Fravia's FAQ

~ January 1999 ~

Some info you should (MUST) read before writing to me, since I'm fed up having to answer always the same questions. I know that the following is a little long, but believe me, people still ask me the same useless questions after having read all this FAQ, so I'm desperate.


I don't like the useless attachments that fill my emailboxes: turn them off. If you don't know how to turn them off, read my how to get rid of silly attachments. This is very important for newbies.


And now read the FAQ (like it could answer your questions :-)


Q: Hey, may I link to your page?
A: Please do. It's up to you. You do not need my authorisation. If you do, please comment: links without comments are completely useless.

Q: Hey, I put a link to you on my page. Now will you link to my page?
A: NO! I may, eventually, if your page is outstanding, which I doubt. Yet I'm slow. It may take ages. Don't count on that. Send me your URL a couple of times. Wait four to six months and see what happens on my links page.

Q: Why don't you put some kind of order in your messy site?
A: My pages have to be understood. I don't want to make things much too easy for lamers and 'me too' leechers. Yet there are various 'kinds' of orders you can apply. Find them. Else forget it, there are many other interesting things on the web.

Q: Hey, some of your links don't work!
A: Yes, thanks. Will take some time... you see, running a site like mine is a little like keeping those 'Chinese dishes' spinning on their poles... you keep running from a section to the other trying to keep the momentum... fixing links is important, yet it is NOT a priority. Send me a list of them. Wait some time. If I have not fixed them please, by all means, send me the 404 once more. Yet don't forget that once you'll have learned how to search you will not need many links any more.

Q: I like your page a lot! How can I make a cool page like yours?
A: I don't know. No idea. I used and started from scratch. A good idea is to avoid frames and scattered images. If you have some content your site will florish by itself, else forget it, there are many other interesting things on the web.

Q: Do you happen to have file/program so_and_so?
A: Unfortunately no, sorry. You may try to use a search engine. Else forget it, there are many other interesting things on the web.

Q: Where can I find file/program so_and_so?
A: No idea, sorry. You may try to use a search engine. Else forget it, there are many other interesting things on the web.

Q: I already (did read the faq /looked at the page / made a lot of efforts / made everything you told me to do). Can't you just tell me where to get file/program so_and_so?
A: No idea, sorry. You may try to use a search engine. Else forget it, there are many other interesting things on the web.

Q: How does IRC work? Where should I myself IRC?
A: No idea, sorry. I do not IRC and consider it to be the absolute waste of time. You may try to use a search engine and search for "internet relay chat". Else forget it, there are many other interesting things on the web.

Q: Hey! I sent you a very good essay a week ago and you still have not published it!
A: Sorry. Probably went lost, especially if you used Outlook, which is seriously bugged. Try once more as PASTED TEXT in your email. Wait (at least) a week. If it still wont be published try once more later, or try elsewhere. I won't ALWAYS reply to an email if it is not necessary, even if the information inside it has been useful. I have not the time to justify my publishing choices. Hope you'll not take it personally and you'll still send (better) essays later on. If not, good luck to you anyway.

Q: Hey! You published an essay of mine some time ago, thanks, yet I need to change this and that, because I realised that (my lame patch crashes/the protection is elsewhere/I did not understand the code at all/I did not check thoroughly my essay before sending it to you)!
A: You lazy scoundrel! Why didn't you check it better BEFORE? You deserve to wait (and be blamed by all readers) for at least a couple of weeks... should this happen anew I'll slowbomb you!

Q: How can I learn to be a hacker?
A: No idea, sorry. I'm no hacker, I'm not even very interested in hacking. You may try to use a search engine. Else forget it, there are many other interesting things on the web.

Q: How can I learn to be a cracker?
A: Read +ORC's tut. Read the info on my site. Crack on your own old programs. Reverse the COMPLETE code of a small program. Re-write it modified. Voila, you're a cracker. If you really need help in order to CHOOSE what to read, +Mammon_'s "curriculum" is a magical place that will send you on the most correct path. Yet, even once you have learned how to reverse alien code, don't believe you KNOW anything: Zen cracking is a completely different matter. You'll learn it in due time.

Q: How can I learn to protect better my apps?
A: Please read and study the material on my page: you won't ask this again. Should you feel you need to ask it again, you will NEVER learn how to be a good protector, I'm afraid... forget it, there are many other interesting things on the web.

