The way things are different
Things are the way they are, because that is the way it is. If it were any different, things would have been different.
reality cracking
Reality Cracking
5 October 1999
by vanrigter
Courtesy of Reverser's page of reverse engineering
slightly edited
by reverser+
I'm publishing this small 'rant' because it is NOT the first time that someone calls my attention on this kind of (supposed) realities. In fact the following essay deserves a long comment, that I have duly made (on the fly, sorry for the shortcomings) yet I'll publish it at the bottom. You first read this and form your own opinion, then you 'll read my comments and see if we are thinking the same...
There is a crack, a crack in everything That's how the light gets in
(X)Beginner ( )Intermediate ( )Advanced ( )Expert

Im not sure if this will get published, because it explores the notion that +ORC is not whom we might think he is
There is no proof just interesting brain food.
The way things are different
Things are the way they are, because that is the way it is. If it were any different, things would have been different.
Written by vanrigter

In this "dog eats dog" world were nothing is sacred, it is nice to have an ally in the fight for justice the fight for a free web, an ally in the form of Reverser. Or is it?

Tools required
1 Brain (1/2 a Brain may not grasp it all)

Target's URL/FTP
Inside your skull

Target History
Some people dont use their brains, but just rely on the flow of the tide to take them places.

Hi Reverser

I have long been enjoying your pages and found it highly educational, even enligtening.

In the back of my mind the following idea has taken shape wich could change the way some percieve reality. Dont take this as a personall attack, some could just think it is true.

Let us say my name is Bill Gates and I have a nett worth of billions and I am the CEO of the largest company in the world. What is there left to achieve?

Well let us not go into all the mumblings of the masses of monopolies and all the known ideas of being world ruler etc.

Let us say I am bored stiff in this corporate setup surrounded by people who cant program and has no idea of life. To add excitement to life, I give myself the name +ORC and gather around me some net buddies, near fanatics, whom I incite to form a closely knit band of people calling themselves crackers. With my High Priests neatly following my way of thinking, I retreat into obscurity to neatly monitor the progress of my handiwork, coming out of hiding just to keep them on track. One of my followers, an extremeley bright fellow, Reverser+ surpasses all my expectations and forms the first free university on the net, spreading the truth like a virus. In the process all flaws and cracks of my billion dollar company are exposed people are contributing hours of their time to scrutinize all the programs my company has written, as well as that of my oposition.

In effect my manipulating mind has created my own personal quality controll section and research section, working for free.

Its like having a double agent, a real wolf in sheeps clothing.

Back to reality as we thought we knew it.

Reverser+ these pages are truly inspirational, but if we realy open our eyes WIDE + 1, what do we see. Let me tell you what you could see.

As an example, take In your writings on anonimity you encourage people to use it. But let us asume devious old Bill is behind it, WHY? - well why not. Another wolf in sheeps clothing. If you want to know who all these crackers are which are hurting your site, but you can't find out because they are annonymous, what do you do. You spend a few thou on a server, call it , let one of your trusted high priests preach it as gospel, and all the converted come to you. It is the same as if the police wishes to catch thieves and put the following advertisment in the paper GET YOUR FINGERPRINTS REMOVED PERMANENTLY, NO MORE BEING LINKED TO ANY THEFT SITE. And a very trusted thief in the thieving comunity convinces all his buddies how great it worked for him. And in the process the police get a nice database of potential thieves. In the process of removing the fingerprints, they smudge it in such a way that the special smudge detector can identify each smudge to a name in the database, and voila you are identified much easier than before.

What is the end result of your site, should you stop?

Let us examine your philosophy, you want to teach-, educate the masses, a very noble thought, To sound a bit like +ORC (see I actually like the guy), the zen way of looking at it. The idea of ying yang is aplicable here, the good and the bad the one being contained within each other, in other words as you increase the knowledge of the masses, you also increase the knowledge of the money hungering, little people munching, corporate world out there, the exact people you are out to fight. So in the end the game stays the same its just the playing field that becomes smaller.

It is an ongoing battle in wich you cannot stop, because if you will, someone else will do it (maybe not as good), So keep up the good work.

Be Paranoid


my email adress: vanrigter(at)mailcity(point)com

Final Notes
(I do not know Reverser+, +ORC or other famous cracker personally, this short piece is not intended to damage anybodys reputation, merely to rattle your cage into percieving things differently, In other words, If this is the truth or not, would the end result not stay the same?)

