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.  Damaged Cybernetics: A Year since its death 
April 08, 1998
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. Author: Zophar

Before you begin to read this article, many of you who are new to emulation may not have any idea what Damaged Cybernetics was, who Donald Moore (also known as MindRape) is, and how NESticle was almost discontinued forever because of him. So let me fill you in.

Damaged Cybernetics was a general grey-area information group. Their main goal, so they said, was to free as much information as possible, for, as the saying goes, information wants to be free. They had sections on their website dedicated to such things as Audio Piracy information (the ripping of CD-DA Audio Tracks and compression to the MPEG-2 Layer 3 audio format), Console Copiers (devices used to copy and play copied video games by hooking it to the actual console and either copying a game and saving on disk, or loading a game from the disk into the copier), and of course, emulation, as well as other sections.

What exactly is grey area information, you may ask? It is information that many people would rather not touch with a ten foot pole. It lies somewhere between the realm of legal and illegal. Since there are many questions about the legality of these types of things, many people tend to stay away from them. However, Damaged Cybernetics chose to cover grey information, and so here we are. Archaic Ruins was a member of Damaged Cybernetics (it was the emulation branch of DC). Console Horizon was the Console Copier section, and so it went.

Now, we come to NESticle. On April 3, 1997, NESticle was released by Bloodlust Software (the person is also known as Sardu). Five days later, MindRape released the source code to NESticle. Now, what exactly happened in between? How did MindRape manage to steal the source code? And what happened afterwords? Here are the answers for those who do not already know. MindRape does not want you to know that his real purpose for stealing the source code was not to free information. It was not to prove that NESticle was an iNES hack (the very fact that he attempted to pass that load of horse manure off as truth makes one laugh uncontrollably). Nor was it because it was Damaged Cybernetic's true purpose. The reason is quite simple. He did not like the author of NESticle, Sardu.

Sounds pretty silly, right? Well, it is pretty silly, but it's the truth. Now, we come to the question of 'How?'. How did he steal the source code? Sardu was running Windows 95 at the time. He made the mistake of leaving drive sharing on (which should not have been on by default, but for some reason, it was on). MindRape was then able to mount Sardu's hard drive (since drive sharing was enabled) with Samba. Pretty clever, right? Regardless, he did this and not only was he able to retrieve the NESticle source code, he was able to look through all of his drives. His Zip drive. His hard drive. His CD-ROM drive. Whatever he wanted. Such an invasion of privacy is ridiculous, but this is what transpired.

Now we come to the last part of this interesting saga. MindRape began offering the NESticle source code as kronksrc.zip on IRC. Sardu comes online, freaks out, declares NESticle dead. MindRape attempts to defend himself in a variety of ways, all of which we will shoot down right here and now. His first defense was that he was proving how NESticle was nothing more than an iNES hack. This is interesting considering the 6502 engine used was not Marat's, the sound emulation was completely different than iNES, some games were not as accurate while others were moreso than iNES, and other obvious changes. He attempted to counter that by saying 'look at the source!' Well, any of you people that do have it (and SHOULDN'T), maybe you should take a look at it, and see how full of B.S MindRape was.

Another attempt of his was that he was living up to the 'true meaning of DC'. What then, IS the true meaning of DC? To steal information from anyone, no matter what the cost? How many of you think that he would have liked to have his phone number, address, and every personal thing about him plastered on a popular webpage, say, the micrsoft webpage? I don't think he would appreciate that, do you?

So DC was disbanded. An interesting thing to note is that, while the reason DC was disbanded was mainly because of the NESticle source caper, he attempted to deny that it had anything to do with DC's death. An excerpt from the Damaged Cybernetics closing message:

To answer everyone's questions, no I'm not closing down DC because I released kronk's source code to Nesticle. I dont and won't regret that because I was living up to the true meaning of DC.


Well, that brings us to the last 2 points, and then this article will be complete. The first point is, this is a blatant lie. 24 hours after the release of the source code, and a huge bashing of MindRape, DC is shut down. Obviously it was because he realized that he had really angered a lot of people, and although in his heart, he was happy about what he had done, he no longer wanted to maintain Damaged Cybernetics for all of these people who he felt had betrayed him.

The final point is this: I have been asked hundreds of times, 'Zophar, why won't you just forgive MindRape for his actions, and move on with your life?' Nothing would make me happier than being able to do this. Except that if you did ask me this, you missed the point, 100%. Read his closing message more carefully. I dont and won't regret that because I was living up to the true meaning of DC. Well, he feels what he did was 100% right, and that the true meaning of DC is to attain information and free it, no matter what the cost. So if he does not want to be forgiven, since he feels he did nothing wrong to begin with, then why should I forgive him?

I invite you all to look deep into yourselves, and ask yourself this: "Is it really worth it?" Good luck to all of you in the future. I hope that you now have a better understanding of what Damaged Cybernetics was, how it came to fall, and the truth about the days from April 3rd to April 8th.
Related Articles/Links

NESticle: One Year Anniversary (Article #1)
Damaged Cybernetics End Message

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