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reverse engineering

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Hello I''ve got an old pub cabinet that is a pc-in-a-box solution with a coin slot. I''d like to put the game I wrote on to it and have it accepting credit and so on. There''s a dll on the machine which handles this but I can''t use that one for copyright reasons so I want to reverse engineer it so I can see how it talks to the coin slot mecahnism. Any ideas on how to do this? Thanks Scott

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1) Find out which interface the coin counter is connected to - USB?, RS232/RS423/ Parallel etc

2) If the coin counter is an off the shelf component (likely), contact the manufacturer to get their API.

3) Else look for calls to the interface the coin counter is connected to. I''d recommend using something like SoftICE to watch all accesses to the common calls for each interface. This should provide all the info you need to construct your own comms.

4) You can do a certain amount of guesswork using Dependecy Walker (comes with the Windows Platform SDK) by checking which Windows API functions the code uses.

The above should provide 99% of the info you need.

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Thanks for the reply.

Do you know the web address for getting Softice? I seem to get a bunch of unrelated companies when I try searching google.

Thanks

Scott

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http://www.compuware.com/products/devpartner/softice.htm

It used to be available as a separate product. Seems to be marketed as a DevPartner add on now.

It sits (mostly) underneath Windows so lets you trap and watch *everything* - which in your case would be any calls from any program/Windows component to say parallel port accesses (assuming that was the port in use by the coin counter - could be USB, could be RS232/RS432, could be totally custom etc, each port has functions to access it though)

It's what device driver writers tend to use to debug stuff because it gets in underneath the whole multitasking part of Windows so amongst all debug tools gives you the best view/snapshot of the WHOLE system at any point in time.

It's [unfortunately] also what [most] crackers use to remove protection systems because it lets them easily breakpoint OS functions such as message boxes to display "Please insert the proper CD" type things. [I mention that because what you're asking to find requires a very similar process]



[edited by - s1ca on August 5, 2003 9:10:07 PM]

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A possibly better solution is to rewire the coin mechs to a keyboard encoder (if it isn't already).

I have an arcade cabinet with a PC in it that I hooked up in this way. Good encoders are programmable so you can configure the slots to trigger whatever keys or key combos your application registers as coin inserts. Works beautifully.

For a LOT of help on how to do this, check out http://www.arcadecontrols.com The forums and articles there are very helpful.

Home of one keyboard encoder called the I-PAC: http://www.ultimarc.com/

[edited by - SpaceRogue on August 5, 2003 9:21:43 PM]

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