DOS lotto program which crashes when it reaches 12%

March 15, 2019 at 07:09:58
Specs: DOS
I found a little interesting program http://cd.textfiles.com/tigershareware/x15/lotowins.zip but it is only a demonstration version. I don't fully understand how it works but I think it compares all possible lotto 6/49 combinations, one by one, with all the draws in the database in succession and in the end it shows 10 tickets, which supposedly are the best 10 combinations to play. It would be interesting if I could use it past the 12% limit. I'm new to Softice, what breakpoint is necessary to uncover the location of the percentage counter which limits the search for the best combinations to 12%?

Paulo Barbosa


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#1
March 15, 2019 at 08:16:53
All lotto combinations have an equal chance of winning. Past draws have no influence on future draws, so any database is a waste of time.

As for cracking copy-protected software - that's not the point of this forum.


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#2
March 17, 2019 at 10:20:56
It is not copy-protected software, it is abandoned software, so I'm not doing anything illegal. I agree totally, past draws have no influence on future draws I think... intuitively we all know that. But you know we must always test it, it doesn't hurt anybody :-) How would it looks like, a C or C+ conditional branch in assembly?

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#3
March 17, 2019 at 12:29:35
There is no such thing inlay as "abandoned software" or "abandonware". Either it is copyright or you have a clear statement from the author that they have released it into the public domain.If so, you may have contact details where you could request an unrestricted version of the program.

Assuming that the software really is in the public domain really makes no difference to whether a reputable website would provide information on how to bypass any protection mechanisms. Clearly such techniques could equally be used on copyright software. It would be a bit like publishing information about hot-wiring a car - harmless if used on your own car, but potentially illegal in other cases. I'm sure there are websites that provide such information, but a reputable site like this couldn't afford to risk their repute by doing so.

In any case, there are several methods used to protect software - which is used in this case is anybody's guess. The only way that you will find out would be to inspect the source code or to trace the program step-by-step in a debugger (or ask the author). TBH, with such a simple program, if you have the skill to do that you would probably find it considerably simpler to just rewrite the program from scratch yourself.


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#4
March 22, 2019 at 09:48:12
I found the programmer Scott D. Blight in Facebook, here is what he said to me:

Me: Hi Scott, I'm interested in a DOS lotto program made by your father back to August 1990. Do you still have it?
Scott: I was a programmer back then, it wouldn’t be my Dad. I don’t remember the program, and I certainly don’t have it anymore.
Me: The program name is lotowins.zip, if you search by this name you will find it and if you extract and open it, you will see your name in the first screen.
Scott: Hmm, let me look...
Me: I don't know why but it is obvious you don't want to disclose any information about the lotto 6/49 program. Nevertheless I want to thank you for writing the demonstration version, we don't see many lottery programs doing what it does.
Scott: I don’t remember it. Probably wasn’t me. I wrote a lot of stuff but don’t think the lotto program was one of them. Even if I had, the source code is long gone.
Me: If I ask you to make a similar program, how much it would cost?
Scott: I’m not a developer anymore, best to find someone younger and more up to date.

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