# Computer Puzzle

Okay, I’ve been putting this off long enough, just because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, so I’ll just ask.

``````There's a fairly simple puzzle that I'm working on that you could solve in two ways -- brute forcing it, and finding the "key", which, you know, is really just another way to brute force it in the end.

So, I've got a keyboard hooked up to a computer.  You need to press any key on the keyboard to wake the computer up.  On the computer is an open folder, with a file in it, that you have to open.  The "key" and/or brute forcing the problem is what you need to do to read the file after opening it.

So... what's a good way of making this little puzzle?  Do I make the folder a type of container with a folder inside, or do I just make it a list of "instead of x, do y" statements?  Maybe both?  And do I need to make a command for someone "clicking" the file, or is that covered by something else, like an extension?  Like, I noticed there was a computer extension -- would that help, in this situation?  Also, do I really have to name every key on the keyboard so that people can use it?``````

Here are the relevant excerpts from the computer I built in Transparent that might help get you started. I built everything as a physical, manipulable object, and wrote rules to keep people from doing things like picking up computer programs:

[spoiler][code]a computer is a device on fancy writing desk. The description is “It’s one of those modern aluminum ones that is basically just a screen.”

say “You’re not sure where it’s plugged in, you don’t know if you’ll mess something up by disconnecting it, and even though it’s a compact desktop model, you really don’t want to lug it around.”

computer can be glitched.

Understand “cpu/system/equipment” as computer.

A monitor is a supporter. It is part of computer. The description is “[if computer is switched off]It’s almost [i]too[/] glossy.[otherwise]The screen is very vivid and sharp, though you’d like to calibrate the color. The wallpaper onscreen is the [i]Paranormal Investigations[/] logo.[end if]”

computer desktop wallpaper is part of monitor. The description is “[if computer is switched off]You can’t see the computer’s desktop wallpaper when it is switched off.[otherwise]The wallpaper image on the computer is the [i]Paranormal Investigations[/] logo, which is a dark purplish figure in silhouette at the end of a ghostly green hallway aiming a flashlight at the viewer, causing a smoky lens-flare and the words ‘Paranormal Investigations’ to appear in crunky shadow letters (this is animated in the actual show). In the foreground gloom of the hallway closest to the edges, various wisps and tentacles and creatures on the walls, floor, and ceiling squirm and slither and skitter, closing in with a menacing sense of purpose toward the interloper in the background.[end if]”.

Understand “logo/background/paranormal/investigations/logo/figure/silhouette/hall/hallway/gloom/edges/wisp/wisps/tentacle/tentacles/creature/creatues/interloper” as computer desktop wallpaper.

Does the player mean doing something to the computer desktop wallpaper: it is very unlikely.

Understand “screen/display/desktop” as monitor.

Check switching on computer:
if electricity is false:
say “You find the button, but nothing seems to happen when you press it. More than likely the computer will work better when the electricity is on.” instead.

After switching on computer:
say “There is a whoosh of air and a thin beep. Some spinning fruit whirls onscreen as the system begins to boot up.”;
now computer is switched on;
now monitor is lit;
bootup occurs in two turns from now.

to say glitch:
if soundyes is true:
play sound of sizzlefade on foreground.

After looking in sitting room:
if computer is glitched:
if soundyes is true:
say “Something’s wrong [glitch]with the computer. A glitchy screensaver with static and sizzly bright lights flicker. As soon as your attention is focused, the computer promptly shuts down[first time]. You hope it’s not broken[only].[l]”;
bootdown;
now computer is not glitched;
if a random chance of 1 in 3 succeeds:
cut power.

Instead of examining computer when computer is switched on:
try examining monitor.

CPU is a container.

A thing can be digital.

a sound clip is a kind of thing. Understand “sound/clip” as a sound clip. A sound clip is usually digital. A sound clip can be filtered.

some weird icons are a digital thing in cpu. The description is “You’re not sure what a lot of these do.”

After examining icons:
try examining computer.

an audio file titled JAKE 1119AM is a sound clip in cpu. It is filtered. The description is “You play the sound file. [evp]”.

