A letter from +ORC
(With two 'modern zen' stories)
(21 August 1997)
Courtesy of Fravia's page
of reverse engineering
Well, read it
Dear fravia+, dear +gthorne, dear +sync,
Ok, here I am, back from a very long (and interesting) journey... and
I'm very happy with what I see (I was almost netless): the cracking
landscape has changed!
The quality (and the quantity) of the essays that you have made and
published is astonishing... I have myself never received so much input in
my life! Your "unit" is the only one that survived from the 1996 "levy",
and I'm happy to say that you went beyond all my expectations.
So I'm happy :=) Very happy :=D
I would say that, should I ever have had a role as cracking teacher,
this role is over now, thanks god.
You three (and many of the new crackers) have already gained a
remarkable level of competence, I don't believe I can teach you much more
about windows cracking, except, may be, how to gain a little more "zen"
feeling when moving through the code.
I know that this concept is "funny" and that at times it is difficult
to understand what I exactly mean... until you'll feel the code yourself.
I will therefore concentrate now on preparing my two promised "zen"
lessons, which I have not yet written.
Since to feel something with "zen" requires to be free from petty
conventions and to understand what's going on around you, I'll begin the
"zen" introduction with two short "modern zen" examples: the "bus
conductor" and "the mineral water".
(Read on +friends: you'll understand what I mean :=)
I call this kind of things "modern zen" lacking a better definition
of it, my essay about supermarket domination runs in the same line of
thought... well, judge by yourself:
+ORC's modern zen: The bus conductor
Once upon a time all busses in Europe had TWO men onboard: a driver
(driving) and a bus "conductor", who gave (and checked for) tickets,
supervised the bus and told the driver to wait a minute if an old lady was
slow in getting down from it. So was it in the fifties... in nice rural
England, in the beautiful center of Lissabon and in rainy Paris... all
over our beautiful and various old continent. Cities were clean and
(almost) unpolluted, people used bikes and public transport a lot. Few
noisy and stinky cars littered the main streets.
This "two people on board" bus system allowed, inter alia, beautiful
"half-open" busses, like the double decks in London and the "à impériale"
busses of Paris, these had an "open" part, where you could mount from the
street (or get down) almost everywhere you wanted, provided that the bus
halted at a red light (or simply had slowed down enough :=). Maximum
flexibility, perfect service, quality, leather, brass, beautiful public
transport facilities, you may still see some of them in the public
transport museums nowadays.
The presence of a conductor avoided most of the idiotic damages that
the poor zombies cause nowadays to the public transports (instead of - for
instance - painting with big white strips the private stinking cars parked
on the zebra crossings, these half-grown TV-zombies always damage only
the public alternative, spraying everywhere their moronic signatures, like
flies-shit... ) and the same reassuring presence contributed globally to
the use of the public transports even at night (where now many choose to
use their own cars, or a taxi, because they don't feel "sure" taking
public transports late at night).
The infamous "privatization" and "rationalization" trend of the last
decades, basically aimed to degrade the quality of life in the whole world
in order to allow more profits for the few that had the economic power,
among many other damages, wiped away the "conductors" all over the world.
The bus driver was now "the only man on board", he sold tickets (only
if necessary, because people were invited or economically compelled to buy
them, in blocks, elsewhere) and drove. Wouw! Only one salary to
pay! How rational! How clever! How modern!
I'm sure that many little bureaucratic ass holes all over Europe have
been promoted in the European traffic departments, in the seventies
and in the eighties, for having (copied) such a big smart idea! (I don't
need to explain you that such a smart idea was originally American, you'll
have already devised it by yourself :=)
And so they went rationalizing our busses, and tramways, and the few
trolley busses that had survived the precedent rationalization wave, when
all those non polluting, clean and silent electrically driven trolley
busses had been replaced by expensive, polluting and noisy combustion
My god, in the history books of the future they will speak of a
century that allowed combustion motors in the center of the towns like we
speak of last century England, that allowed child work in the mines...
this or either they will allow again child work in the mines... everything
is possible in the name of rationalization...
And so they went, cutting the bus companies staff by a half, a great
and smart rationalization operation! Private transport companies' profits
must have soared! Public transport companies must have feel "good" and
"modern", marching along, following the nice tunes of the spirit of the
In fact the real costs of this operation have of course been reversed
onto the public sector, it is moreover difficult to see them, yet they are
Here is the equation pro bus:
TWO SALARIES = 2*2000 = 4000 US dollars per month*
* ONE SALARY = 2000 US dollars per month*
* DAMAGES TO THE BUS
(cleaning and repairing) = 300 US dollars per month*
* LESS PEOPLE TAKING THE BUS
(not only at night) = 300 US dollars per month**
* UNCHECKED "BLACK" TRAVELLERS = 200 US dollars per month*
* ONE JOBLESS PERSON
(would have been a "conductor") = 1000 US dollars per month*
* ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGES
(caused by alternative use of cars) = 200 US dollars per month**
* HEALTH DAMAGES
(caused by alternative use of cars) = 200 US dollars per month**
TOTAL: = 4200 US dollars (at least)
* = real figures fir a middle-sized European city of 1-2 millions
** = my own evaluation, keeping pretty low
So the cost of having one employee instead of two is the same
(or even slightly superior) than what you would have paid keeping two of
them, yet the REPARTITION of such cost is quite different: The subsidy
necessary to cushion the augmentation of jobless people are in fact NOT
paid by any bus company (private or public), companies who could not care
less about who will pay them.
More: the obvious consequence that if you have filthy and "unsecured"
busses less people are going to use them, "choosing" private car
transportation instead (and making therefore our cities more noisy and
polluted, and diminishing even more the quality of life, a never ending
"evil circle"), although causing a slightly inferior "revenue" for the
company is greatly compensated by the halving of all salaries; health and
environmental damages... what the cuckoo do they mean for a bus company?
