand and appreciate that people value some of the features and functionality of things like the Commodore 64 and Newton, and many other machines that were considered to be state-of-the-art in their time.

    But why would someone go out of their way to continue to use it? I can understand practical and pragmatic answers like "It's still functional for me" or "I just like it better and I haven't had any problems". But are there other reasons?

    I mean, you can literally get systems for free (or next to nothing) that are capable of running various modern operating systems, including various versions of Windows, Mac OS and Mac OS X, myriad Linux distributions to your heart's content, BSD distributions, and so on, that would be much more functional and capable, particularly in the context of the internet and associated applications.

    So what's the draw? Why keep running on something like a Commodore 64? Even considering legitimate reasons for continuing to use it, I don't see how sticking with something exceedingly obsolete can be functional when viewed alongside semi-modern systems. I understand people collect all manner of antiques for a variety of reasons, including other things that may be nearly impossible to service or repair easily; is the reason for using obsolete computing equipment the same?

    Status? Hobby? Entertainment? Eccentricity? Just to "do it"?

    And to reiterate, I can understand collecting pristine Commodore 64s or similar in working order, and even making TCP/IP stacks and such work, just for the sake of doing it. But using it as a primary system exclusively? Some people may own and spend a great deal of time on something like, say, a Model T, but they don't use it as their daily driver...

    On another note, I do agree that his system being a Commodore 64 will "complicate investigators' efforts"; but to say that it would be difficult to transfer files "without loss" is disingenuous at best. Do they mean "transfer files" to include possibly-deleted files (in which case I agree there may be "loss")? Do they mean contextual loss, because modern applications may or may not be able to open files and represent context-sensitive features like position, text styles, and so on? Or are they talking about "loss" in that they won't be able to run their standard forensic tools that package everything up with a nice little bow? If they're talking about files representing images and text, I don't care what it is: if it's functional and intact, there's no reason for there to be "loss". I don't care if it takes resorting to eBay, digging up old company engineers, or weirdos on web forums...they should be able to recover anything they need to.
    • Followup (Score:5, Interesting)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:05PM (#16048797)
      I would say this does raise another valid point, though: as systems and media age, it's actually quite an interesting question how all of this data that isn't transferred to modern day systems will be dealt with, both from a technological and machine- and media-aging point-of-view. And in the context of criminal investigations, what happens if evidence is "lost" (or simply unrecovered) from a 25-year-old computer in a murder investigation which has no statute of limitations? It's an equally difficult question for governments, corporations, and academic institutions that actually *want* to keep the data but are having trouble instituting standards, policies, and mechanisms for data retention.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        The back of the Commodore 64 has an RS-232 interface. Any schmuck with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering can hook the Commodore 64's serial interface into the serial interface of any modern desktop.
        • by Dun Malg (230075) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @09:04PM (#16049112) Homepage
          The back of the Commodore 64 has an RS-232 interface. Any schmuck with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering can hook the Commodore 64's serial interface into the serial interface of any modern desktop.
          No, actually it doesn't have an RS-232 interface. It has something called a User Port, using a male card-edge connector, which can transmit and receive serial data, but it only does so at TTL levels. But yeah, any schmuck with a soldering iron and a breadboard can slap together a true RS-232 interface using a 25 cent MAX232 chip and a few caps.
          • by God of Lemmings (455435) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @10:03PM (#16049365)
            Yes, but if that schmuck had a BSEE he/she wouldn't, except in the rarest of circumstances, be a cop. The investigators would have to use their brains and find someone who can do the work.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by LWATCDR (28044)
              It wouldn't take a BSEE to do it most hobbyists could whip one up in a few hours. However it is not really needed. You can buy a device that will allow you to interface a 1541 or 1581 to an PC.
              • by iocat (572367) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @12:39AM (#16050005) Homepage Journal
                Dude, they're in EUROPE. Someone just needs to head for the University, find the demo party, pry Dieter away from his Amiga and be like "oh qiuck, we need the data from these floppies... yes, if you want to make a mod so the data all prints out along a sin-wave line while the SID chip kicks out the collected works of David Hasselhof, that's fine... oh my, you can make the text appear on shiny spheres? So much the better!"
                • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @02:44AM (#16050385) Homepage
                  You modded this as "Funny", but there are more truths in this text than in any of the other posts. Seriously, any C64 hacker (and there are atleast hundreds of them spread around europe that use the Commodore 64 on a ~daily basis) would know how to transfer all the bits from a C64 floppy to any other format. He would also know what tools this guy used, and how to disassemble them to see how the data is stored (if not common knowledge already). For example, there is the the XzentriX Treffen 2006, http://www.xzentrix.de/ [xzentrix.de] this friday in germany. Just go there, announce a new fast-compo (hack this guys files), and be done with it.
              • by shaitand (626655) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @12:09PM (#16052996) Journal
                Am I the only one sitting here and wondering if anyone on this forum ever used a C64? They need a 5 1/4 floppy drive and a C64 emulator. The C64 stores all the data and programs on floppies, if the system has even been powered off they aren't going to get anything from the machine itself.

