||                                                        ||
||        H O U S T O N  B L I N K I E  L E T T E R       ||
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||                                                        ||
||  Issue Two                             Number Three    ||
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||                   -----------------                    ||
||                 [ December 16, 1989 ]                  ||
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||                                                        ||
||                                                        ||
||           American Nihilist Underground Society        ||
||                                                        ||
||                          -(%)-                         ||
||                                                        ||

  S P E C I A L  C H R I S T M A S  S H O P L I F T  E D I T I O N

                    'Tis the Season to Be Jolly

     WELL, the season all faithful shoplifters have been waiting for
is here.  The vaunted Christmas economic season, known for excesses
of spending and profits, has arrived.  At this time of year, American
merchants as well as their juvenile customers get a gleam in their
eyes, the former because of the incredible cash flow they anticipate,
and the latter because of all the material goods they expect to
receive.  As well, it is a time of opportunity and danger for lifters
throughout the country, because of the immense amounts of merchandise
flowing in and out of the store and the increased security on the
part of the stores, and more dangerously, the pigs.
     Christmas is a commercialized holiday bonanza to most merchants.
As the season approaches, stores stock up on their best-seller items
in anticipation of the onslaught of Christmas shoppers.  So much
merchandise flows in, in fact, that it's quite hard for most
employees to keep track of it all, and some actually take advantage
of the opportunity to acquire "misplaced" merchandise.  Demonstration
models are also written off as lost, since after 40,000 people paw
and poke a demo it will probably fail.  Naturally, quite a lot of
merchandise just disappears.  Somewhere in the hellish equation of
"what we don't have" is a respectable percentage allotted to
shoplifters.  A sharp lifter can take advantage of the chaos of the
season and score more than usual with less risk, since whatever
disappears will be written off the page right away as merchants
scramble greedily to pack more cash into their bulging pockets.
     Keep in mind when lifting, however, you're up against a new foe.
Increased security is common at most malls, and sometimes even
undercover pigs appear in an attempt to nail the plethora of people
making off with thousands of dollars of unaccounted-for merchandise.
It's easy to avoid these people if you follow the guidelines and
techniques set forth by this and other publications in the past.
Remember to keep alert and avoid acting conspicuous, and you'll be
fine.  Another is tip is to always be looking for something in
particular, and use this if any salesperson asks.  Say that you're
"Just interested in Mushroom Farms" and he may either help you or
point you in the direction and let you figure it out by yourself.
     To facilitate your efforts, we have included part one of five of
the ANUS exclusive "Beginning Shoplifter's Tutorial."  Some of this
is old stuff for many people, but a little review never hurt anybody.
At least look it over to see if you can glean any new techniques.
We've also put in other helpful bits on lifting and blinkie running
for your holiday enjoyment.  So, enjoy your holidays and best wishes
from the delinquent crew at ANUS!

