Who I Am
My name is François. Although I've been active on the Amiga demo and crack scenes from 1988 to 1993, today in my daily work I help fight counterfeiting and piracy, in offering a tribune and working group capabilities to EU legislators, national government officials, right holders, IP attorneys, lobbying groups, as well as police and customs enforcement officers.
Maybe some will be tempted to say it's bad, as my present occupation would equate betraying my past and my supposed values. It doesn't. First I'm not different as compared to former hackers who have become security experts. Second I've never been a hacktivist, but just someone who had fun with friends who shared the same hobbies and the same sense of competition and challlenges. In the end, I don't regret what I have done in the past, and now I'm proud to pay my taxes while using the experience I've acquired to help supporting innovation, growth and jobs. There's no contradiction. When you take the time to think about it, piracy is seriously damaging the economy. That's why today, my first commitment is to help the economy recover.
See my LinkedIn profile (profile/view?id=31350132) for more information.
Who I Was On The Scene
From 1985 to 1995 I've been active on the Amstrad CPC (1985-1988), Amiga (1988-1995) and PC (1992-1993) scenes.
Groups I've Been A Member Of And What I Did For Them
I have been a member of many groups.
See my profile as Voyce on AMP/Da Scene for more information:
Founder & Group Organizer
1988-1990: I have been founder of various French-based small groups. In 1989 I have been co-leader then leader of Brainstormers (the founder and co-leader was SML a.k.a. Dr Gang), a small-scale French-born international group with notably ex-Ackerlight members. BSM was one of the three members of the French Connection, along with Phoenix and Demons.
1991: From the beginning of the year and on, I have been founder and global organizer, then demo organizer (1993-1995) of Delight, an international group which has reached 70 members at its top, and has welcomed more than 220 members in 17+ countries throughout its whole existence (1991-today). Later on this year, I have also been co-founder of Model, and a founding member of Nemesis.
1992: I have been co-founder of Interpol along with Maximilian. I assumed roles of original supplier and strategy advisor, but was not leading operations.
1993: I have been co-founder of the new Paradox along with Maximilian, Blackhawk, Nuisance and Zool. Same as above.
Musician & Graphic Artist
I have authored more than 300 modules mainly on Amiga and a few later on PC (Soundtracker, Protracker, ModPlug Tracker, Renoise). Due to bad events including being busted for phreaking in 1991, and various hard disk crashes, there remains only less than 200 modules, the rest was probably lost permanently. A bit more than 170 of my modules (mainly chitunes) can be found on AMP/Da Scene, at the following address: http://amp.dascene.net/detail.php?detail=modules&view=8071
Some of my techno musics have been played in French nightclubs and at rave parties in France, Germany and Denmark. A reasonable number of my chiptunes can be found in Delight releases (two demos, various cracktros, trainers, and pack menus). 'Atomic Failure.mod' was released in a Skid Row intro and has been used by various other groups, including Eurasia, Intense, The Orb, Playmobils... in some of their works. 'King's Tournament.mod' has been spreaded in the cover disk of the French Amiga Dreams magazine, as the example tune accompanying the new version of the PD tracker music software Protracker.
I've occasionally made very small contributions to my groups such as logos, fonts and supporting graphics for their intros and demos.
> Auto-supplied to myself the originals I cracked on Amstrad CPC from 1985 to 1988.
> More than 70 originals supplied on Amiga and PC from 1989 to 1993.
> Supplied to and successfully released by (in chronological order): Genesis/Alpha Flight, Spreadpoint, Paranoimia, Vision Factory, Aliens, M.A.D., Delight, Quartex, Crystal, Model, Fusion, Fusion PC, Crack Inc., Skid Row, Interpol, Paradox, The Dream Team PC.
> Supplied to Eurosoft/World of Wonders and released by Aces, supplied to Nemesis and released by Quartex.
> Supplied to Powerslaves but not released.
> Supplier at Oracle for a short time, nothing supplied.
Coder, Cracker, Trainer Maker
This mainly relates to the very beginning of my scene life, on Amstrad CPC from 1985 to 1988. I was independant and my handles were Spy C.C. (Spy Crack Connection) and HCL (the symbol for hydrochloric acid).