Man, we are speaking of budget balance here...
C'mon, +ORC, are you seriously saying that each bus should have two
attendants? Why not three then?
Yes, why not? What is more EXPENSIVE for the society? One driver and
two jobless drug addicts and a deteriorated town or three employees for
each bus and an healthy community? Bus "conductor" is not an "high
qualification" job, they could immediately pull a lot of people off the
streets into regular work if they cared for it, sparing quite a lot
of money... but the point is that they do not care at all and that
speeches like mine are almost blasphemous in a society where the cloak of
rationalization is used only to blind people, tricking them into loosing
life quality and into political immobility through a well orchestrated
propaganda machine in order, as always, to allow very few to make a lot of
profit... (what's even worse is that I cannot any more get onto my bus at
any red light either :=)
+ORC's modern zen: Mineral Water
Once upon a time there was (almost) no mineral water on this planet.
I know kids, you wont believe it. What did people drink in those long
forgotten days? You'll ask.
They drank TAP WATER. See: there was quite an ingenious system
of tubes, that carried drink water in every home, everywhere. The water
came directly in the kitchen and could be poured in a glass and drunk. The
vestiges of that system are still there, and if you go in your kitchen
you'll see a tap and eventually get some water out of it, but you wont
probably drink it.
People don't drink tap water anymore, they go to the supermarket, pay
in order to get 10 to 15 kilo heavy boxes of bottled mineral water in
plastic and carry that weight home, once or twice every week, in order to
drink. Well it's a big improvement: a century ago they had to go to the
river and did not need to pay anything at all.
With the mountains of plastic waste they fill enormous plastic litter
bags, that will be burnt somewhere, polluting the waters underneath, a
Why did that happen, you will say... hey! We thought we lived better
than before... is'nt life a continuous progress? That's a common and
widespread superstition, which almost all information sources
you'll have access to will gladly confirm.
I was also puzzled by this curious historical regression and checked,
and made a little research on this subject. You will really not believe
it, but you may check for yourself the relative regulamentation:
The standards for drinking water, sewage infiltration protection,
chlorine content and purity of the waters HAVE BEEN CONSTANTLY LOWERED,
starting in the sixties, throughout Europe (I don't even dare to think how
low such standards must be in the rest of the world).
This has many reasons, the main one being that the extensive
agricultural system actually favored (of course for profit reasons) uses a
lot of pesticides, which - of course - infect subterranean water reserves.
Yet there has been also an obvious "watermineral" economical aspect, at
least for the industry of this sector, which has lobbied hard to
avoid any amelioration of the water purity standards. You are therefore
compelled to have filthy water in your city because else you would not
help the "free market forces" buying (and carrying home) "their" mineral
water. You don't believe me? Check yourself.
As I was a child (long ago) you would have found in any restaurant a
bottle of common "tap" water on the table. I have not seen them since many
years any more, in all the European countries I have visited (and I think
I have visited almost all of them).
Yes, as I have repeatedly told you: quality of life has been
continuously and purposely lowered, in order to allow bigger profits for
the few that control this awful society of stupid slaves: planes land
noisy at night, whole suburbs abandoned to the savages, you have to carry
heavy water home and your pensions (should you have the right to a
pension) will be cut (or completely eliminated) in the near future in name
of the "rationalization". In the mean time all social cushions are being
stripped off one by one, in name of the "globalization" and of the "free
play" of the market forces, which are nothing else than the uncontrollable
throbbing for profits of the few that control these markets.
A nice society, think of it next time you sweat carrying home some
mineral water... tell me the truth: you almost forgot that you had a tap
in your kitchen, didn't you?
Well, that's it for now, I think.
Don't be deceived if there is nothing about cracking code above... decoding
life is much more important than decoding code, and you wont be able to
feel the code if you don't learn first to decode the world around you.
This does not mean that you should believe or agree with everything I say.
My personal opinions are my personal opinions and my "modern zen" writings
are only based on my "impressions". I am only using them as examples of a
reality that often IS NOT what it seems, nor what it believes to be, nor
what it says to be... in fact it is oft quite the contrary. What I said
for mineral water could be transposed easily to handkerchiefs (did you
ever calculated how much those "kleenex" and "Scottex" cost every year in
relation to any old wet piece of cloth?); kids' toys (they are
increasingly building toys made in order to RIP OFF kids of all fantasy
possibilities: kids get toys that are ALREADY TAILORED for a single task,
say "Barbie's wedding", so that the kid asks for another toy instead of
using the same for more than one task... recalls Micro$oft's strategy :-);
modern houses (and modern furniture for that matter) are more and more
made out of "poor" materials, bad jointed and bad assembled... the
consequences appear only after 10 years or so, and who cares about what
happens after 10 years? In the mean time you may have the joy of hearing
all neighbors' toilets and discussions in a radius of 2 kilometers. Try
moving in a house built before the second world war and you'll immediately
notice the difference... But why should they care? Rich will live in
(poorly build) isolated modern little villas (with an hour trip to go by
car to work, the poor sods) and only poor people living in the urban
ghettos will suffer... and so on and so on and so on.
A devastated, scorched society, that's where we live in, a desert of
intelligence where only some faint lights glow. Make so that your brain
will help others to find the way to understand the world around them with
unsullied eyes, that's the real task of a cracker.
Because we are more than code crackers: we are reality crackers, my
+ORC, the old red cracker, August 1997
And, as promised, a bilateral channel: I found an incredible easy way to
guarantee my anonimity trough hotmail.com.
Use freely this address: email@example.com (I'll answer ONLY to old or new
You are deep inside fravia's searchlores.org,
choose your way out:
Is reverse engineering illegal?