                Personally I suspect the investigators just have a bunch of MCSE's who run prepackaged forensic tools and have never seen a C64 and don't know how one works.
            • by compro01 (777531) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @12:05AM (#16049890)
              Yes, but if that schmuck had a BSEE he/she wouldn't, except in the rarest of circumstances, be a cop. The investigators would have to use their brains and find someone who can do the work.

              you'd be amazed how many Electronics and Computer technicians the RCMP up here is collecting. they've taken practically the entire graduating class of each (usually 20-30 people per course) for 2 years running at the school I'm at (SIAST).

              but i don't have much idea what they're doing at the other 3 campuses, but I'd imagine similar things are happening, so that would be at least 150 techs they've snatched up, if not more.
          • by complete loony (663508) <Jeremy.LakemanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @12:17AM (#16049927)
            I good friend of mine (who currently lives next to me) wrote the first version of c64net [sourceforge.net] which can be used to communicate directly between a c64 and a pc. One of the tests he performed showed that you can transfer data from a PC to the c64 at about 32KBps.
      • Re:Followup (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShawnDoc (572959) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:33PM (#16048947) Homepage
        It also points out one of the problems with purchasing DRM'd media files. Since you are locked into a certain format, what do you do when technology changes and you can't convert your media into the new format or the company behind the DRM folds and there's no way to port the authentication system to a new system? My parents dubbed their records onto tapes. And recently I've helped my mom convert records and her old tapes into MP3 format. Something that couldn't be done if DRM existed then.
        • Re:Followup (Score:5, Insightful)

          by johansalk (818687) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @09:58PM (#16049338)
          What you do then is quite simple; you'll have to re-buy your media files, and I presume that's a reason why the companies seem to like it so much .
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It also points out one of the problems with purchasing DRM'd media files.

          From the point of view of big media, this is not a problem. For them it suits them just fine. Unfortunately for the buying public this is a major issue.
          • Re:Followup (Score:4, Insightful)

            by NoMaster (142776) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @10:23PM (#16049444) Homepage Journal
            Unfortunately for the buying public this is a major issue.
            No, unfortunately, not is . It will be , but by that time it'll be all-pervasive - basically, too late to do anything about it.

            I know the common thing to do is berate corporations for having no long-term vision - but the RIAA/MPAA/??AA do. They've perfected the technique of hovering around that fine line between "too fast, and people will notice" and "too slow, and we'll be obsoleted before we achieve our objectives".

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by westlake (615356)
          Since you are locked into a certain format, what do you do when technology changes and you can't convert your media into the new format or the company behind the DRM folds and there's no way to port the authentication system to a new system?

          You do what everyone has done since the days of Edison's wax cylinders. You buy into whatever format is convenient and practical for the moment and let the archivists worry about preservation of the analog and digital masters.

      • by Ninwa (583633) *

        "And in the context of criminal investigations, what happens if evidence is "lost" (or simply unrecovered) from a 25-year-old computer in a murder investigation which has no statute of limitations?"

        In the context of a criminal investigation I'd say take those situations as a case-by-case basis. If they want the case solved badly enough they will find a way to contract someone to develop hardware (or emulation?) that will read said data, or they will find a way to have tax-payers fund it. Either way, if

    • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MyNameIsFred (543994) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:15PM (#16048861)
      ... but to say that it would be difficult to transfer files "without loss" is disingenuous at best...
      I assume that Austrian law requires some sort of chain of custody for evidence similar to that required under American law. Thus, the transfer is probably difficult because they do not have "certified tools" for the transfer. In the US, it is my understanding that simply copying the files with the copy command is not sufficient. That defense lawyers can question how the transfer was made, whether the copy is an accurate representation of the original, etc. I presume similar problems under Austrian law.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by capologist (310783)
      Why? Um, why not?