"A Beginning Shoplifter's Tutorial" Part 1

        With inflation constantly rising and the amount paid to many
people especially teenagers and college students remaining at a fixed
level of subsistence, the temptation to acquire things the old
fashioned way -- stealing them -- becomes almost unbearable.  And
with managers of stores increasingly following asinine policies and
discriminating against their younger customers, the element of
revenge comes into play when considering a lift at an establishment
that has treated yourself or friends with less than the deserved
level of respect.  At this point, intelligent individuals often make
the decision to go for a shoplifting spree at the vendor of their
        Your choice of store directly influences your success/failure
rate for lifting desired items.  Things to consider are popularity
with other lifters, security systems and/or personnel, location
relative to your home and merchandise carried.  A natural mistake
would be to roll out of bed one Saturday morning and trip on down the
street to your local Sound Warehouse.  Stumbling in the door, you'd
surreptitiously slide over to the CD's and pick out a classic disc by
AC/DC.  Turning away from the registers, you dump it into your pocket
and truck on home.  Right?  Bzzt.  First of all, said shoplifter went
to a store near his home.  This can cause problems, because he will
eventually reappear on their doorstep.  His second mistake was not to
take note of security systems and personnel deployment as he stumbled
in the door.  If goofus had looked more closely at the CD he lifted,
he would have noticed a metallic strip slimed onto the CD's plastic
wrapping.  This oversight got him nailed as he strode out between the
"lifter-detectors" by the main door.  He was probably spotted as well
by Sound Warehouse personnel on the floor of the shop as he dumped
the CD in his pants.  This lifter really made only one mistake, and
that was not thinking out his approach.  First, he should have picked
a store farther away from his home that he could scout beforehand for
security systems and count personnel.  Second, he should have
realized that he was dealing with the absolute professionals:  a
record store.
        Since the dawn of time, people with stereos have created a
massive market for music.  And, like any boom, the corrupt and
criminal came with the lucrative.  Teenagers have been hitting record
stores for years and gaining new albums that way.  As a result,
security has been beefed up and these people are always wary of
nervous young people.  Of any type of store to hit, and record store
is almost without exception the hardest.  It makes more sense to pick
up a high-ticket item someplace else and sell it for money to
actually buy the music needed.  No major security advance has really
hit the market before being battle-tested by a major chain of record
stores.  The two-way mirrors, detectable strips and camera systems
were perfected at national music chains.  The professional shoplifter
knows what he's up against in these cases and generally avoids them.
        Most stores are blissfully clueless about crime, since
sometimes they're so badly mismanaged that minor merchandise losses
don't cause a problem.  American chains are notorious for tossing a
few semi-competents in the same room and calling them management.
Under the jurisdiction of these people, massive amount of material
disappear, and it is written off as "inventory adjustment."  Record
stores and other stores selling commonly-stolen products, however,
are much smarter and will nail inexperienced shoplifters on a much
higher average than any other type of store.  Most stores don't
realize that with a minor investment in security, even if it is
merely dummy security such as fake two-way mirrors, can save them
large amounts of money in the long-term business forecast.  Probably
a full half of the stores in your average mall have no security
system.  From that amount, of course, must be subtracted the stores
that don't need them:  health food or furniture stores cases in
point.  However, that still leaves an impressive number of possible
targets.  Of these, there will be several that suit your needs
adequately and are safe enough to allow you to complete your task
        Naturally, which store you hit depends on what you need.  The
best idea I've come up with is to visit your local mall with a pad in
hand and take down every store that sells something worthwhile,
extent of security and general observations.  Make note of how many
people work there, if they have a back room or mirrors, and if they
are sloppy in their organization or if they would notice a pin
missing within seconds.  There are obvious clues to their degree of
organization.  If merchandise is piled haphazardly and displays are
cluttered with assorted junk, chances are that these people won't
notice a few disappearances.  Your best sign is a display shelf that
has little or no semblance of organization, with different items
scattered throughout the shelves without regard for classification.
A good example of this is your average secondhand shop, which usually
has shelves piled high with liberateable things.  On the other hand,
if items are neatly stacked in equal rows, your chances are quite
debatable.  Also take note of salesperson habits, such as sitting at
a counter and ringing purchases or wandering around and quizzing
shoppers on what exactly they need.  A salesperson who wanders can be
a blessing in a large store but a real deterrent in a smaller
establishment.  Make note of all these factors and stow your notes in
a database or file card system.  This will help you later on when you
need a last-minute item.

[  Look for parts two through five in upcoming Houston Blinkie
Letters.  ]

