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#128899 - 2004-11-04 02:26 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
ciper Offline
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Registered: 2004-11-03
Posts: 36
Dangit Shawn, you got me all excited. I though /t was part of the current release
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#128900 - 2004-11-04 02:36 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Shawn Administrator Offline
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Registered: 1999-08-13
Posts: 8611
sorry about that ... and I'm sorry that I mentioned the "password in login script" thing too, the lynch mob is already assembling.
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#128901 - 2004-11-04 03:18 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
ciper Offline
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Registered: 2004-11-03
Posts: 36
If I can summarize:

Reverse tokenizing will not be supported because tokenizing is a method of security that we shouldnt be using in the first place?

I see an easy fix that makes both side happy. A flag used when tokenizing. Omit the flag and the script can be extracted, add the flag and the application wont let you.

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#128902 - 2004-11-04 03:35 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Shawn Administrator Offline
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Registered: 1999-08-13
Posts: 8611
No not really - like Les said, tokenizing is not a method of security, its a way to make scripts smaller and faster, thats it. Tokenizing only mangles scripts (by default), and the developer has already admitted that one day, someone may reverse-engineer the byte code (despite having no reference material), and that tokenizing shouldn't be thought of as "secure" (cause it aint really).

Havind said that, tokenization does make the script awefully hard to read, for the casual "hacker/snooper" anyways ... depending on the situation, this may be a good thing ... I would be pretty comfortable with it.

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#128903 - 2004-11-04 03:44 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
ciper Offline
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Registered: 2004-11-03
Posts: 36
Quote:

CRC32.exe is something I had compiled internally. You can find it at http://home.comcast.net/~habullock/kix_solutions.htm




Awesome, thanks. Do you have to specify the file size or can you skip this step just for the crc value.
Also the link your provide for usage example is no longer valid, I guess this site switched message board format a while back?

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#128904 - 2004-11-04 03:46 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Les Offline
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Registered: 2001-06-11
Posts: 12734
Loc: fortfrances.on.ca
I disagree... well yes and no.

Tokenizing is obfuscation... plain and simple. It is a way to hide your source from casual reverse engineering. That said, those that want to obfuscate do not want reversibility.
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#128905 - 2004-11-04 03:48 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Les Offline
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Registered: 2001-06-11
Posts: 12734
Loc: fortfrances.on.ca
Here is a link to a discussion over at SL.
http://www.scriptlogic.com/forums/display_message.asp?mid=10260
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#128906 - 2004-11-04 03:51 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Shawn Administrator Offline
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Registered: 1999-08-13
Posts: 8611
One of our night-shift Moderators ;0) ... Richard H. from the U.K., wrote a neat utility called kixcrypt (look it up), it takes a script and encrypts it (using a proprietary algorithm that Richard keeps under his hat), and bundles it up into a single EXE thats awefully hard to decrypt, probably a better way to go then tokenizing. There are lots of members that use kixcrypt and love it.

-Shawn

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#128907 - 2004-11-04 03:56 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Les Offline
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Registered: 2001-06-11
Posts: 12734
Loc: fortfrances.on.ca
Ja, but he seconded my suggestion for MakeEXE.
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#128908 - 2004-11-04 03:10 PM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Richard H. Administrator Offline
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Registered: 2000-01-24
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Shawn says...
Quote:

Richard/Cappy ... you guys got any comments to add on this thread, whats your views on "the size of kix32.exe" ?




Not really. It's pretty much all been said and I think this thread has probably run it's course.

As I've been asked, I'll pick up a couple of points made earlier and add my own commentary.

KiXtart has grown quite a bit, but that is due to new facilities, not the support of old ones. This is self evident in the fact that the bulk of the current code has come with recent releases. Removing support for older systems will return a very small reduction at the cost of compatibility. Don't forget that the Win9x specific code is stored in an external DLL, and this is required only for specific functionality. The rest of the code is KiXtart specific and API handlers which will be the same regardless of OS support.

Removing "old" operating system support will save you a few external function calls and a couple of string constants (such as @PRODUCTSUITE returns). Let's be generous and say it saves 2048 bytes. It's probably not enough to drop the compiled code below the boundary required to reduce the file size.

You could reduce the size of kix32.exe by (say) having a version without COM automation support, but you could do this just as well by using an older version.

As a quick sanity check, here is a question for you:

Q. What is the most prevalent and probably lamest script interpreter available for the Windows environment? One with very limited features and klunky built-in commands and functions?

A: The batch interpreter, CMD.EXE

Now, how big is yours?

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#128909 - 2004-11-04 10:43 PM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
ciper Offline
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Registered: 2004-11-03
Posts: 36
No comments on using inline compression on the kix executable? I spent alot of effort comparing the different applications available for this and I would hope the contributors to this thread research UPX.

Make sure to view the corporate site for the developers of UPX, in order to establish credability. If you use Jabber or TurboIRC these have UPX from the source.
It may not be the best way to prove, but why do so many virus use UPX compression?

Richard H: "A: The batch interpreter, CMD.EXE"
cmd.exe on my system is 382k, which is bigger than the latest version of kix. However cmd.exe is included on every windows version used so no need to copy or run cmd from a remote location. CMD has an interactive shell too.