      My guess is that he got the machine thirty years ago, it did what he needed, and he never felt a need to replace it.

      I still have a Macintosh SE that I dust off and use every now and then. I played around a bit with MusicWorks back in 1988. Sure, there are much better applications these days, but they don't read MusicWorks files, and converting those files to MIDI is a major pain in the ass that I haven't gotten around to yet. MusicWorks doesn't run on modern systems, so when I want to p
      • Re:Question (Score:4, Funny)

        by Scrameustache (459504) * on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @02:11AM (#16050290) Homepage Journal
        My guess is that he got the machine thirty years ago, it did what he needed, and he never felt a need to replace it.

        Exactly.
        Coincidentally, he did the same with a girl, 10 years ago.

        MY questions are: Why are people questioning the hardware choices of a psycho kidnapper? Are they actually looking for a coherent thought process they can relate too? Do they want to find one? Should they turn themselves in the nearest psychiatric ward if they do?
    • Re:Question (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:32PM (#16048945) Journal
      I have an Amiga kicking around in the garage. Why? Because I put a Time Base Corrector (TBC) in it that strips out ALL macrovision and DRM - I get pure video signal. I might get $50 for the machine in a yard sale. But a TBC of the quality I installed in it? HA! We're talking at least $500. So, that obsolete cranky POS that sounds like a snoring pig at start up saves me Serious $$$. The floppy drive in it is marginal, the video card barely works, but the TBC keeps on ticking. So every Friday I rent a few videos, run them through the TBC to my OSX G5, and burn a DVD for future reference...

      And THAT'S how it's done.

      RS

    • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arakageeta (671142) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:38PM (#16048979)
      The guy kidnapped a little girl and kept her for 8 years. He's obviously a nut case. I don't think you can back his choice to use a Commodore 64 with reason.
      • Re:Question (Score:5, Funny)

        by soft_guy (534437) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:42PM (#16049803)
        The guy kidnapped a little girl and kept her for 8 years. He's obviously a nut case. I don't think you can back his choice to use a Commodore 64 with reason.

        On Slashdot, we don't think he's crazy for hideous crimes. We think he is crazy for using an old computer.
        • Re:Question (Score:4, Funny)

          by identity0 (77976) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @05:35AM (#16050800) Journal
          WTF is wrong with wrong with using an old computer?! I'm typing this on an old 386 right now, in fact.

          In the basement, I have an Altair that I kidnapped from the local uni 25 years ago, that I've been teaching to read Perl and play with Lego Mindstorms. I've named her "nappy", because she likes the nappies and ice cream. I feed it to her on punch cards. We are such a happy computer family together, I don't have to hit her much anymore. I love you, you love me, lalalalaOH SHIT THE COPS ARE HERE@!^&@!!

          +++ATH
          NO CARRIER
    • by GeekyMike (575177) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:38PM (#16048981)
      Zaxxon
    • "Um, no. This was an aberration; nothing more, even if its use for those reasons was deliberate on his part."

      You just might be surprised. I know for certain that one of the ways of hiding sensitive data by many hackers, at least until a few years ago, involved using a C=64 datasette and one of the old school answering machines that used cassettes. Put your data on a cassette with the C=64 and then put the cassette inside of the answering machine. From here there are a lot of things you can do with it: one

    • by Pinback (80041)
      Not enough spare CPU for various agencies to slip spyware onto you box without you noticing. Even if they do, you're only a power cycle and a fresh floppy away from being sure the shit is gone.
    • Re:Question (Score:5, Funny)

      by smilindog2000 (907665) <bill@billrocks.org> on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:53PM (#16049057) Homepage

      But why would someone go out of their way to continue to use it?

      Are you kidding? Obviously, because the hottest geek chick on the planet is into them! See:

      "Super-hot super-smart geek-chick" [wikipedia.org]

  • Why go that far? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:02PM (#16048776)
    Any box that doesn't run Windows confuses most investigators. Yep, all their tools are Windows-specific.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Two words- Null Modem and Hyperterminal will transfer all the files stored on 5.25" floppies for that Commodore 64 (or even stored on cassette tape) to their Windows machines just fine. It's just ASCII after all, no big problem.
      • Re:Why go that far? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Morphine007 (207082) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:14PM (#16048852)

        Because in most forensic investigations, they remove the hard-drive from the PC and then perform the investigation using another operating system guaranteed to not have any nasty surprises built in. They're not going to run the risk that buddy has a small script that deletes his entire hard drive if he doesn't hit ctrl-a-s-d-f-enter within seconds of booting up.

