A newbie writes...



Some recent hobby experiences for a newbie.

Having looked around this board, I decided to get an Elvis programmer and a gold card. I ordered it on the phone from mb-electronics (www.mb-electronics.co.uk). This was not the cheapest around, but it arrived the next day in perfect working order (apart from a dead floppy). I found the Ad-Technik AB who manufacture the 'Multiprogrammer 3.5' (Elvis' real name) and have an excellent site with (luckily) the latest software available for download. See http://www.adteknik.se/.

What I didn't fully realise is that the Elvis has two very strong points: it programs a gold card in one pass, with no 'loader' and it will emulate a Phoenix. This latter point becomes very useful when it comes to MKF, below.

I found the latest files for I*T D*g at http://www.offdigital.t0lerence.co.uk/. They have HEX files, keys and tips/help.

As a purely academic exercise I decided to load up the goldcard with the latest Kevlar HEX to see if it worked. (I have a fully working legal I*T D*g sub). I used the MP6 software that Ad-Teknik supply and with a minute it had finished. If I had popped it into the box, I would have found that it worked perfectly. Bearing in mind that I am a complete newbie and the programmer had only arrived that day, I would have been pretty stunned.

I then found MKF 4.3 at www.mkfind.co.uk. Now this is a truly impressive piece of software, extremely well written. In case you don't know it tells you more than you ever wanted to know about your genuine smartcard. It even has facilities in it to edit your card, although I would strongly advise against this, not least because it is illegal, apparently. It will talk to your card by putting the Elvis into Phoenix mode itself.

If you are going to use it, then follow the instructions very carefully, as you can render your card completely useless (or rather, more useless than it already is). You can change your channel package (PBM), read your own keys (MK01 & PPUA), read the operational keys (0C, 0D & 0E), read and write pay-per-view (PPV) event IDs. Some of this info is useful if you wanted to make a backup of your own, real, card in case of loss or damage.

All this knowledge is (mostly) thanks to the many experts who contribute to this board. May I take this opportunity to thank them.

I am still lost on one function: PPV. Although MKF can deal with this, the instructions are missing, but I am sure that one of the gurus here will fill in the blanks on this.