I've completed Application Missions 1 to 6 using packet sniffers, hex editors and by playing around with OllyDebug. It doesn't appear I can continue any further by using my half baked knowledge so I'm looking for good tutorials on OllyDebug. Google isn't all that friendly and the most useful tutorial I found is on the OllyDebug website itself.
I've done basic programming in assembly before and have studied compiler theory formally so I believe I have the necessary background for doing these challenges. But I feel I've been getting along by fluke. I don't even know the difference between the fifth and the sixth mission since I cracked them both in exactly the same way.
To try to learn to use the debugger, I wrote the hello world program in C and tried to see what the disassembled source code would look like. It was enormous. Much larger than the specialised code I would have written in assembly for achieving the same, but then again the printf function is a general function and not a specialised one. I tried to redo Mission 1 using disassembly with OllyDebug and I couldn't do it, even though the mission is a piece of cake using a hex editor.
I'm interested in knowing how you guys approached this difficult subject as newbies. I've never done anything as challenging as the application missions. Do you have any good resources for learning how to use OllyDebug and how to crack in general? I've found video tutorials online but my bandwidth would make it really slow to watch them.