        There's likely more to it than that as well, but the point is they generally don't want to use the system they've confiscated...

        • by gkhan1 (886823)
          Exactly. They also might be cautious accidentally altering things on the drive, timestamps for instance are very useful for such investigations. You never do it from inside the system, you always do it from an outside OS.
        • Actually they remove the drive, clone it and then run the investigation on the copy of the drive. This means and nasty surprises won't damage the original evidence and they can make another copy if needs be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dun Malg (230075)

        Two words- Null Modem and Hyperterminal will transfer all the files stored on 5.25" floppies for that Commodore 64 (or even stored on cassette tape) to their Windows machines just fine. It's just ASCII after all, no big problem.

        Hah. It's amazing how modern computers have made us forget how little we used to have, and how much of it was proprietary as well. First, it's not ASCII, but PETSCII. Granted, the only serious difference is that lower and uppercase are swapped, but it's still worth noting. Second, T

        • This is simple. Get a Catweasel [jschoenfeld.de] floppy controller, and use the bundled tools to make images of the disks. You don't even need any of the original Commodore hardware for this, any PC 5.25" drive will do.

          If they're too cheap to do that, an X1541 cable and a copy of Star Commander will work fine, plugged between the Commodore drive and a PC. This shouldn't be forensically valid, because the 1541 is a smart peripheral and could concievably be running a modified ROM.
    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:11PM (#16048837)

      Quickly becoming a meme:

      Only a terrorist wouldn't use Windows.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Sathias (884801)
        Quickly becoming a meme:

        Only a terrorist wouldn't use Windows.


        One man's linux zealot is another man's freedom fighter?
    • by grumpyman (849537)
      >>Any box that doesn't run Windows confuses most investigators. Yep, all their tools are Windows-specific.

      It's most likely because most people uses Windows? If the 60-70% of the world uses Mac, I'm sure most of the tools are Mac specific. Second, about "all their tools", did you just check out all the tools all police around the world uses? And we're talking about Commodore 64 here, not BSD/Linux or any of that sort. Coz if it is about BSD/Linux, there won't be such a news.

      It's not that I

    • by Danga (307709) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:56PM (#16049072)
      Any box that doesn't run Windows confuses most investigators.

      You are far from correct. A lot of forensic investigators I have talked to actually use linux at times to do things such as image drives which is safer to do on linux than Windows and they are not straight Windows users.

      Yep, all their tools are Windows-specific.

      The reason they do use Windows tools most of the time is because the tried and true forensic applications are developed for Windows such as Forensic Toolkit Pro http://www.accessdata.com/products/ftk/ [accessdata.com] and EnCase http://www.guidancesoftware.com/products/ef_index. asp [guidancesoftware.com] and since they work and have been well tested on Windows it makes little sense to increase the likelyhood of problems by porting these applications to other OS's. The other big reason most tools are Windows centric is obviously because Windows is the most widely used OS and people like to use what they already have and know.

      Windows may not be the greatest OS, and I know people love to bash it, but that does not mean the Windows tools developed for forensic investigations are of low quality. I work as a software developer in this field so I have a decent view on what the situation is and your comment was way far off.
  • From the article:

    There are emulators available which can make a modern PC capable of running Commodore 64 programmes but Maj Gen Lang said it would be difficult to transmit the data from Priklopil's machine to a modern computer "without loss".

