Author Topic: A Curious Facebook Suggestion  (Read 1717 times)

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Offline Collector

A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« on: April 18, 2022, 05:27:13 PM »
Facebook just suggested Avis Durgan as a friend. And yes, it is that Avis Durgan. Not sure what the connection was that got FB to suggest her. Jeff doesn't seem to have a presence on FB except for his paintings.


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Offline Kawa

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2022, 10:32:34 AM »
"That" Avis Durgan.

Makes me wonder. You might expect just about anyone here to know who Avis Durgan is, but you might be surprised.

Offline Collector

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2022, 06:04:36 PM »
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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2022, 01:35:23 AM »
Yeah I didn't have a clue about that or who that was. That's pretty random though lol.
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Offline Kawa

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2022, 06:13:43 AM »
Better than the whole "Justin Bailey" thing in Metroid.

Offline lance.ewing

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2023, 09:50:44 AM »
Regarding "Avis Durgan", the earliest game I have seen her name appear within the data of is the Time Zone game released in 1982. As far as I know, this was the first game that Jeff worked on. The story I've read somewhere was that Jeff started with the then On-Line Systems in 1981 while the Time Zone project was in development and he immediately joined that project team. This was Hires Adventure #5. It is not surprising then that Hires Adventure #6, i.e. The Dark Crystal, also has "Avis Durgan" in the data. I don't think Jeff is in the credits for that one (Greg Rowland is though) but I assume that they used Jeff's modified version of the ADL interpreter code from Time Zone in the Dark Crystal project.

While The Dark Crystal project team was hard at work, Jeff appears to have been working on other things, one of them being the September 1982 "Adventure in Serenia" release. This was a port of the 1980 Wizard and the Princess game (Hires Adventure #2) for the IBM PC. If we look in the data of that release, we'll also see Avis Durgan in there.

Note that it appears in different forms. Sometimes it is in all caps and joined together, but it is still clearly the same name. So when I say "Avis Durgan" appears, it may not be exactly like that. It might be AVISDURGAN or something similar.

Jeff worked with Chris Iden on the IBM PCJR port of the Wizard and the Princess that came out in 1984 and we can once again see Avis Durgan in that games data.

So when Jeff started refactoring the GAL interpreter code (written by Arthur Abraham, Chuck Tingley, etc.) to create the AGI V1 interpreter code used in KQ2, it isn't surprising that he added the Avis Durgan XOR logic, and from there it seems to have appeared in most AGI games that followed afterward, across the multiple platforms that AGI ran on.

I don't recall anyone mentioning if it appears in the SCI games. Perhaps he chose to stop doing that when he began working on SCI. Still, its an impressive number of Sierra games that he managed to hide that name within.

Offline Kawa

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2023, 10:13:34 AM »
Near as I can tell it does not appear in any SCI games.

Offline lskovlun

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2023, 04:54:25 PM »
It amuses me in the current debates about Artificial General Intelligence that it is abbreviated AGI. If I was working on such a program, I would certainly hide Avis Durgan somewhere in it. And say that it isn't the end of the world, because it will be superseded by SCI.

Seriously: The Avis Durgan string was used for obfuscation. Compression is also a kind of obfuscation. AGIv2 had obfuscation, but no compression. SCI had compression and didn't need more obfuscation. Did AGIv3 use Avis Durgan?

Offline Kawa

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2023, 05:31:07 PM »
There's an "Avis Durgan" literal in AGIDATA.OVL in my copies of KQ4 and MH1+2 for what it's worth :shrug:

Offline AGKorson

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2023, 09:50:25 PM »
Compression in AGI v3 came in two flavors, a version of LZW for logics, sounds and views, and a special compression (that converted 8 bit color values into 4 bit nibbles[ since only 4 bits are used to define colors]).  AGI v3 can read both compressed and uncompressed resources, as determined by the header (if uncompressed file size in header was equal to compressed size, AGI assumes no compression). When loading a logic, if the resource is compressed, AGI assumes the message section is NOT encrypted. If the logic is NOT compressed, then the same decryption as in v2 (using Avis Durgan) is applied.

Offline AGKorson

Re: A Curious Facebook Suggestion
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2023, 11:07:54 AM »
Also the OBJECT file- how could I forget that? Beginning with version 2.411 (including all v3 interpreters), the OBJECT file is encrypted with 'Avis Durgan'.


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