FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions v2012

Greetings dear readers. Please have a read of the following FAQs before e-mailing me any questions, else you may not receive a reply.

General chit-chat, brief reversing discussion or information on most topics is always welcome, please don't be offended if I don't reply immediately or you receive only a 1 line acknowledgement. Please use your common sense and check firstly that the answer to your question isn't easily available through a search engine or by using the search facility on this site.

Q1. "I really need a crack for <insert program name>" or "I want to download <such and such application>" or "I'm having a problem with a crack for <such and such program>", can you please spoonfeed me the answer so that I don't have to make any effort whatsoever.

A1. Please do not insult my intelligence or your own by sending me e-mails like this. I will never respond to them. I prefer to spend my time helping those with genuine and interesting reverse engineering questions.

Q2. The program author has updated his software's version number so I can't follow your tutorial, or I believe I've found an error in one of your tutorials....., what should I do?.

A2. The program version problem blights all tutorials, many are out of date within days of being published. Unfortunately my time does not permit me to be continually updating each and every version. I recommend that you firstly try applying the technique I describe with the newer version, a lot of the time the author hasn't changed anything. If you find a mistake I've made (even a spelling error) then please send me a correction.

Q3. I have tried to reverse <insert program name> without success, can you please take a look for me?.

A3. This type of e-mail *may* get a response but it is unlikely I will do all of the hard work for you unless I'm sure that you have tried to help yourself and I'm interested personally. Check my dedicated services page for instances of where I have answered specific questions or helped out.

Q4. Are you currently (or have you ever been) a member of a (cracking / warez group / team)? and could you please just crack a few small things for me / join my new group?.

A4. I currently remain only a member of 1 scene group, although I do maintain good friendships with many prominent members of the scene. ALL of my past affiliations are now defunct, their time either having passed or their members having honorably retired. Specific groups include MEXELiTE (97), SiEGE, LND, DOD, ZENiTH, RiSE & SHOCK (and probably a few others I can't remember). About 10 years ago I cut completely my contacts with the warez scene as I have absolutely no desire to go to jail for 4 years, I would advise everyone to think very carefully before partaking in such activites, or you might end up being a PWA statistic or FL statistic or worse still, a DOD statistic.

Q5. Are you a member of the HCU?, who do I contact about joining? and who is +ORC?.

A5. As far as I know, the HCU ceased being in somewhat acrimonious circumstances around 1999. I have never been a member as I never attempted to pass any of the yearly "strainers" that were needed to gain admission. Unless someone can convince me now that there were untold benefits of joining I stand by my judgement that it wasn't ever worth doing so. I've a pretty good idea who +ORC is but no interest in exposing him now, you can read the details regarding +ORC-stalking on my own +ORC page, I maintain the page now, only as a tribute to times long since past.

Q6. How do I make a reverse engineering page / cracking site like yours?.

A6. I can only really offer some very basic advice. I started out writing my HTML with just Norton Commander for DOS, then switched to PageMill 3.0, and now I'm using UltraEdit (with some CSS). I recommend choosing your hosting provider very carefully, definitely avoid free places unless you enjoy moving your site around. Also, consider how much time you can devote to updating your web page, especially if you hope to rely on others contributing, my experience is that the vast majority of visitors will only ever leech. Finally, content is always king to a flourishing site.

Q7. I'm a <software author / protectionist> and I've found my <software / licensing system> cracked / featured on your site, I'm incredibly upset this has happened and I should like you to <remove the document altogether / remove the incriminating parts / drop dead in a ditch this instant> or I'll cry / get my lawyers to send you a really threatening letter, can you oblige?.

A7. I thoroughly dislike censorship in all of its guises, however, if you can present to me in a coherent manner a legitimate reason why something should be removed I'll almost certainly do it, note that threats do not constitute a 'legitimate reason' (are you listening Macrovision?).

Q8. Why must I contribute to your site? to be able to access the various SDK's etc.

A8. To be brief, my experience of the last 15 years tells me that the reverse engineering scene has abandoned its 'information and knowledge sharing' ethos. This seems to be due to a combination of commercialism (crackers being bought out by protectionists or wanting payment for their cracks), egotism and scene group competition, a further consequence of this evolution is that less capable newbies fill the void left behind. I'm tired of providing for undeserving leeches that contribute nothing and expect everything, thus rightly or perhaps wrongly I've restricted access to some of my materials to reflect the changing winds.

Helping This Site

Dearest visitor, thank you for visiting again or landing for the first time on my pages of reverse engineering and reading this section to see how you might be able to help. This site represents many hours of my work, a labour of love at times, virtually all of my research is published here and for free.

You are welcome, even encouraged to utilise it as you please. There are no commercial banners, no irritating JavaScript popups, no requests for you to visit my sponsors and no smut images, in short then, I'm appealing to your good consciences to help me if my site has in some small way helped you. If this is not the case (even though I may find that hard to believe, well go ahead and help yourself anyway).

The list below gives examples of the sorts of the things everyone can contribute and it is not exhaustive by any means.

1. Links to other RCE Sites, Protection Notes, Source Code, Tips & Tricks.
2. 404 reports, spelling or grammatical errors, artwork ameliorations.
3. Tools, Tutorials you have written.

Finally, if all of the above didn't persuade you that contributing something to my site is a good idea then maybe the following will.....

During its lifetime this site has collected in excess of 4 million hits, out of those I have probably received less than 20 contributions. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to recognise that is a dismal rate of return.

This site is read by many protection sellers and authors, from small concerns to the largest players in the game, the information here is often so good that some decide they have to resort to legal means to get it removed. I know categorically of at least 10 contributors to my site who have received direct job offers as a result of documents they have written. So you DIG?, if you are perhaps looking for a JOB in this game and getting PAID to do so, then you could do far worse than start by submitting your research for publication here.