Uses for Metal Music

     You say, "What is metal music good for?"  Well, look no further,
my friends, because your questions have been answered.  Besides being
the number one producer of headaches, metal music has many additional
uses, as ANUS members have found.
     First of all, metal makes for excellent music on stealing
excursions such as blinkie runs.  It livens one's spirit, improves
his reflexes, and increases adrenalin flow.  Nothing is better for
the avid thief than a little "Master of Puppets" or "Last Caress".
Hell, even "Highway to Hell" will do.  The beat is very important.
The riskier the job, the faster the beat needs to be.  Blinkie
running requires music of the caliber of "Metal" or "Hard Rock".
Examples are AC/DC and Dangerous Toys, respectively.  Jobs such as
pigmobile stealing or bank robberies require something violent and
FAST.  I suggest German speed-metal such as Bathory and Sodom.  It
becomes evident that the optimum beat required is directly
proportional to the heinous deed about to be committed.
     If your school has a room set aside for seniors only, like mine,
replace the crap new wave they usually play with a little "Anthrax"
Speed metal has the ability to make EVERYBODY pissed off and angry at
each other, not to mention make some people uncontrollably bang their
heads.  Stupid, but neat.
     Metal is also useful for pissing off parents.  God, parents like
mine would freak at the slightest hint of distortion in music, which
explains their extensive collection of Barry Manilow.  Mine would say
"Oh, my god, that music is sooooo evil!"  Unless your parents were
raised in Hell, they will most likely object harshly.  So, the next
time momsie and popsie refuse to let you out of the house at 3:00 AM,
turn on your stereo to full while playing "Bodily Dismemberment" by
Rigor Mortis.  THAT should keep them up for a while!
     Metal also makes for excellent discussion during dinner-time.
This is especially true if you have a sister.  During din-din, excuse
thyself from the table and pop in "Pre-menstrual Princess Blues" by
S.O.D. and examine the forming expression on sis's face.  This will
probably follow with some lengthy discussion on AIDS and abortion by
     "Now Melissa, I don't want you to get knocked up by some horny
senior and have to get an abortion.  I don't want you to get A.I.D.S.
     "But Mom!  I can't help it!"  This will probably embarrass your
sister until she bursts.
     Another use for metal is for aiding the quick writing of college
essays.  This is especially useful if you are a chronic
procrastinator like myself.  I will usually pop Rigor Mortis into the
CD player and proceed to write my essay.  In addition to producing
essays studded with allusions to death and Satan, metal ensures that
that essay will make it on time.  If you are the type that writes
essays well in advance, all I have to say to you is "Fuck you, it's
     Fuck, more uses...  Aha!  Sex!  Pressed for time?  Well, nothing
speeds sex up more than a little Nuclear Assault.  Just remember to
pull it out before, well, you know!
     Yes, I admit, I was bored when I wrote this mutant monster from
the pregnant stillness of my mind.  Please excuse the uselessness of
this file.  Fuck you, and have a Merry fucking Christmas!


Top Ten Steal Me's -- Christmas 1989

10   Bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label
9    Commodore 128D
8    AT&T Multi-Line Phone
7    Apple Modem 300/1200
6    Apple 3.5" Disk Drive
5    Alpine Car Stereo
4    Passport Radar Detector
3    Police Bingos
2    Mazda MX-5 Miata
1    Talking Toaster  ("Your toast is on fire.  Have a nice day.")

Correspondence Hell

     We're sending our Christmas wish list to John Sculley.  Below is
a sample of it, the part where we get to our "Apple II wish list"
which I believe was right below the "Groupie Wish List" and the
"Imported Vehicle Wish List."  Here it is, straight from the ANUS

Our Dream IIgs Plus

     *  Running speed of at least 6 MHz
     *  Graphics modes with 256 colors in 320x200 mode, 128 colors
in 640x200 mode, and 64 colors in the new 640x320 mode

     *  More sound and graphics RAM, and faster internal RAM

     *  Faster disk I/O, and built-in SCSI port

     *  More slots

     *  Pressure on developers to do something with this machine

     In creating this list, we attempted to put together a reasonable
list, not a "20 MHz 32-bit color IIgs that runs just like a
Macintosh" like many local morons have suggested.  This needs to be a
realistic set of guidelines for developing a new machine, taking into
consideration the absolute refusal of Western Design Center to turn
out a 32-bit 6500 chip or speed up the 65C816 significantly, and the
weakened market due to better-supported machines popping up while
Apple wasn't looking.  Hopefully, the friendly faces at Apple
Computer will someday create an Apple II with specifications close to
or surpassing this, but from the looks of things it won't be real

