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The Theory of Relative Searching – Document

Document: The Theory of Relative Searching
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Version: 1.01
Last updated: August 22, 2009
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Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is considered to be one of the utmost works of modern genius. Relative searching, while not quite as awe inspiring, seems to be almost as difficult to grasp for the fledgling ROM hacker. With this article, I intend to expound upon the theory of relative searching and explain the basis of how it works.

This document is not intended to explain the technical details of relative searching. Each hex editor (as well as the relative search utilities that preceded the feature’s common implementation in editors) works differently, so you will need to refer to your application’s documentation for instructions. What I will explain is the underlying technique that a relative search utility uses, that is, what the tool does, not how to make it do so.

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