Q: Hey, I'm using MSIE to browse your site and "Bum!" I get (total destruction/funny colours/bubbles/Delhi belly/whatever) when I access some of your pages... what should I do?
A: My pages will now be prepared ONLY for Opera browsers. Besides, M$IE it's slower AND sloppier AND even more bugged than Navigator! :-). There are some pages of mine that are MADE in order to explode M$IE just for the fun of it.
Enough reasons for a straight honest answer to all your problems: download and use (and modify and 'panzer') your own copy of Netscape's Navigator, or, even better, your own copy of the very agile (less than one million bytes) and much more useful Opera browser!

Q: Hey, please! I need some site passwords! You'r a site buster, can't you please...
A: Beggar off.

Q: Please, I'm desperate! I'm not a bad person, and I really need you to (hack/crack/revenge me/fetch a password) inside (my school server/someone's webpage/someone's server/someone really bad and nasty) because (insert sob story here). HELP ME PLEASE!!!
A: Beggar off, you stupid sod.

Q: Hey, you gotta a lot of hits! You know: you could make a lot of money out of them! You could for instance (accept us as sponsors/work for us/publish this ad/enter this webring/set our 'password only' commercial entry area...)
A: Beggar off. I'm not interested in any job you could offer me, unless you'll pay me (and very well) in order to do what I'm doing now and whatever I'll fancy for the future: Donors are always welcome, sponsors ARE NOT: I'm not going to carry ANY awful "sponsorship" banner, nor ANY advertising ads on my pages, NEVER. I'm not to be bought for ANY sum whatsoever, believe it or not. Therefore STOP sending me ridiculous spamming offers! Money does not mean anything to me... try with inside information instead... :-)

Q: Hey, your site is huge, and the telephon bills are huge as well... couldn't you please send me all your pages zipped, so that I can peruse them at leisure?
A: This kind of questions make me sad. How long will I have to tell you, kids, that you should FIRST LEARN HOW TO SEARCH THE NET! If you had done it, you would know how to fetch a whole complete site for free using either special software like websnake or teleport pro, or a wwfetcher (or any good agora server) or even a dedicated script made by yourself. For the mentally impaired among my readers (and for the real lazy ones) here is The sitegrabber a free site-fetcher bot... yet I would nevertheless suggest you to consult my site on-line, because many pages of mine are continuously updated or modified without notice and also because you surely waste so much time already on useless sites on the web that you should for once peruse at leasure when you find some worthy information...

Q: How can I join the +HCU? Can I be an +HCUker?
A:The +HCU is an idea of +ORC, created in order to find many people capable to "explain" and teach our techniques. (It worked well, as the academy pages testify :-) I passed among the first ones, together with +gthorne and +Sync. Basically we got +ORC's lessons a little before everybody else did and, if we did interpret correctly his cryptic messages (I liked him quite a lot, but he is as weird as a banana, I tell you), we had to "ameliorate" and "refine" them... I suspect that the whole trick was only that he was too lazy to finish his cracks himself, as I wrote him already a couple of time.
This year courses have been held by +Alistair and +Aesculapius in absentia orci. 1999 courses should start on schedule in January, +Aesculapius is preparing them (at least I hope). The +HCU publishes every year a 'strainer' (in April), which must be solved before October in order to gain admission to the following year courses... you can have a look at the '98 strainer for 1999 courses if you want (and you should have a look at its solutions, there is much to learn there), but you'll have to wait until April 1999 to get the strainer that you'll have to solve in order to partecipate to next Millennium's courses. In the mean time, off course :-) you can already now work with us all and collaborate in some ongoing project (or propose a new project :-). Anyway +ORC seems to have retired and we are at the moment -sadly- no more in contact with him.

Q:Can I use right now a "+" inside my own handle?
Q:Anyone can use a "+" inside his handle, and of course you are not compelled to even if you are inside the +HCU... is just a way to recognize each other in a world full of 'lesser' crackers that are more keen on bragging and on releasing the greatest possible quantity of ready made patches for the lusers than on teaching the techniques of our trade and help its evolution.

Q: Hey, d'you know who the hell is +ORC?
A: After all these years I still don't know who the hell he is... I have some suspicions... anyway I would like so much to know his real identity that I'll compensate anybody that will give me valuable info about him with a big box of very good beer. The Basilisk has seriously tryed to stalk +ORC, you may contact him on his +ORC page if you are interested in this kind of stalking.

Q: Listen, Since you publish all those nice essays, you must have the addresses of all those good reverse engineers. Although I never contacted you before, I'm a very nice guy and I need the addresses of X, Y, Z! Could you please, since (insert sob story here), put me in contact with them?
A: Unfortunately no. I lost all those addresses inside a Blowfish. If you are serious about recruiting people for this kind of job (which I doubt) you should at the very least know how to contact them directly even if you do not have their addresses.