Blinkie Update

     Houston's blinkie scene is progressing nicely.  Numerous small
construction projects have been undertaken in residential
neighborhoods, which means that blinkies are appearing on back
streets near mudholes.  As a result, they are accessible to anyone
with a car and the desire to stay out until 3:00 A.M. with a blinkie
tool as his only friend, Miller Lite aside.  In the future, we plan
several big runs, but lately we haven't done much for the blinkie
cause.  Part of it has been the plague of rain which has converted
most of Houston to clay-spotted muck for the past two weekends.  The
other part is that ANUS members have been engaged in various other
activities of equal intrinsic value to blinkie running.  We've also
been busy acquiring equipment for The Land of Bohica, which has
recently gone up under the expert jurisdiction of Chromatic Death.
     The future shines brightly ahead of us, as Houston heads from
out of a slew of rainy nights and into a future of more construction
projects than we can count.  Some of them will be in areas nigh
traversed by pigskin, and we plan to take full advantage of this
fault in Houston's criminal justice system.
     So, until our next full blinkie report, keep up the nickel and
dime runs -- every last blinkie counts.  Keep in mind that Christmas
is coming up, and if you really need a gift for someone, there's
nothing better than a blinkie.

The Blinkie Run Diet

     When preparing for a blinkie run, one must intake a carefully
calibrated balance of foods to ensure equal levels of energy
throughout the long night of the blinkie run.  A mistake people often
make is to either cram themselves full of food shortly before a night
of terror or not eat prior to their nocturnal activities.  We've
formulated the Blinkie Run Diet (tm) for special energy maintenance
essential to the successful blinkie run.
     The Diet is divided up into four categories: well before,
before, during and after.  These categories contain lists of foods
that you can consume as a group or individually in conjunction with
other foods.  Keep in mind, however, that you do not want to eat more
than usual, as the incredible balance of the Blinkie Run Diet will
compensate for the extended exertion you will experience on your run.

Well Before

     Noodles and other high-starch foods
     Twinkies and other fruity foods


     Dr Pepper
     A&W Root Beer
     Butterfinger bars
     Sugar Cubes
     ( We adapted this portion of the diet from the Houston Police
Diet, page 91, paragraph "C".)


     Twinkies and Ding-Dongs


     Shipley's Donuts
     Dunkin' Donuts

     It's important to adhere to this diet each time you blinkie run,
since the specially-formulated mix of foods provides unusual amounts
of energy which you will become accustomed to, and the lack thereof
will result in diminished capabilities.

Houston PIG Department Report

     The Houston oinkers are heading for deep trouble.  In recent
months, they've shot two innocent black citizens, as well as numerous
dogs.  As a result of these "problems", HPD is about to receive a
citizen review board to look over the causes and effects of these
problems.  Naturally, this group will come up with some suggestions
based on the incidents that occurred, some of which will undoubtedly
hamper police actions in the future.  This development delights most
ANUS members, as criminals, but this will just make the pigs even
more acrid when dealing with teenage delinquents like ourselves.
     The first incident involved the shooting of Ida Lee Delaney, a
50-year-old black female employee of the Houston Post, by an off-duty
pig with two times the intoxication level of alcohol in his
bloodstream.  He was out of uniform and driving drunk with two
friends of his, both like the officer in their Mexican ancestry and
intoxication.  Reportedly they pulled aside Delaney's vehicle and
flashed their lights several times, at which point she took off for a
parking lot and eventually engaged the pigs in a shootout in which
she was eventually killed.  The pig is now under surveillance by his
department and Delaney is six feet under.  All evidence indicates
that she was not intoxicated at the time, nor a habitual drinker or
possessor of a criminal record.
     A short time afterwards, a Houston pig classified by co-workers
as a "Rambo" and "survivalist" shot a black security guard four
times, in the back.  Dead men tell no tales, and neither does this
security guard, so no one is sure of what really happened, but this
shooting was the third kill in seven years for the pig, who had shot
another black man several years before under questionable
circumstances.  This officer carried extra weapons on his person and
was a well-known bigot in his section of the department.  The pig
said the the security guard drew a weapon from the seat next to him
when stopped for "speeding" and therefore had to be shot, but most
evidence says that this pig just shot the poor guy out of purely
racist motives.  Hopefully, they'll lock this pig up for the rest of
his life, but the damage is already done to HPD, which is facing
allegations of racism from multiple sources right now.
     Whatever happens will probably be a loss to the pigs based upon
the current indications.  More restrictions and rules will probably
be implemented and the pigs will suffer more cutbacks the next time
Houston's budget is over-extended again.


