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Who/Which was your favourite Pirate/Cracker in the 'bad old days'

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I have a hacked copy of AR that I received years later. It was indeed done by Glenn.

 

I did tinker around with cracking games for a short time in the early nineties but on the ST. The only game I did crack successfully was Impact, Audiogenic's Breakout clone. Domark's Star Wars was another I tried but that seemed to have more than one technique. I don't remember too much about the Impact hack except that the protection system was very simple. Probably a simple bad sector protection. I just used DevPac's debugger and ran through the program one step at a time until I caught something suspicious. With Impact it was pretty obvious.

 

Back in the day, though, I did have quite a bit of stuff done by Rob C. Don't think I came across anything done by Glenn until the early nineties at the earliest.

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Yeah, I know. Those classic broken phrases were not in any of Homesoft's releases that I've seen. I was just making a comparison.

 

However, I had not thought about that message of mine in quite a while. I feel like I used an insulting tone way back then, and I apologize for that. I should not judge. I've been known to mangle a syllable or two from time to time, and I was born in the US.

 

I don't know if Mike reads these forums, but ...

 

MIKE: Thanks for your work! I like and respect the Homesoft collection, and I hope it continues to grow in the future. If you want to get credit for all of your hacks, then you should. You get to choose how.

 

 

 

Homesoft has released "titled" versions of many "filed" cracks and they look as good as the disk based originals. I have even extracted some of the filed versions from his disk images in order to improve my own collection of .xex files. Also, the 5200 conversions look great and I'm sure they took some work.

 

Anyway...

 

If enough floppy disks were available, and I had enough time, I might convert all of his .atr files to floppy.

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I made a program for the Atari 8bit in machine language (made with a machine-monitor, not assembler), called "MasterCrack III". It was used to make a single Text-only screen that then could be put in front of a game/program. When you loaded the game/program on disc/tape, you could see the text on a black screen. Mastercrack III had a text-editor (to design the screen), a load/save routine and also a nice REMOVE-intro option (to remove intro screens/programs from other crackers).

 

I also had to crack The Big Demo (HTT). Because my 1st Atari was a 600XL with a 1064 memory expansion. The BIG demo had a protection that checked the OS-rom of the Atari. Because my Atari 600XL was a rare version, the Big Demo didnt work. So , I was forced to crack it. Took me a while to get into the protection routine. But in the end, i was able to run the Big Demo on my 600XL.

 

funny fact was. This cracked version did NOT run on standard 800XL/130 XE computers.

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I thought you might be interested in this:

 

http://demozoo.org/productions/?platform=16&production_type=13

 

We are the only website atm that is also listing XL Crack-Intros.... Thanks to JAC! and Bob_er again :)

If you have any more of those... please get in touch.

 

Aha, you also have my Phantasy demo. :)

http://demozoo.org/productions/112953/

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S.O.D: Sure :) We already have a lot of 8bit stuff in there but I'm not done with adding stuff... and we need more supporters doing screenshots and adding credits.

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...

I also had to crack The Big Demo (HTT). Because my 1st Atari was a 600XL with a 1064 memory expansion. The BIG demo had a protection that checked the OS-rom of the Atari. Because my Atari 600XL was a rare version, the Big Demo didnt work. So , I was forced to crack it. Took me a while to get into the protection routine. But in the end, i was able to run the Big Demo on my 600XL.

 

funny fact was. This cracked version did NOT run on standard 800XL/130 XE computers.

 

Back in the day, I worked on the Big Demo for what seemed like forever to change the scroll line text. The president of our users group didn't like the "Fuckinx and anti-greetinx to all those asses who are using a sector-editor to hack our demo..." part of it. To display it at all, we would tape a piece of paper over the lower part of the screen, so it was "safe" for our younger members.

 

I never did find how they encrypted the text. All I managed to extract from it using a sector editor was the (very nice) Rebound font.

 

I wish there was a double density version of it that could all fit on one ATR, instead of disk-flipping.

 

The Big Demo is still one of my favorites, and I still sometimes load it up just to listen to the music and read the scrollers :)

Edited by Kyle22

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I know it's probably naughty of me asking this...seeming as though there's quite a few programmers here (who don't want their s/w hacked)

 

Like the subject say's...Who was your fave. pirate/cracker

 

these are the ones i remember

 

Mr. Bacardi (i think he came from germany)

Spite, SSMB, John E, Alias Maximus (and probably Others) from AURA

Steve Zipp

Mole eater (I think he was from London)

And the legend that is ROB C (or what not was to ST/E fanboys)

 

 

BTW...Boot menu's were the beez kneez

wow! somebody remembers me and aura

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I'm a little late to this thread, but back in the day I cracked quite a number of games here on the east coast (USA) that I later found in collections originating from the west coast.

