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File contents

Cracktros and intros
Cracktros are mini adverts created by cracking groups to announce their releases to the community. Initially, these programs were inserted and launched whenever the cracked software was in use. We have over 500 cracktro and crack-intros for Windows individually itemised for download, while another 3300 of these for MS-DOS are playable in your web browser! Also, we hold a collection of 370 scene software installers that complimented the cracktros.
NFO files and scene releases
NFO or information text files are generally in every scene release of which we hold 5300 items. Often, they are stylised with ASCII text art and arranged in a standard format. In the early days, these texts included detailed group information, but now they focus more on the cracked software. Also, we hold a collection of 140 NFO viewers and editors and a small number of release proofs.
ANSI art
Coloured ANSI text art was commonly used on BBSes for advertising and theming of their sites. This collection includes over 2600 pieces used for marketing BBS, FTP, group NFO and logos.
BBS ads
Bulletin Board Systems were a proto-Interweb for online communication and the exchange of files during the 1980s until the mid-1990s. This collection of 9900 files include 6000 BBStros, 2300 ANSI art, many images and 1300 text files. We also have a large collection of FTP ads plus lists of BBS sites and FTP sites are also available.
Before the web and social media existed, groups used to exchange ideas and write articles on their communities in the form of digital magazines and newsletters. These 910 publications are also found under their magazine titles.
Filepacks are packages of files that share a common theme that people have collected and curated for easy distribution. Popular pack topics include ANSI art, NFOs, cracktros and BBS ads.
Scene databases are often once private datasets of cracked software titles, release dates and associated groups. Due to their size, these sets are often incomplete and sometimes inaccurate.

Proto-scene groups

Some significant groups

Some boards (BBS)

Mainstream news
Scans and retypes of computer magazines and newspaper articles that attempt to report on the scene.
Busts and takedowns
Reports and alerts for software pirate arrests and police raids.
Community standards
Rules and agreed standards for the various divisions of the scene.
Community drama
The very competitive scene often has led to online flamewars and occasionally offline conflicts.
Discussions with scene members, be prepared for bad spelling and typos. There are also countless other interviews contained within the numerous magazines.

More interviews

Public notices and community farewells.
Group jobs
Calls for new group memberships and tools for possible applicants. Sometimes a trial crackme is made to test one's abilty.
Internal tools and documents that were never intended to be made public, but give a great insight into the operations of scene groups.
Guides and how-tos
Texts and guides on how to analyse, patch and crack legacy software.
Computer tools
Legacy tools to analyse, decrypt, patch and crack software.
Game hacks
A small collection of hacks, exploits, cheats and trainers for legacy PC games.
ANSI tools
Legacy software used to create and edit ANSI art files.
NFO tools
Legacy software designed to create and edit NFO text files.
Alternative scenes

Operating systems
Software written for the original x86 operating system and precursor to Microsoft Windows, this platform was popular in the USA during the 1980s and for the rest of the world during the early to mid-1990s.
Windows became the inevitable replacement for MS-DOS on the x86 platform. Most Windows software released in the 1990s and would probably target Windows 95 and 98 while later releases would be for Windows XP or 7.
Is the software created for Apple's macOS and earlier OS-X line of operating systems.
Scene software created for the Linux desktop and server platforms.
Web applications that target the PHP programming platform.
Multi-platform applications written in the Java programming language.

Scene milestones

These milestones for the PC cracking scene are based on what we have collected. There were earlier and more notable communities on other microcomputers for which the PC scene often poorly mimicked.