    What, have they forgotten how to create a DIN-5 to Sub-D9 cable? I'm sure google has several websites with the schematic of the machine (also available in the original user's manual), it shouldn't be THAT hard to construct an asynchronous serial cable.
  • FINALLY (Score:3, Funny)

    by drfrog (145882) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:02PM (#16048785) Homepage
    My Basic skills will rule them all
  • by illuminatedwax (537131) <<stdrange> <at> <alumni.uchicago.edu>> on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:03PM (#16048790) Journal
    I'll have that bugger fixed in no time!!! ...as long as it involves writing elementary BASIC loops, LOAD "$",8,1 or beating Space Taxi or Questron.
  • Even Better (Score:5, Funny)

    by coop247 (974899) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:05PM (#16048801)
    I also hear they are having trouble getting information from his IBM typewriter. Apparently he used White Out to clear the data.
  • by Aokubidaikon (942336) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:05PM (#16048802) Homepage
    In my mind I see the secretaries at the Austrian police station behind their typewriters, listening hard and trying to make sense of what exactly is being said on those strange tapes...
  • This is retarded (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cobralisk (666114) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:06PM (#16048804)
    Seriously, I have a Commodore 64 sitting right next to me hooked up to a dos box as a hard drive. Data is data. You just need a x1541 cable. There are lots of free software tools to facilitate this, and the d64 and t64 formats are well supported. You can even use audio tapes and a soundcard to transfer files. Once you have the data on the PC, there are multitudes of C64 emulators to run the software directly. I've been doing this since the late '90s. Google is your friend.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by triso (67491)

      Seriously, I have a Commodore 64 sitting right next to me hooked up to a dos box as a hard drive. Data is data. You just need a x1541 cable. There are lots of free software tools to facilitate this, and the d64 and t64 formats are well supported. You can even use audio tapes and a soundcard to transfer files. Once you have the data on the PC, there are multitudes of C64 emulators to run the software directly. I've been doing this since the late '90s. Google is your friend.

      Quick! Volunteer your services as

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bri3D (584578)
      One issue. The methods that the police use to transfer data off of confiscated storage must be screened before they can be used in a manner which satisfies the court. Otherwise the defense could just question the manner in which the data was transferred, claim it was tampered with by the police, and the case is blown. I doubt googling emulators is an approved or accepted method.

  • Could this be the latest in the criminal world's security strategy?

    Anyone planning this far ahead is just going to use steganography and hidden, encrypted volumes with a false, destructive 'duress' password.
  • Commodore 64 disks are a pain in the rear to read on anything else due to the nature of the 1541 disk drive. There are however a number of ways to transfer data off of Commodore computers [zimmers.net]. After all, how do you think all those .d64 image files used with emulators got made?
    Once pulling the data off there are a number of great emulators such as Vice [viceteam.org] to run the software on. Or you could just buy one for less than $50 off of eBay.
  • by lostngone (855272) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:10PM (#16048828)
    We must ban all Commodores, to save the children of course. Think of the children!
  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:12PM (#16048844)
    It's now security by obsolescence!

    Really, if the raid happened 20 years ago, everyone would be able to get the info off those floppy disks. Now they've got to find a C64 user group or specialty store (how many of them are there, even on the net?) to transfer the data and convert it to a usable format.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by loraksus (171574)
      There are still active CP/M user groups around. Why the hell? I honestly don't know, but there are. I recall selling a bunch of old equipment - 8086 boards, 10mb hard drives, etc, and the guy was overjoyed that his club got new stuff to play with. This was 2 years ago too... I guess the one man's junk saying is true.
  • by lostngone (855272)
    If the C64 confused them wait tell they find people storing porn on an abacus or two.
  • by f97tosc (578893) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:26PM (#16048914)
    does the story about a girl kept in a dungeon for eight years revolve around the kidnapper's computer. Tor
  • missing the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dirtyhippie (259852) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:27PM (#16048923) Homepage
    The article, and most of these comments, are missing the point. The point isn't that you can't get the data off the hard drive - the investigators aren't that stupid - it's that they can't get previoiusly deleted or overwritten files off the hard drive using their standard techniques, because there is no way to image both a drive and the magnetic clues that these folks use.
  • by mbpark (43131) <mbpark@digineDEBIANxus.com minus distro> on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:34PM (#16048954) Homepage
    Here's the best way to do it:

    1. Use Star Commander or the equivalent program (ftp://ftp.zimmers.net/pub/cbm/archiving/c64/emuti l.prg) to make your .d64 files. Additionally, if they're feeling up to the challenge, mnib (http://markus.brenner.de/mnib/index.html).
    2. Use PDS Hash Toolkit or some other approved toolkit to hash the disk images you've created.

    They can also use 64hdd (www.64hdd.com), set it as drive #10, make directories on the partition they copy the files to, and then individually hash each file using PDS Hash Toolkit. You'll have to hash the 64hdd binaries as well.