 

I despised people that placed their graffitti on games - the only decent crack is one indistinguishable from the original. None of my cracks engaged in this nonsense.

 

You can tell which cracks are mine quite easily. Pressing reset never reboots, and pressing <start> and reset reboots. As far as I know, no one else ever used these techniques. Especially on ROM dumps.

 

I also wrote a startup menu program, and a solitaire implementation that used some display tricks to show multicolored text.

 

I went by the name "Crackerjack" but you would have only seen that on the menu program.

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I remember this thread now, I was quite impressed that Carmel had mixed me (Mole Eater at the time) with The Mole who was an excellent cracker called Mike who cracked almost all the EA games amongst others and also wrote the software for the Computer House dumper board that him and a guy called Dave Tuttle designed only to be ripped off by Computerhouse, never got a single penny for it...

 

All I did was cheats, a new levels version of Sidewinder called Raid over Libya (I did the code, a guy called Neil did the levels) and a few machine code utils that were not worth a look :)

 

To be mixed up with the Great Mole was very nice indeed, it would have made Mike laugh as we knew each other and he knew how poor my coding was :)

 

As always, a small world...

Edited by Mclaneinc

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I've seen many of the named pirates/crackers here in Chile, but most of the time, their fingerprints/intros were changed by local pirates/distributors after a couple of months.

 

Original software was rare in local stores, and I cracked some titles when they were unique. Lode Runner's Revenge and The Music Studio are two I can recall.

 

I also built file (XEX) versions of single boot disks (with or without an intro), as most of local Atari users had tape units instead of disk drives. For the same reason, I removed or changed some intros or loaders to be able to save them on tapes with custom/simplified loaders.

 

Another challenge was to remove the BASIC portion of Atari Paint and to write a new file manager that was able to save and restore images from tapes... I did that in assembler, so neither BASIC nor DOS was needed for that version.

 

All was done using a standard 800XL, a standard 1050 and my own set of utilities. :cool:

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Anything with "ArtSoft" on it came through Waterloo, Iowa. ArtSoft had the habit of stealing credit for hacks and I know that he really did some of what he took credit for. However, our little group of about 6 pirates had an old man with connections in Australia, New Zealand, UK, and Sweden. I contributed to one of the hacks but, I relied on two Happy drives and a Duplicator drive. Then came the breaker program from the maker of the Duplicator and it removed the protection from almost everything which took the fun out of making copies.

 

I read the entire thread and I can relate that the real game wasn't playing the software as much as it was the Protectors VS the Pirates. I always bet on the Pirates to crack/hack/copy it within two weeks of release.

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Back in the day, I worked on the Big Demo for what seemed like forever to change the scroll line text. The president of our users group didn't like the "Fuckinx and anti-greetinx to all those asses who are using a sector-editor to hack our demo..." part of it. To display it at all, we would tape a piece of paper over the lower part of the screen, so it was "safe" for our younger members.

 

I never did find how they encrypted the text. All I managed to extract from it using a sector editor was the (very nice) Rebound font.

 

I wish there was a double density version of it that could all fit on one ATR, instead of disk-flipping.

 

The Big Demo is still one of my favorites, and I still sometimes load it up just to listen to the music and read the scrollers icon_smile.gif

 

'never did find how they encrypted the text. All I managed to extract from it using a sector editor was the (very nice) Rebound font.'

 

Funny. I can recall that I suggested to use the 'system font - data' for masking data for the text, being Random but always available.

 

:)

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If I remember correctly the text was usually OR'ed, certainly it had a mathematical command, you could just reverse it in DISKEY or perform the opposite in memory with Omnimon..

 

I hate I can't remember exactly, its a long time since I was doing that sort of stuff :)

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If I remember correctly the text was usually OR'ed, certainly it had a mathematical command, you could just reverse it in DISKEY or perform the opposite in memory with Omnimon..

 

I hate I can't remember exactly, its a long time since I was doing that sort of stuff :)

 

Usually it was a XOR with a constant or a counter, being 255 ($FF) the most used constant other than zero (no XOR).

 

For constants, I developed an utility to search for a 3 characters substring from the credits that were displayed and allowed to edit that directly from the disk. It was called "BUSCADOR" and was written in Atari BASIC and then "compiled" with MMG BASIC Compiler.

 

buscador-1.png . buscador-4.png

 

The XEX is downloadable from my site: http://www.vitoco.cl/buscador/buscador.xex

Edited by vitoco

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Then came the breaker program from the maker of the Duplicator and it removed the protection from almost everything which took the fun out of making copies.

 

Do you still have that "Breaker Program" from the maker of the Duplicator?

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