I.  Thou shalt not look like anything but another harmless vegetable
in thy journeys throughout the malls, stores and legal system of the

II.  Thou shalt not wink at security cameras.

III.  Thou shalt check thy behind, sides and corners before thou
liftest an item.

IV.  Thou shalt not ignore dinks, as they may condemn thou to rotteth
in the legal system of thine aggressors.

V.  Thou shalt not wear a trenchcoat.

VI.  Thou shalt avoid suspicion at all times, for thine enemies may
identify thee later.

VII.  Thou shalt not underestimate the intelligence of the floor
personnel, for they are thy real enemy.

VIII.  Thou shalt not dress like one who is rich, for this makes
thine enemy devoid of sympathy.

IX.  Thou shalt not maketh a hasty exit.

X.  Thou shalt not turn into blind corners.

Chain Store Update -- November 1989

Radio Shack - the Rat Shack stores are split evenly between those
with respectable security and those without.  All the stores have a
one-way mirror in back and roving salespeople, but some have large
silver domes on the ceiling which may or may not be manned or turned
on.  Salespeople at Radio Shack are getting smarter, and have been
leaving display handycams recording as of late.  Be very careful of
this, because just because a camera isn't hooked to a video monitor
doesn't mean it didn't catch you snagging that VCR.

Highland Superstores - these people use a security tape exit system
and a salesperson bug-the-shit-out-of-you system.  They have strips
of metallic tape enclosed in a cheap white plastic boxlet that
adheres to the side of every product they sell.  These can be pried
off, but this makes much noise, so it makes more sense to just whip
out the old Swiss Army knife and slash the annoyance off.  Of course,
while you are attempting this feat, all sorts of funny-looking people
will come up to you and ask you, "Can I help you?"  These individuals
are salespeople, and they are specially trained to interdict
shipments of merchandise out the front door.  However, these people
are never that bright, and can be outwitted by careful footwork while
lifting or having a friend play doofus and kick over a display of
cheap Taiwanese radios.

Federated - has almost no security.  There are some security towers
by the front door, but they don't really do anything except for
prevent the thieving of really large items.  For small things, like a
box of 3.5" disks, just duck behind a display and slip it into your
clothes.  These people also forgot about the "If it's not nailed
down, it's free" rule, because they left numerous display items
(including an Amiga 500) unguarded and unsecured.  Feel free to lift
to your heart's content at a place with security this sloppy.

Software Etc - uses magnetic dental floss on every item in the store.
Two separate strands of the floss are taped down one on top of the
other, so that when one is removed, one remains.  Beware of this,
since you can go right out through the security checkers and be
unaware of the second strip.  This place also has a back room that
has an eyehole, so don't assume that the second employee cannot get
you if he is in the back room.

Sam Goody - the answer to all of your music needs.  These stores do
not come equipped with any security other than employees and tapes
kept in plastic frames to prevent their theft.  Of course, the tape
can be popped out, but this causes noise.  A better way is to walk in
with a large department store bag and just throw the whole thing,
frame and all, into your bag.  CD's are left unguarded, however, and
are ripe for the picking by anyone with a quick right hand and some

Babbage's - does not have any security save personnel.  Walk in with
a bag and come out with free software.  They usually have two
salespeople on duty, but on heavy days more will be lying dormant in
the back.  Lift away, but keep in mind that the door built into the
back of the store is prone to open at any time and admit more
salespeople into the store.

CompuRite - does not have any security, but personnel are vicious and
tend to follow you around.  These people are smarter than their
competition, and do not design cramped or secluded displays from
which tons of merchandise can be liberated.  Salespeople will not
only ask you questions but also try and keep people who look like
tyros or people who look too smart away from the machines unless a
salesperson is present.  However, on busy days they can fail to
notice a box of disks or two disappearing.  Very few stealable items
such as external disk drives are in this store.

ComputerCraft - still blissfully stupid, after all of these years.
Most of their stores still do not have any form of security, although
some of the newer ones have ceiling mirrors, but these may be decoys.
They cram displays and software racks into corners and seclude
computers they don't like from the main part of the store.  As a
result, it is very easy to gain Apple equipment from these people.
ComputerCraft is getting increasingly greedy as prices on both MS-DOS
and Apple machines rise with capabilities, and both lines push for
more power at a higher price.  As a direct result, ComputerCraft's
security has taken a turn for the sloppy, and they're starting to
lose merchandise.  Their software is still on racks obscured from
their line of vision, so liberation can be greatly facilitated by a
pocket knife.  Also, keep in mind that ComputerCraft's salespeople
are generally complete morons, but there are a few
intelligent ones scattered around the store.

