Science Marches On

Dear Lazyweb,

I need a copy of some shitty Windows software called "Tranax Graphics Conversion Utility". Can you find it?

Long version:

So, we've got this ATM. And the bank insisted we "upgrade" it recently, which seems to have dragged us, kicking and screaming, from 1976 technology to 1981 technology.

It used to be that I could type in several pages of snarky comments for the ATM to cycle through while idle. But you can't do that any more: now, you have to upload those screens as images instead of typing in text.

That's right: 320x240, 1-bit, amber-on-purple images.

Whoa, teh future.

Anyway, the manual says you have to convert them from "PCX" to some proprietary format with this free Windows software... which I can't find, because apparently the manufacturer took all their downloads offline after the idiotic "ATM default password" bloggorrhea last year. I'm guessing they just trashed their entire download directory to prevent people from finding the PDF of the manual. Of course, the PDF of the manual is still easy to find, but the stuff I actually need -- the software to convert the images, and the software to upload them over the serial port -- is nowhere to be found.

I mailed them and asked, and they said, "no, go jump through someone else's hoops and have your distributor mail you a CD." Gee, thanks.

In the meantime, do any of you know where to find a mirror of the former download area of, probably somewhere in the vicinity of man_sw.cfm?

The creatively-named programs I'm looking for are called "Tranax Graphics Conversion Utility" and "CDOWN6.EXE" (or possibly "DOWNLOAD.EXE").

(If you're curious, details are in appendix D (page 94) of that still-easy-to-find manual.)

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34 Responses:

  1. toonhead_npl says:

    I'm assuming you tried the Wayback Machine to access that website throughout various times in the past ...?

  2. sc00ter says:

    But think of how cool it will be to have your LJ user icon images on the ATM.

  3. It's not an answer to your question, but are there any sample Tranax-format images provided? It's probably a dirt simple format.

    • jwz says:

      Not that I've found; but even then, I'd still need the software that knows how to talk to the ATM's serial port. I'm gonna go out on a limb with the crazy-assed guess that it's some insane binary protocol. Certainly it's undocumented.

      • omni_ferret says:

        It looks like you don't need the serial cable; you can "upload graphics via a phone connection directly to the ATM," using the software called "RMS Pro." [Insert RMS joke here.] It looks like that just needs a modem.

        Tranax reports a few technicians in the area. They might be friendlier.

  4. jcurious says:

    Could always investigate what is required to become a distributor or service tech so you can access the download portion of their site...


  5. ammonoid says:

    Is this the type of dealie where you get the screen that has the little green meatball with legs doing somersaults? Can you replace it with some kind of other thing, cuz that guy really annoys me, for no sane reason. It just does.

    PS I found the ATM snark at the DNA very amusing, even when I was paying $3.00 per transaction. Usually by that point I was too drunk to care.

  6. pyrop says:

    Get one of the image files from the ATM and put it online and let all the weenies who read your journal reverse-engineer it?

    How complicated can a 1-bit, 320x240 image file format be?

    • xunker says:

      You're dealing with magic-wall money machines, the answer is often "very".

      Example: I had a run in working on code dealing with logos that show up on counter-top credit car swippers so the store could personalize it, the image was a bitmap (RLL or something), 4 bit, so you'd think it was easy. You'd think that.

      But because it was dealing with money it had to be complicated. It was the same data as a bitmap image, but then the header needed to be munged, the data had to be XOR'd to within an inch of it's life and grabage had to be inserted at special points, all in the name of security.

      It wasn't encryption by any stretch and anyone with enough time to kill could unravel it, but it had to be there so the marketing people could say the system was "totally secure".

      I quote the noble Benjamin Franklin who said "Mo money, mo problems."

  7. molius says:

    have you tried GIMP? i was able to take a JPG and save it as a PCX file (lists it as Zsoft PCX image). that might work for you. i use the PortableApp version (Win32), but there is a Mac version as well. all i did was change the extension and GIMP saves it in that format.

    • madfire says:

      jwz doesn't need a pcx. he needs an internal atm bitmap format, which is undocumented.

    • jwz says:

      You just told me what Gimp is, and told me to run it on Windows. And you did this without bothering to read any of the other comments here.

      I can't tell any more whether you people are intentional or unintentional self-parodies.

      • molius says:

        sorry, i missed the PCX to screwball format bit (which madfire graciously pointed out to me). sure, i run Gimp on Windows, but i am aware of your distaste of Windows, which is why i thought Gimp (a non-Win32 version, linux, Mac, unix? pick your poison) might help (again, missing the whole screwball format point which you clearly stated).

        as for the intentional/unintentional self-parody, i like to flip a coin in the morning to see which it will be for the day. if i can't find a coin, i'll pour some froot loops on the counter and see if it is an odd or even number.

  8. lohphat says:

    Why isn't the ATM supplier helping you out?

    Why not change vendors to someone who will?

  9. fantasygoat says:

    Have you tried recompiling your kernel?

  10. The suggestion of contacting an actual atm repair rep off the record is probably the only workable under the table solution. The lazy web doesn't tend to cache software that is narrow spectrum, has no nostalgia associated with it, and can't be used to steal.

    Wow even trying to upload a file not mangled by the shite software can actually lock the atm up rather than simply be rejected. (and I quote)

    "You must use this utility. If you upload files created on your PC directly to
    the ATM it will corrupt the memory and in some cases require the mainboard
    to be re-flashed"

    Quick question. Your bank is forcing this upgrade. Aforementioned bank probably has access to the downloads section. Why can't you s.e. them into giving you the ability to "advertise" on your atm, or even have there service tech upload the images you create?

  11. Out of boredom I typed "Tranax Graphics Conversion Utility" into Google.

    The top hit was the blog of some obscure bar owner.

    Someone must have coined a word for this. Googlefart?