To say evp:
say “You hear the second unit crew muttering unintelligibly about microphones and clunking things around. Then, just barely audible, a whisper: [i]I am transparent…[/] The crew does not seem aware of this sound at all. Well, they must have eventually if they saved the file of it.”

PI-304 pdf is a digital thing in cpu. The description is “[script]”

An email client is a digital thing in cpu. The description is "[one of]You open up the email client and [or]You [stopping]click to the [one of]most recent[or]next[stopping] message.

[f][one of]From: Morgan@paranormalinvestigations.com[l]To: 2ndUnit@paranormalinvestigations.com[p]Hey Stace - The location is pretty remote so you shouldn’t have trouble with any locals. There’s no running water, but there IS electricity . The caretaker says it can be intermittent but there’s a fusebox in the cellar. He also mentioned a foyer switch with a short that sometimes takes a couple of on/off clicks to make it work right.[l]Parking is out front since it used to be a tourist attraction. According to the location scouts and the caretaker, there is a covered garage, but it’s inaccessible from the courtyard and the back side requires driving off the road and around trees and is locked with a padlock he doesn’t have a key to. Sorry bout that.[l]SPOOKYBOOZ!-Morgan[or]–All messages read.||Click NEXT to repeat from beginning||[cycling]"

a game is a kind of digital thing. Understand “game” as a game.

A game called Pushable Between Rooms is in cpu. The description is “[first time]Mhmm. [only]It’s [if we have examined portable]another [otherwise]a [end if]game of some kind–apparently the sequel to the one called Portable[if we have examined portable][one of]. You could spend some time playing this, but you are an adult and arcade games don’t amuse you in the slightest[or]. You could waste a lot of time with these things and you’ve got work to do[stopping][end if].”

A game called Portable is in cpu. The description is “[first time]You double click. Oh. [only]It’s[if we have examined pushable between rooms] another[end if] one of those weird indie games where you have to type in what you want to do[one of]. It immediately starts beeping at you and urges you to download some kind of thing or other, which you really can’t be bothered to mess around with[or]. You wonder if they still make those books where you choose what to do and flip the pages[stopping].”

Soundsational! is a digital thing in CPU. The description is “It’s a cheap sound app that’s good for adding weird effects to recorded sounds, or cleaning them up when they are noisy. You’ve seen Jake do it; basically it’s one step: PROCESS [i]soundfilename[/].”

processing is an action applying to one touchable thing. Understand “process [something]” and “filter [something]” as processing.

Check processing:
if soundsational! is not touchable:
say “You’d need a special computer application to do that.” instead.

Check processing:
if the noun is not a sound clip:
say “The app will only process audio files.” instead.

Check processing:
if the noun is filtered:
say “You give it a try, but Soundsational! notifies you that [the noun] file has already been cleaned up about as much as it can be.” instead.

Carry out processing:
now the noun is filtered.

Check putting something on monitor:
say “You tried to upload a banana to the family computer when you were five by smooshing it into the glass. You’re a lot more computer-savvy now.” instead.

Instead of taking a digital thing:
say “As real as the icons onscreen look, they are just [i]imaginary[/].”

Understand “play [a digital thing]” and “open [a digital thing]” and “click [a digital thing]” as examining.

At the time when bootup occurs:
if electricity is false:
do nothing;
otherwise:
now every thing in CPU is on monitor;
if computer is visible:
say “There is a happy beep as the OS loads, spreading cryptic icons across the desktop wallpaper. Some you recognize, many, you don’t.”;
otherwise:
say “You hear a happy beep from the sitting room.”

say “There doesn’t really seem to be a way to do so.”

