I love AirBnB. But every now and then, I don’t want to scroll through multiple pages of listings to find a place to stay. I just want to be able to see a simple spreadsheet. That’s exactly what a web scraper is meant to do.
So you wanna prettify your user interface? Maybe make some custom buttons and use your own image instead of the default grey box on the left?
It’s actually not as difficult as I was expecting. All you need is a program like Photoshop or Gimp to make the .png, .jpg or .tif for your background and any buttons.
So Hopper’s Amazing Decipherer Script 1.0 was about 472 lines because it included ELSE IF clauses for every letter in the alphabet.
HADS 2.0 cuts it down to 77 lines because arrays, as it turns out, are incredibly useful when paired with loops.
Making a Rotated Alphabet
Deciphering a Caesar cipher requires that the alphabet be moved up by a certain number. Like so.
Notice that this is basically a 2-step process. Turn the letters of the alphabet into numbers 1-26. Then add the rotational value to each of them to find their new positions, in the code below that’s assigned to a variable called indexVar. In ROT1, A =1 and the rotational value is 1, so A = 1+1 = 2.
But what happens when you hit Z? Z=26 and the rotation is 1, so Z = 26+1 = 27.
So, you want to tell the computer IF the number goes above 27, then you want to reset it to 1 and continue.
A Slow Motion Loop
Arrays are a damn godsend. More specifically, they’re an easy way to deal with large lists. Why is this useful you ask? Imagine you want to run the same code on multiple items. The items could be numbers, letters, words, full sentences—anything. By putting those things in a list, or an array, you can loop through hundreds, even thousands, of items with just a few lines of code.
VG JNF N OEVTUG PBYQ QNL VA NCEVY NAQ GUR PYBPXF JRER FGEVXVAT GUVEGRRA JVAFGBA FZVGU UVF PUVA AHMMYRQ VAGB UVF OERNFG VA NA RSSBEG GB RFPNCR GUR IVYR JVAQ FYVCCRQ DHVPXYL GUEBHTU GUR TYNFF QBBEF BS IVPGBEL ZNAFVBAF GUBHTU ABG DHVPXYL RABHTU GB CERIRAG N FJVEY BS TEVGGL QHFG SEBZ RAGREVAT NYBAT JVGU UVZ
-No idea what this says. Damn you, Caesar.
The Caesar Shift is supposed to be ridiculously easy to decipher. I say supposed to be because while it might be easy to crack, translating the bastard is mind-numbingly painful if you have a substantial block of text.
There are quite a few resources online that’ll do it for you, but for kicks, I wrote an AHK that automates it—if you know how many positions you want to shift.
So How Does the Shift Work?
Say for some reason, you really wanted to know the hex code for every color in an image. And you really wanted to use AutoHotkey. This is the program for you.