    If he's a really hardcore user of the C= series, I think the price of that SuperCPU on eBay just went up by a few hundred euro.

  • From TFA (Score:3, Funny)

    by Per Wigren (5315) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:34PM (#16048962) Homepage
    Police have been digging pits and using long probes to poke around the property,
  • by shoma-san (739914) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:36PM (#16048970)
    Can't Transfer the Files:

    10.There's no USB port
    9. Austrian govenment mandate that all computers must be able to play music from "The Sound of Music".
    8. Investigators were at Oktoberfest the day they taught pre Windows XP forensics.
    7. Unable to install popular folk dancing software on Commodore 64.
    6. Jokes about the situation being hopeless but not serious in Austria have become true.
    5. Police still worried about riots after UPC Arena name change.
    4. There's no USB port
    3. The floppy drive is WAY to big
    2. The modem baud rate is slower than pooh ...and the number one reason why Austrian Police Can't Transfer the Files:

    1. Can't copy and paste without a mouse
  • Arial??? (Score:5, Funny)

    by srh2o (442608) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:40PM (#16048995)
    Of course they'd lose information. Haven't you seen how bad Arial screws up ASCII porn... Uh Nevermind
  • C64 hardware (Score:5, Informative)

    by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @08:56PM (#16049078)
    There are a myriad of other issues with this too. For one, the Commodore 64 uses PETSCII and not standard ASCII. To complicate matters more, he may have even used GEOS to store his data on floppy disks, and without the right conversaion tools, coverting that to plain text, muchless PC readable media, is going to be tricky without the right C64 hardware. If he had all that CMD hardware, or stored all his information on a hard disk or CMD formatted floppy disk, it will be harder again.
  • by ovapositor (79434) on Tuesday September 05, 2006 @11:22PM (#16049718) Homepage Journal
    Dumb Asses. They just need to go to the goodwill and get a complete.. tricked out vintage system of their own. Data loss my eye.
  • by gsobol (1000759) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @08:57AM (#16051358)
    Well, I can sum up the whole article like this:
    Forensic investigators = not stupid
    Article author/editor = selling a story / lack of facts
    Court system = flaky justice

    Being a computer forensic investigator, what I can tell you is that the problem is not with extracting individual files (being current, deleted, overwritten), or even hashing the contents or drive images themselves. Although this does present a certain technical challenge, this can be overcome. Any forensic investigator will tell you that, what he/she finds during his/hers investigation rarely comes under question or scrutiny. You just can not deny the fact that this "stuff" was found on the suspects media. What almost always comes under scrutiny is the technique used in obtaining the evidence. Where the police do have the tools and techniques that have been court tested for the relatively modern machines and OSes, there is no such tool or a battle tested procedure for capturing and processing data from the Commodore 64. That's what the challenge is all about. It's all about how do you get your evidence, and prevent the defence from shooting it down on a technicality that your approach was not forensically sound, because you have not used the court "approved" forensic tools and techniques. -- a side note: there are no court approved forensic tools, at least not in the USA. There are forensic tools that have gone through court scrutiny and been found to be acceptable, but only in conjunction with a proper forensic sound procedure. The tool is only a tool, like a hammer, it can be used to drive a nail into a wall, or crack someone's skull. Define a proper and sound use :) -- It's easy for technical people to understand the realities and limitations of the technology. It's easy to understand that when you copy the contents of the files from one OS to another the contents do not usually change. But for an average person on the jury, if one computer is old and the other computer is new, and they don't speak the same language, well that means that someone had to translate it, right? And if someone translated it, could they have made a mistake? Of course they could! Of course they DID! Again, the hard evidence - the files, the pictures, the notes, etc.. - do not come under scrutiny. It's the techniques, the procedure, the competence of the investigators that get's questioned, and thanks to our "well educated" and "intelligent" jury, sometimes the guilty go free.
  • by RomulusNR (29439) on Wednesday September 06, 2006 @02:09PM (#16053965) Homepage
    Could this be the latest in the criminal world's security strategy? Can we expect to see Spectrums, Archimedes, and Atari STs turning up in police investigations soon?"

    No, what this means is that soon, anyone who owns or purchases an old piece of computing will either have to submit to a background check or be put on a DHS watchlist. Because there is no reason for a normal person to own an old piece of technology other than for nefarious purposes.

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid

Working...