To bootdown:
now every thing on monitor is in cpu;
now monitor is not lit;
if computer is visible:
if computer is switched on:
say “The computer monitor winks out with a briefly shrill tone.”;
now computer is switched off.[/code][/spoiler]

TL;DR:

[rant]The computer is a device, making it switchable on and off. Doing so calls “bootup” which moves icons and programs - “digital” things which cannot be taken - from an offstage container called “CPU” “onto” the monitor which is a supporter and makes it “lit”. I did this so I could add things to CPU that would then appear “on” the monitor when it was switched on, and keep those things consistent, storing them in CPU when it was turned off. “bootdown” moves everything from the monitor into the offstage CPU box so they can’t be used, un-lights the computer and switches it off. I did not simulate a keyboard, but made “click” and “open” pass to examining when a thing is digital, and wrote the actual physical manipulations of keyboard or mouse into the descriptions without modeling them.[/rant]

[spoiler]Sitting Room
This low-ceilinged room is furnished with several pieces of antique furniture and provided a place for guests to gather before dinner in the dining room to the west. It appears that the video crew also found this the most comfortable spot to lounge in as some of their equipment is still set up here. Another door leads north to the staircase.

You spy a fat juicy unoccupied electrical outlet for the battery charger right next to that ugly chair. Perfect.

You can also see an ugly chair, a fancy writing desk (on which is a computer), a photocopied newspaper story and an antique table lamp here.

turn on computer
(the computer)
There is a whoosh of air and a thin beep. Some spinning fruit whirls onscreen as the system begins to boot up.

z
You wait around for a bit, wondering if the Second Unit crew will show up.

z
Some time ticks by.

There is a happy beep as the OS loads, spreading cryptic icons across the desktop wallpaper. Some you recognize, many, you don’t.

x screen
The screen is very vivid and sharp, though you’d like to calibrate the color. The wallpaper onscreen is the Paranormal Investigations logo.

On the monitor are Soundsational !, Portable, Pushable Between Rooms, an email client, PI-304 pdf, an audio file titled JAKE 1119AM and some weird icons.

x wallpaper
(the wallpaper)
Most of the wallpaper is in surprisingly good shape, if only a bit faded. You are glad to note that if you should ever need a room in textured olive woodgrain, there’s a factory that manufactures a pattern with that somewhere.

x desktop wallpaper
The wallpaper image on the computer is the Paranormal Investigations logo, which is a dark purplish figure in silhouette at the end of a ghostly green hallway aiming a flashlight at the viewer, causing a smoky lens-flare and the words “Paranormal Investigations” to appear in crunky shadow letters (this is animated in the actual show). In the foreground gloom of the hallway closest to the edges, various wisps and tentacles and creatures on the walls, floor, and ceiling squirm and slither and skitter, closing in with a menacing sense of purpose toward the interloper in the background.

click audio file
You play the sound file. You hear the second unit crew muttering unintelligibly about microphones and clunking things around. Then, just barely audible, a whisper: I am transparent…
The crew does not seem aware of this sound at all. Well, they must have eventually if they saved the file of it.

click email
You open up the email client and click to the most recent message.

Ha! Too funny. Don’t let the ghosts getcha!
SPOOKYBOOZ!-Morgan
–Click NEXT for more||

click next
You click to the next message.

Morgan, can you send us a copy of the shooting script? We all had one and we’ve all lost them. Jake always loses his, but Aaron swears he set his down and it was gone the next instant. Probably a ghost!

(PS - I sent Aaron for a case of Raid from the store in town which I’m expensing. You wouldn’t believe the size of some of the bugs in this place.)

Thanks!-Stace

process file
You give it a try, but Soundsational! notifies you that the audio file titled JAKE 1119AM file has already been cleaned up about as much as it can be.[/spoiler]

[code]A computer is a switched off device. A keyboard is part of the computer. Instead of pushing the keyboard: try switching on the computer. Instead of switching on the keyboard: try switching on the computer.

Report switching on the computer: say “The monitor flickers to life, displaying a single folder. Inside it is a single password-protected file.”

A folder and a file are part of the computer. Instead of opening the file: say “The file is password-protected. You’ll need to type a password on the computer in order to open it.”

Understand “type [text] on [something]” as setting it to (with nouns reversed). Instead of setting the keyboard to a topic: try setting the computer to the topic understood.

Instead of setting the computer to “xyzzy”: say “The computer beeps, and begins listing all of the villain’s evil plans!”
Instead of setting the computer to a topic: say “The computer beeps. ‘Incorrect password.’”[/code]