just one more question about the python challenge


J

John Salerno

Sorry to post here about this again, but the hint forums are dead, and
the hints that are already there are absolutely no help (mostly it's
just people saying they are stuck, then responding to themselves saying
the figured it out! not to mention that most of the hints require
getting past a certain point in the puzzle before they make sense, and
i'm just clueless).

Anyway, I'm on level 12 and I not only don't know what to do, but I just
don't care at this point to work with images anymore. I'd still like to
read a description of what to do, if one exists somewhere (can't find
one at all, though), but at this point I'd be happy with the next URL so
I can just move on. I've been stagnating for a few days and I need to
use Python again! :)
 
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G

Georg Brandl

John said:
Sorry to post here about this again, but the hint forums are dead, and
the hints that are already there are absolutely no help (mostly it's
just people saying they are stuck, then responding to themselves saying
the figured it out! not to mention that most of the hints require
getting past a certain point in the puzzle before they make sense, and
i'm just clueless).

Anyway, I'm on level 12 and I not only don't know what to do, but I just
don't care at this point to work with images anymore. I'd still like to
read a description of what to do, if one exists somewhere (can't find
one at all, though), but at this point I'd be happy with the next URL so
I can just move on. I've been stagnating for a few days and I need to
use Python again! :)

Have you found the file? You'll have to distribute that file bytewise
in 5 "piles".

Georg
 
J

John Salerno

Georg said:
Have you found the file? You'll have to distribute that file bytewise
in 5 "piles".

No, I haven't figured out anything for this puzzle. It seems I might
have to change the filename of the image to something else, but I don't
know what. But even after I find the image, I won't know what to do from
there. I don't know what it means to distribute a file bytewise, but if
I knew exactly which modules/functions to use, I'd be more than happy
reading up on them myself. I just hate not knowing where to go to begin
with (even though I know I probably won't know enough about images to
use the right module properly either, but I can try).
 
G

Georg Brandl

John said:
No, I haven't figured out anything for this puzzle. It seems I might
have to change the filename of the image to something else, but I don't
know what. But even after I find the image, I won't know what to do from
there. I don't know what it means to distribute a file bytewise, but if
I knew exactly which modules/functions to use, I'd be more than happy
reading up on them myself. I just hate not knowing where to go to begin
with (even though I know I probably won't know enough about images to
use the right module properly either, but I can try).

If you give me the URL of that level, maybe I'll recall what to do.

Georg
 
J

Just

John Salerno said:
No, I haven't figured out anything for this puzzle. It seems I might
have to change the filename of the image to something else, but I don't
know what. But even after I find the image, I won't know what to do from
there. I don't know what it means to distribute a file bytewise, but if
I knew exactly which modules/functions to use, I'd be more than happy
reading up on them myself. I just hate not knowing where to go to begin
with (even though I know I probably won't know enough about images to
use the right module properly either, but I can try).

Have a look at the url of the image, then try the next.

Just
 
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J

John Salerno

Just said:
Have a look at the url of the image, then try the next.

Just

Interesting. So I have 3 images now (the 4th one didn't work, it just
showed the URL as HTML source). Aren't there supposed to be 5 images? I
also tried changing the file type to .gfx, but Photoshop couldn't open
it so I don't know if that's valid.
 
G

Georg Brandl

John said:
Interesting. So I have 3 images now (the 4th one didn't work, it just
showed the URL as HTML source). Aren't there supposed to be 5 images? I
also tried changing the file type to .gfx, but Photoshop couldn't open
it so I don't know if that's valid.

At the second, don't rename the file, rename the URL.

Georg
 
J

John Salerno

Georg said:
At the second, don't rename the file, rename the URL.

Do you mean rename the URL *aside from* the file name? Here's the path
I've taken so far, with a little spoiler space just in case:

SPOILER SPACE
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

evil.html (starting page)
evil2.jpg
[evil2.gfx]
evil3.jpg
evil4.jpg (no image)
 
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F

Fredrik Lundh

John said:
Do you mean rename the URL *aside from* the file name?

no, the URL you got when you followed georg's instructions will give you
some data that you need to manipulate before you can see what it is. to
figure out how to manipulate it, study the *first* image carefully. what
is the person on that page doing?

</F>
 
J

John Salerno

Fredrik said:
no, the URL you got when you followed georg's instructions will give you
some data that you need to manipulate before you can see what it is. to
figure out how to manipulate it, study the *first* image carefully. what
is the person on that page doing?