Now, if you still really need something, or if you want to thank for the efforts I have put in these pages, you may
Else, if you are sending me an essay, please be so kind and try to follow these simple
redrules for submission

Hey, the following is only for truly sensitive matters, no need to PGP everything...

Version: PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0



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You think I have unduly exaggerated?

You'r wrong: here is just one of the many letters of this kind I keep receiving notwithstanding all what I have written on my faq:

From Ze us Fri Sep 18 12:18:52 1998
I want the crack.exe for soft-ice 3.01 Have you got this ?
I'm a French boy and some error in my text it is for that

So, you see, sadly, I have not exaggerated... :-(

Get rid of useless attachments

(original by Ben Goetter & Gerald Boyd)

I will start to filter all the mail addressed to me that contain
HTML coding, MIME encoding, and unwanted Micro$oft attachments 
such as WINMAIL.DAT.

I getting deluged with this junk. Will you newbies please, please,
please, turn off this "stuff".

M$-Mail has a feature that allows M$-Mail users to exchange
fully-formatted messages (fonts, italics, etc.), by attaching an RTF
(Rich Text Format) file to the message.  Another M$-Mail user will see
the formatted version, while any other email program will show the ASCII
message plus the attachment.  M$ made this option enabled by default, so
many M$-Mail users have no idea that they are annoying the rest of the 

When Exchange thinks that it is sending mail to another Exchange user on 
the Internet, Exchange (more properly, the Internet Mail message service 
provider) encodes the message, along with attached files, embedded OLE 
objects, and their associated icons, into a special data block called the 
TNEF (pronounced tee-neff) block. This block encapsulates the complete 
original content of the Exchange message, so that the message arrives at 
its destination with all proper formatting intact, including boldface, 
underlining, fonts, and colors. Otherwise, Exchange formats the message 
in an Internet-standard fashion, discarding all rich text attributes and 
ensuring that all attached files appear as standard attachments. 

The problem arises when people not using Exchange or Outlook receive a 
message in the TNEF format: instead of seeing a formatted message, they 
see a big chunk of UUENCODE data if the sender used UUENCODE format, or 
a MIME body part application/ms-tnef if the sender used MIME. Depending 
on which mail program they use, they may either see a long sequence of 
hexadecimal digits, or they may see an attached binary file named 

Here's how to turn it off:
Step #1:
. Double-click on the Mail and Fax icon in Control Panel.
. Click on the Services tab, and select Internet Mail from the list. If
Internet Mail is not listed, click Add - add this service.
. Click Properties, and then Message Format.
 Turn off the option that reads Use MIME when sending messages.
. Click OK and then OK again.

Step #2:
. Double-click on the name of each recipient in your Address Book.
. Turn off the option that reads Always send to this recipient in
Micro$oft rich-text format.
. This option needs to be set for each recipient of a message - if even
one has this turned on, all recipients will still get the attachment.

Note: Either of these methods should work for most users, but sometimes
nothing seems to work - yet another brilliant design strategy by M$.  I
you plan to be sending lots of internet email, you should seriously
consider using a mail program more suited to the task, such as Pegasus
or Eudora.

Note: A bug in Exchange may cause line feeds to be replaced with equal
signs when rich-text mail is disabled.

If other people complain that your messages arrive with gibberish or a
mysterious WINMAIL.DAT file, then try Rich-Text Sentry.

Rich Text Sentry will not work with M$ Office 95 WordMail,
since the WordMail forms don't support client extensibility. For
the same reason, it will not work with the simplified send note
included in the Windows 95 Messaging Update.

You can find it at

To get rid of MIME encoding:
Check your E-mail program and:
Change from:
Content-type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-transfer-encoding: quoted-printable

Change to:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Turning HTML off in Outlook Express -- Windows 95.
Go to Tools and then click on Options ...
Go to Edit and then click on Preferences ...
Click on Send and choose Plain Text in Mail sending format.
Do not forget to unmark "Reply to messages using the format 
in which they were sent."

Turning HTML off in Netscape 4.0
This configuration is the same on all platforms: Mac, Win95, Win3.xx,
Linux, ...
Go to Edit and then click on Preferences ...
Click on the plus before mail and groups and click on 'Messages'. Turn
'By default, sent HTML messages' off.
Go to 'More Options' and choose 'Always convert the message into plain
Click on OK and on OK again.

Let's hope you will not send out any more attached crap...

The info above should be enough, yet you may want to read Gerald E. Boyd's  What is wrong with sending HTML and MIME messages?, on Boyd's pages that are a TREASURE of information about e-mail handling, searching and downloading


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