What's in a bit - Designing, using and reverse-engineering binary file formats

Peter Bindels

60 minute session
16:30-17:30, Friday, 15th July 2022

Ever tried to create a .COM program by writing a text file and renaming it? How does your computer remember that something is a PNG image if you remove the extension? And why can you unzip some file formats but not others?

How do you make a program use a dataset that is too big for memory, but that fits on your disk? How do you store information compactly in a way that is quick to read?

Where do you begin to read a JPG file? And how do you read unknown binary files?

In this talk I will be explaining the history of binary file formats, the different styles of binary file formats that are in common use and give examples how to reverse engineer file formats. I will provide an intro into reading and designing binary file formats with the implied goal of efficiency and speed.

reverse engineering
file format

Peter Bindels

Peter is a dedicated software engineer that is eager to show the world how to use C++ and good design to write fast, efficient and reliable software.