I programmed in Basic, Pascal, Fortran, Assembler (Motorola Z-80). Most of my works were done in Basic with calls to assembler sub-routines for specific tasks. On Amstrad CPC I've authored:
- . Games: a graphic battleship game, and a choice-based text RPG (very simple) which was an adaptation of "The Warlock of Firetop Mountain" written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.
- . Demos: the first and possibly only real-time optimized 1-pixel scroller ever written entirely in Basic, thanks to the use of the very practical Symbol command. There was an array of unused characters which could be displayed in line one next to the other. In performing calculations to progressively display vertical portions (larger and larger) of existing letters/digits for the first customizable symbol character on the right, it was then possible to store results of the calculations for them to be used in subsequent customized symbols one after the other from the second right to the leftiest character.
- . Utilities: A simple file manager, which was missing on the Amstrad CPC, and a Basic code generation utility using a combination of peek/poke and call procedures to the area in ROM where Basic commands were stored, in order to modify Basic programmes in real time on the fly. I notably used this technique to code a small tool/application capable of accelerating the fastidious process of editing long lists of Data commands by hand, in semi-automating the process.
Later on the Amiga I've programmed an advanced and powerful script-based version of the well-known Diskmaster CLI file manager utility. My version offered a combination of DM internal scripting, calls to AmigaDOS and C-Shell procedures, and A-Rexx scripting, along with a collection of benchmarked tools for crypting, data and binary compression, module player and ripper, displaying and editing of various data formats, creating and managing LHA archives, DMS images, etc. This version also featured four directory windows, two columns full of new commands, additional drop-down menus, inter-devices communication commands, mount/unmount and redirect any devices/aliases, and native commands to treat files in a grouped manner, such as renaming subset strings in filenames for all files in a choice of directories, instead of having to do so one by one.
I've reverse-engineered and cracked dozens of games for the Amstrad CPC, from 1985 to 1988.
I've collaborated to the n°0 and subsequent issues of the old Joystick Hebdo weekly magazine in contributing a lot of home-made hacks to games which were mainly cheat codes to be applied by readers through any popular hex-editors.
I've been an ethical hacker in the 80's and 90's and I've practised phreaking until I was busted in the context of a large affair at the beginning of the 90's. I then stopped everything in this field.
I won't expand much on this topic, for perfectly understandable reasons. I started hacking services on the French Minitel from 1986 onwards. I have other exploits in mind, notably in using efficient social engineering techniques. Two important considerations I'd like to share with you are that 1/ I've not done this for any destructive purposes (i.e. breaking or putting down sites/servers/applications, erasing data, spreading viruses, etc.) and 2/ my principal motives were curiosity (gaining access to information) and proof-of-concept ('what if I do that? will it work?'): I've never earned money or even tried to benefit from unearned privileges in doing so. Furthermore I haven't spreaded the information I had acquired through such means by any written means, and only used these to satisfy my own curiosity.
On this side I've mastered no less than 14 different techniques back in the early 90's, of which 2 were invented by myself. Today phreaking is pointless for a large part because everybody can make phone calls all over the world for free, thanks to triple/quadruple-play ISP offerings and VoIP utilities such as Skype and GoogleTalk.
Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you want to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reasons for contacting/not contacting me: see discussion page!
Delight page on Exotica: http://www.exotica.org.uk/wiki/Delight
A big but non-exhaustive list of the Delight releases on Bitworld/Kestra 2.0 (Janeway): http://janeway.exotica.org.uk/author.php?what=0&id=8512&query=&cat=&tag=&show=100&sort=Title&order=asc&page=1
21 of the Delight cracktros on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/cracktroscom/videos?query=delight
Delight channel on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaiTIKTdgm6HBP3kLgxXGYg
Unlimited Pleasure Demo on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK5KiODe54Q
Delight on Intro Inferno: http://www.intro-inferno.com/files.php?relgroup=Delight
Some Delight intros converted to Flash: http://flashtro.com/page.php?id=825
Paradox page on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_(warez)
Some of my own musics and short interview on AMP DaScene: http://amp.dascene.net/detail.php?detail=modules&view=8071
I thought it was a good idea to make a list but right now I have no time for this. Maybe next time...