Thanks Fredrik. I think my problem lies in not knowing what the 'data'
is I need to move on to the next step of the puzzle. I now have 3
images, along with gfx file. I know shuffling/unshuffling has something
to do with the puzzle, but I haven't figure out what yet. Am I wrong to
think that this is another PIL puzzle?
 
D

Duncan Booth

John said:
Thanks Fredrik. I think my problem lies in not knowing what the 'data'
is I need to move on to the next step of the puzzle. I now have 3
images, along with gfx file. I know shuffling/unshuffling has
something to do with the puzzle, but I haven't figure out what yet. Am
I wrong to think that this is another PIL puzzle?
If it is the one I think it is, then PIL is not required to solve it.
Studying the start of the file and looking for patterns might be more
useful.
 
G

Georg Brandl

John said:
Thanks Fredrik. I think my problem lies in not knowing what the 'data'
is I need to move on to the next step of the puzzle. I now have 3
images, along with gfx file.

The images are perfect images, so there are chances there's no additional data
hidden in them.

The gfx file, however, isn't viewable yet. Hint, hint ;)

Georg
 
R

Roel Schroeven

John Salerno schreef:
Thanks Fredrik. I think my problem lies in not knowing what the 'data'
is I need to move on to the next step of the puzzle. I now have 3
images, along with gfx file. I know shuffling/unshuffling has something
to do with the puzzle, but I haven't figure out what yet. Am I wrong to
think that this is another PIL puzzle?

As others have said, you don't need PIL for this one. You need to have a
look at the data of the gfx file itself (you can do that with some
simple Python code, though I find it easier to use a hex editor). Focus
on the start of the data at first. Compare the patterns in the data with
the data at the start of other image files (JPG, PNG, GIF).

From another view of how you need to manipulate the bytes, look at what
the dealer is doing with the cards. Count how many piles he's using.

And I guess you'll be happy to know that puzzle 13 doesn't have anything
to do with images :)
 
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J

Jerry

This one threw me for a loop as well. I looked at that gfx file for a
whole day before I finally understood what was in it. I only knew to
separate it into five piles because of the hint forums though. I guess
I'm not intuitive enough. :)

I too did this challenge without PIL. Just remember that all files are
just bytes of data. Hopefully, that idea with the rest of the hints
will help you along.

On a side note, level 13 was really fun. No images at all (whew!) and
I got to learn something about Python AND the other technology used.

As for level 14.... back to images. I really didn't like this level
and it was the first time that I needed to find a solution. Yes, I
cheated on this level. I'm not proud of it. But as it turns out, my
solution was correct, but I was going in the wrong direction. I
figured as much from the hints in the forum, but when I reversed my
algorithm, it still ended up wrong. I didn't realize that there were
four directions you could use to build the image. I had only accounted
for two and both were not right. *sigh*

On to level 15.
 
J

JW

You said:
Sorry to post here about this again, but the hint forums are dead, and
the hints that are already there are absolutely no help (mostly it's
just people saying they are stuck, then responding to themselves saying
the figured it out! not to mention that most of the hints require
getting past a certain point in the puzzle before they make sense, and
i'm just clueless).

I just went to the hint forums:
http://www.pythonchallenge.com/forums/index.php

There are SEVEN pages of clues for level 12. The most recent post (to
challenge 1) was on April 11, so the forums are most certainly not
dead. Yes, the hints don't spell out what step they are refering to,
and a certain level of obfuscation is required to avoid giving away
hints.

Many can not be solved in a day - they require reading hints, thinking
hard, then doing something else (reading, working, sleeping) to let the
subconscious chew over the clues. This is the fun of the challenge -
there is no secret knowledge gained, other than a list of URLs and
passwords. If this isn't your definition of fun, then you can go on to
other things with a clear conscious.
 
J

John Salerno

JW said:
There are SEVEN pages of clues for level 12. The most recent post (to
challenge 1) was on April 11, so the forums are most certainly not
dead.

I read those seven pages at least twice and they still don't make much
sense to me (not to mention that many of the posts are just
conversational comments anyway, and not hints).

The last post for level 12 was made last year, so I'd call that dead
enough to be unhelpful.
passwords. If this isn't your definition of fun, then you can go on to
other things with a clear conscious.

Some of them are really fun, some are a pain. But if I had 'other
things' to use Python on consistently, I would definitely spend more
time with that.
 
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J

Jerry

John,

If you are really frustrated with this one (like I was on 14), email me
off-list to get further hints. I'm willing to help you out.

I wish that someone was around to help me work through some of these.
I really think they are more fun/helpful when you work on them with
another person so if you don't see something in the riddle, they just
might. For me, this is more about learning python than about solving
the riddles.
 

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