Reverser's postponed comments

Let's start (first point) stating that this kind of theories are typical semplifications-exaggerations: When people try to squeeze facts into a paranoical world-vision they either begin to nuke (or napalm) foreigners or they start to believe that Gates (or Pamela Anderson, or Hussein, or whoever happens to be under the lights) is the main font of all evils. Paranoia is like a sweetbar, the more you suck the more you suck.
I don't find at all credible the idea that Bill Gates could (personally) care in the least about what we are doing, nor that he would have had, back in 1995, any sound knowledge whatsoever about reverse engineering matters (maybe now he as acquired such knowledges, in the mean time, personally or through lakeys...).
As a matter of fact I have, searching the web, the impression that nowadays even monkeys, donkeys and university professors are quickly and enthusiastically moving over to our reversing world... eheh.
Granted, people like Gates could have paid someone, back in 1995, to spread something like +ORC tut, but that would have been on the short, medium and long term pretty contra-productive from his/her point of view and, moreover, it would have spoiled, IMO, the very purpose you are "discerning" behind his supposed moves...
See: either reversing software gives more power to the users, or it gives more information, feedback, whatever to the slavemasters. If the latter were true, I believe you would see it much more implemented and much less (legally) hindered.

Second point: you over-estimate (a lot) both +ORC's, the +HCU and my own contributions: the reversing scene is (and was from the beginning) MUCH more deep and complicated than you seem to think: there are (and have been) THOUSANDS of very good reversers (thanks God!) everywhere!
+ORC did not "create crackers" at all... they have been there since the beginning (I myself have been cracking protections on my wackely Sinclair Spectrum already in the 80's...)
In fact you'll nowadays find outstanding reversers (if you look hard enough) everywhere: as members of the crackers' groups, inside the (huge and clever) graphic "demo" scene, among the virii wizards, between the "keygen" cracking obsessed and even (though not so frequently IMO) inside the "plaudering" IRC scene :-)
And, besides, there are also hackers, cryptographers, clever protectors, html wizards, old unix masters... you name them... even trainers wizards and people cracking on-line games have learned all tricks of the trade... without us!
See: be humble! Even when you believe you have discovered a new planet, for others it's just hot water...
We are just part of a much broader movement (luckily, since history teaches us that we have some chances only when we are PART of the many waves, neither "the only one" nor "the first" wave... only primadonnas and ego-feeble kids may be bothered by the fact that they are just part of a throw of arrows, neither the first nor the quicker one),
Yes, we are part of a momentum-gathering movement that - from many paths and directions - is slowly converging towards a simple truth: the necessity to acknowledge, in a more and more 'abstract' software world, the fundamental importance of assembly (and reversing) for our "everyday life" reversing purposes (and anyone reading the reality cracking essays on my site knows how important this is).
It is a pendulous movement... a reaction: a bit of yang after the ying push (I'm following vanrigter's language :-) the more "they" (whoever "they" are, btw... it would be about time that we better define our targets...) would like you to be a Guinea Pig or to slurp advertisements and smile while drooling, the more you actually -all of a sudden- do NOT happen to want to be a Guinea Pig, to slurp advertisement or to drool.
Notice also how they HAVE TO pay even slaves, nowadays, in order to compel them to waych ads...

See: you don't need an +ORC to catalize that. Any sparkle would (and will :-) suffice.

Third point: the plan you accuse Gates of: let's have feedback for free on my bugs, is exactly what M$oft (and not only) is doing RIGHT NOW with the beta versions that do not work, with the bugs that have to be corrected by the end user and so on. Have a look at a standard Micro$oft disclaimer and you'll woner how anyone in his right mind could come to the idea of buying (i.e. spending real money for) such poorly implemented software...

I did advice Anonymizer? Yes, indeed, (a long) time ago I did in effect encourage people to use it (and other half-anonymizing tools as well, btw): I insist: better than nothing. See: there are scripts for those using PGP ("ah-ahhh! This mec uses PGP, from now on he should be scrutinized"), there are scripts for those using the words "crack", "kalashnikow", "detonator" and so on anywhere on the web... never believe you'r NOT being checked. From this point pf view I must agree with vanrighter... you'll NEVER be paranoid enough.
Don't think, anyway, that you have any good and real chance to keep and defend your anonymity on the web (unless you go to great lengths to protect yourself, which is extremely boring).
Moreover keep in mind that anonymity counter measures evolve with a speed we cannot even hope to follow: and nowadays I would give a different advice than the anonymizer... for instance have a look at the very recent (if I'm not mistaken they have been put up yesterday) Iefaf's proxy and tools pages: these links ARE really useful: and
So: this said paranoia is mostly dangerous, only seldom useful, my dear vanrigter...

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