Assembly Hell, Part 1

     This is a tutorial on simple deprotection schemes for 8-bit
Apple machines.  It is assumed that the reader has some previous
knowledge of machine language and understands some basic concepts
about inner Apple II workings.  Since the code and tactics featured
in this article are for 8-bit processors only, IIgs users will find
it totally inapplicable to their needs.
     For starters, do an equipment check.  You'll need an Apple II
Plus, //e or //c with at least one disk drive and a program capable
of sector editing such as Block Warden or the old standby, Copy II
Plus.  Also needed are time and probably a machine language reference
book, since this tutorial does not cover depth of machine language,
but instead application in certain instances.  As this file
progresses, you will find that you are required to make some
modifications to your disk as you go along, and this is where the
track editor comes in handy.  Make sure you know how to use it when
the time comes.
Basic Methodology

     What we are going to delve into is the method of using boot
tracing to follow and remove the copy protection on an 8-bit program.
Boot tracing is basically a method for following the execution of the
machine language code used to boot the disk and load in the data.
Often, these protection schemes rely on skewed disk sectors, data
encryption and password access.  Since covering all of these in depth
would require most of a book, we've decided to instead lay down a
heavy dose of boot tracing theory and practice, and rely on your
intelligence to guide you through other cracks you do on your own.
     The principle behind boot tracing is using interrupts to see
what certain segments of code actually do.  Instead of allowing the
program to execute freely as it normally does, we put some "jumps,"
commands similar to BASIC's GOTO or GOSUB in the program at strategic
locations, causing the code to stop executing at certain points so we
can interpret and modify it.  We rely on the fact that Apple II's
keep their basic disk I/O routines in firmware, and as a result all
programs have to follow a standard format in at least the first block
of the disk.  From there, we can stop and start the program at will
using interrupts until we can figure out exactly what the program is
doing.  Then, with a little imagination, we can make some innovative
changes which ensure easy distribution of the program without the
hassle of copy protection.
     Apples address things like disk I/O through memory locations in
the memory map of the computer.  The memory map is a list of
locations that are either memory or firmware and can be either called
or modified depending on which type they are.  An example would be
something like location 768 from BASIC, which can be used to store
data, in contrast to location -16336, which if peeked or poked clicks
the speaker.  Naturally, these routines are called often, but because
they are in firmware, they cannot be changed to suit a user's
individual needs.  However, they can be moved to memory locations
where they can be modified.  This ability is the backbone of our
technique and enables us to boot trace at will.  The process thus
follows: loading in the boot code in ROM to a modifyable location,
making a few changes, and then booting our bit copy of a protected
disk, in this case Maniac Mansion.  At this point, we will begin the
prolonged and arduous process of "tracing" the code to find the
protection routine.  This involves slipping stops, similar to BASIC's
END statement, into strategic locations in the code to figure out
what exactly is going on.  Since the copy protection schemes vary a
great deal (by manufacturer or programmer) the actual boot tracing
you will find yourself doing may not resemble our endeavors much at
all in the final execution, however, you will be using the same basic
     Boot tracing is a fairly common method of deprotection on other
types of computers as well, for example, the Macintosh.  So, whatever
you learn here will help you deprotect stuff on other machines in the
future as Apple completes its belated abortion of the people's
machine: the Apple II.  In our next episode, we will get down to the
actual code crunching, but it is recommended that you have a fair
knowledge of Apple machine code before you begin this, or it may
become complicated.


     Well, that's it for this issue.  Too bad.  But, those of us at
ANUS who aren't laid low for finals are busy celebrating our favorite
ceremony - the sacred rites of snag.  We're enjoying ourselves,
probably not sober, and we hope you aren't either.
     So, go fuck yourselves all and have a merry Christmas, and may
you get an abundance of new material possessions the old-fashioned

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Copyright © 1986-1997 American Nihilist Underground Society. All rights reserved.