Hey, that could be interesting. A modification to the debug portion of the kix executable where instead of walking though a script you can type the commands on the fly


Edited by ciper (2004-11-04 10:58 PM)

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#128910 - 2004-11-04 11:25 PM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
ciper Offline
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Registered: 2004-11-03
Posts: 36
Okay, I have some data. This is a sample from just under 200k machines, that reported back in a 2.5 month period ending in september. The software installed with one of the devices reports back data including OS. I removed the specific amounts/percents from each and combined them at the bottom. Realize this data is biased towards people who use some type of internet connection.

7 OS versions are detected:
4.10.1998 Win 98 Gold
4.10.2222 Win 98 Second Edition
4.90.3000 Windows Me
5.0.2195 Windows 2000
5.1.2600 XP Pro
5.1.2600+(Home)+ XP Home
5.2.3790 2003 Server

% 9x Platform 17.47%
% NT platform 82.53%

I have to say more 9x based than I expected.

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#128911 - 2004-11-05 04:59 PM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Bryce Offline
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Registered: 2000-02-29
Posts: 3164
Loc: Houston TX
Quote:

Hey, that could be interesting. A modification to the debug portion of the kix executable where instead of walking though a script you can type the commands on the fly





or run this script......
Code:

while not @error
? "KixCL:>"gets $_c
$ = execute($_c)
loop



Bryce

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#128912 - 2004-11-06 12:40 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Sealeopard Offline
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Registered: 2001-04-25
Posts: 11162
Loc: Boston, MA, USA
Windows ME on a corporate network? Shudder.

I really have to wonder why you're so obsessed with squeezing every single bit out of KiXtart and the associated scipts? Have you checked how much other network traffic you're generating by e.g. regularly updating Winodws-based computers?

Also, an intelligent network design will enable you to host e.g. login scripts on computers in the local network. Additionally, by paring down the login scripts to the essentials that are to be performed during a login process you'd most likely get better savings. Anything not directly related to login processes should be moved into centralized admin scriptsa that make configuration changes remotely.
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#128913 - 2004-11-08 03:37 PM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Ruud van Velsen Offline
Developer
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Registered: 1999-05-06
Posts: 359
Loc: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Hi everyone,

first of all, I have to say that the length and depth of your discussions never stop to amaze me! It's this kind of input that keeps KiXtart alive and helps me shape its future

On the size of the KiXtart exe: yes, it's grown over the years and yes, I have looked at ways of shrinking it. However, the reality is that it really is quite small as-is. Apart from throwing out really big things, like 9x support or indeed COM automation, there is not a lot that can be done to decrease the size of the EXE. In fact, it will grow if I ever get around to adding a proper icon to it, for example .

On creating a 'trimmed down' version: I've considered creating a 9x specific version several times over the years. Up until now, I've decided against this approach, as it would introduce deployment challenges for environments with 9x/NT/XP clients.

Thanks for your support and keep posting!

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#128914 - 2004-11-10 03:36 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
ciper Offline
Fresh Scripter

Registered: 2004-11-03
Posts: 36
sealeopard: You misunderstood the source of those numbers. That is a representation of the average HOME user!

If I was to post the corporate world numbers the amount of 9x machines would be FAR less. Im still trying to get a copy of the NPD data which should show this.

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#128915 - 2004-11-10 03:44 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
ciper Offline
Fresh Scripter

Registered: 2004-11-03
Posts: 36
This board supports polls right?

Why not have a simple aproach to this. Have a respected board member post a poll with the rule that you cannot reply, only vote.

The choice would be
1. I use KIXtart on a windows 95 98 or ME machine
2. I use KIXtart on NT 2000 XP 2003 machines

Leave the poll open indefinitly. The contributors to this board are the people who use KIX, that would be the most accurate representation of what the KIX community needs.

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#128916 - 2004-11-10 03:51 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
ciper Offline
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Registered: 2004-11-03
Posts: 36
Ruud van Velsen: I have a question. You made 9X support into seperate dll files. Was this so that I can choose not to copy these extra files in order to reduce the size of the KIX application?

Well why not follow the same idea for the com portion? Then if you need this functionality you copy the com.dll file along with the Kix32.exe. Otherwise you skip the com.dll and have a small version of KIX32.


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#128917 - 2004-11-10 10:06 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Lonkero Administrator Offline
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Registered: 2001-06-05
Posts: 22332
Loc: OK
nice idea.
in general.
but we are not living on win9x!
at least I want to keep it simple, tight and mean.

with extra dll's floating around and stuff like that, no go.

and remembering the hastle from new kixers about how they install and use kix, current dll's in the zip should not be in same folder as the executable.
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#128918 - 2004-11-10 10:43 AM Re: Kix32.exe is too large, I use an old version.
Ruud van Velsen Offline
Developer
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Registered: 1999-05-06
Posts: 359
Loc: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The 9x support code uses so-called 'thunking' to get from 32-bit to the old 16-bit NETAPI.DLL. This technique is only supported on 9x itself. If it were built into the main executable, the executable would fail to run on anything but 9x. This is why the 9x support code is in separate DLL's.

Atually, if it had been possible, I would have built everything into a single EXE, just to keep the distribution and installation hassle to a minimum.

On COM interop: it's an interesting thought, but unfortunately we are not talking about a few calls tacked onto the engine. In reality, COM automation is tightly woven into the engine itself. If at all possible, moving COM interop to a separate DLL would be a massive amount of work.

Still, thanks for the input, keep it coming.

Ruud

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