I didn't know how to extend this discovery to the actual behavior of applications until I encountered an upgrade named "Super ResEdit" which provided a disassembly tool.
That showed a mysterious pair of columns with words like "ADD" and "MUL" and "BRA" and "BEQ" and so on in the first column, with some hex in the second column. What do those things mean? Hmm, if I hover over "BRA" and "BEQ" I get a little arrow pointing to a different line, and "BEQ" always follows a line like "CMP"... aha, "BRA" means "branch" and "CMP" means "compare" and "BEQ" means "branch if equal".
And the second column is some hex numbers which are always corresponding in the same way to the first column. If I change the second column, the first column changes to match!
And that's how child-me learned to search for "check_registration_code" and change the "BEQ" at the end to "BRA".
If you're familiar with the game, you might even be able to guess what this logic is for. :)
This particular version of the game used a modified version of that cheat code ("pirntopsguzzardo", with some weird conditions to trigger it). No idea what led to that change.
I didn't know english back then, so I memorized the letters in sequence.
Amazing I can still remember it, even the rhythmic sound I came up with to help me memorize, 25 years later.
So many hours spent in this game. I loved it. And I loved ResEdit just as much.
Tangent: there was a more feature-packed resource fork editor called Resorcerer, which I thought was clever and used as naming inspiration for my system-wide cursor hider tool, Cursorcerer: http://doomlaser.com/cursorcerer
Similar story here. I tweaked just about everything ResEdit could open and show graphical resources for. Netscape, IE, PangeaSoft games, random shareware games, the system itself, you name it.
Seeing my edits in "live" software was a blast. It inspired a certain curiosity and made a little bit of how software works click in my head much earlier on than it would have otherwise.
There's a blog post from last year (before it was kickstarted) discussing some of the file format stuff:
I'm considering teaching a "intro to hacking -- by way of game mods" course at my hackerspace some day using Endless Sky or NAEV.
Nowadays I can't even swap out the icon file of a Mac app without it running aground on the notarization stuff in modern versions of the OS. The age of ResEdit is as dead as a dogcow.
I even edited 'icon' resources in .r files ... maybe some kind of array of hex values? Christ, that was tedious.
And then I found ResEdit....
(At least in my foggy memory that is how I remember things.)
I was envious of my friends who had collected so many Calvin & Hobbes and Simpsons icons.
It's like punk rockers wearing badges, but nerdier.
Thank you for the simile -- so much more apt than a dodo, in this case!
ResEdit became one of the banned programs. If you were caught with it, you were immediately assumed guilty of changing the mac stop hands, to middle fingers, and various other juvenile activities.
> Interface Builder first made its appearance in 1986 written in Lisp (for the ExperLisp product by ExperTelligence). It was invented and developed by Jean-Marie Hullot using the object-oriented features in ExperLisp, and deeply integrated with the Macintosh toolbox. Denison Bollay took Jean-Marie Hullot to NeXT later that year to demonstrate it to Steve Jobs. Jobs immediately recognized its value, and started incorporating it into NeXTSTEP, and by 1988 it was part of NeXTSTEP 0.8. It was the first commercial application that allowed interface objects, such as buttons, menus, and windows, to be placed in an interface using a mouse. One notable early use of Interface Builder was the development of the first WorldWideWeb web browser by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, made using a NeXT workstation.
On Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/62618532
I used it a decade+ back for some random amusement, although even then IIRC, editing system files was problematic due to Windows File Protection.
Although, visual studio could do this to a certain extent with random .exe/.dlls too.
Is a fantastic book. There are hard copies for sale online, and BMUG released a CDROM version a bit later on.
I was so proud the day I took a text editor desk accessory, designed for good ol' Mac Plus 512x384 screens, and removed the window size limitation so I could have big windows on my humungous 1024x768 display.