[vcf-midatlantic] Interesting article about preserving Apple software (not hardware)

Henry S. Courbis info at reactivemicro.com
Thu Mar 29 18:51:48 EDT 2018

Hello Herb.


I'm not trash talking, so please don't take it as such and I'm sorry that
you did.  If I was against something in even the slightest way I would use
much harsher language and not left it unknown or nebulous in the
slightest.  I think I was pretty clear and concise in my words, albeit I'm
not the most eloquent of people.

To the contrary I much support all the past work done and all efforts to
preserve our digital past.  And I still stand by my words - "In my
opinion... [cracked software is] in no means 'preserved'.  Closest I can
come to a definition is 'emulated'."

To be concise - Cracking has been some of the best ways to date in order to
get heavily protected software able to be reproduced.  However it's not
original.  The protection is lost, title screens are lost, and in a lot of
cases it does not fully work.  Authors have attested to hidden protection
checks which were never discovered or disabled in the cracked versions, and
the program will not run the same as the original.  It's not impossible to
fully crack something, however the amount of effort to fully check a
program is not short of monumental - which was the whole reason those
secondary "quiet" checks were used.  A program won't crash or not run, it
just doesn't work the same or is disabled in some random or critical way.
And worst of all - no protection means future crackers will have nothing to
practice their craft on.

Or perhaps you mean things are "good enough" that we have a crack screen
with graffiti, missing title screens or credits, and a menu screen from a
program which is displayed but might not work like the original?  However I
don't honestly think this is where you are coming from, nor would I assume
this.  As I would hope you wouldn't assume I was trash talking the efforts
of those who crack by presenting news on a new project that will change the
way our software is preserved - and fully preserved.

>This is a discussion group, not an advertising platform.

Again, I'm sorry you took my reply as such.  I'm not sure what
"advertizing" I was doing however.  A Wiki page link?  Subscribe to a
newsletter to know about when a related item of the topic will be
released?  Perhaps you are not aware that I am not selling the item
discussed, nor is there an official news outlet or website besides a signal
twitter account which isn't updated that often.  You can barely find any
mentions doing even the most in depth google search.

I have taken on the task of trying to keep people informed while letting
the designer work and concentrate on more important matters.  I think my
lack of posting about actual products I sell speaks for itself.

I do however appreciate your views and feedback, and always like hearing
from people of the Community and discussing topics they enjoy and hold
dear.  And hopefully now I am more clear in my intentions.

Henry S. Courbis

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On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 2:07 PM, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> "Cracking" software to preserve it is akin to taking a picture of artwork
>> and letting the original rot away in my opinion.
>> Sure, some of the original bit patterns are intact, but it's not close to
>> an original in any sense of the word.
> I don't see the need to trash-talk, people who are working hard to recover
> programs and files from digital media.
> I"ve worked with a number of people who recover files from diskettes and
> audio cassettes. I'm doing so today. Some work with the physical media,
> some work with decoding the "flux changes", some with emulators and some
> with vintage or modern-replica hardware.  Some even resurrect hardware
> unavailable, or never available. They all, are collectively preserving
> programs and vintage computers, and making the experience of operating
> those programs available again. They are getting results. Results matter.
> I'm in no position to judge the merits of the product and services he's
> described. He's welcome to be enthusiastic, have particular interests, want
> to preserve certain things. I just don't care that he calls out other
> people's good work in the way he has.
> If we don't defend the good work of others, then maybe they won't work so
> hard to do more. Or get started at all. There's reasons to keep discussions
> "of good will". This is a discussion group, not an advertising platform.
> Perhaps in Mr. Courbis' enthusiasm for a product release, he wasn't clear
> about that concept.
> herb johnson
> retrotechnology.com
> --
> Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
> http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
> preserve, recover, restore 1970's computing
> email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
> or try later herbjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT info

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