- 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 400 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 360 scene software installers that complimented the cracktros.
- NFO or information text files are generally in every scene release of which we hold 5200 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 over 4080 release proofs.
- Coloured ANSI text art was commonly used on BBSes for advertising and theming of their sites. This collection includes over 2500 pieces used for marketing BBS, FTP, group NFO and logos.
- 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 10000 files include 6100 BBStros, 2300 ANSI art, many images and 1200 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 920 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.
- Scans and retypes of computer magazines and newspaper articles that attempt to report on the scene.
- Reports and alerts for software pirate arrests and police raids.
- Rules and agreed standards for the various divisions of the scene.
- The very competitive scene often has led to online flamewars and occasionally offline conflicts.
- Public notices and community farewells.
- 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.
- Texts and guides on how to analyse, patch and crack legacy software.
- Legacy tools to analyse, decrypt, patch and crack software.
- A small collection of hacks, exploits, cheats and trainers for legacy PC games.
- Legacy software used to create and edit ANSI art files.
- Legacy software designed to create and edit NFO text files.
International Network of Crackers (INC)
Razor 1911 (RZR)
Bandido 1999Of Drink or Die and RiSC, Griffiths made global headlines in 2007 after being extradited to the USA despite never visiting the country
Bryn Rogers Aug, 2012My memories of Lamers of Power
ChinaBlue June, 1998Retirement and the 'bust or be busted' scene mentality
Marvel July, 1999An artist for Future Crew, the most influential demogroup on the PC
TGK June, 1998Scenelink interview about Amnesia
- 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.
- 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.
First PC August 12
- IBM PC 5150
Earliest distributed cracked game
First PC clone March
- Compaq Portable
Earliest unprotect document May 12
Earliest PC groups
Software Pirates Inc (SPi)
EGA graphics standard October
Earliest info text October 17
Earliest text loader May 26
Dam Buster Documentation by Apocalypse BBS
Earliest PC loaders June
and later Frogger II by SPI
AdLib audio standard
VGA graphics standard
Earliest PC demo June 22
First 32 color VGA game December
Rockford: The Arcade Game
The first 256-color game on the IBM PC
Earliest standalone BBS ad April 4
Swashbucklers II BBS
Earliest ANSI ad June
Paperboy by BSP
Earliest NFO-like document July 30
Earliest ASCII art October 6
Fire Power by $print
The earliest example of scene drama November 25
- TNWC accusing PTL of stealing a release
First 256 color VGA game March
688 Attack Sub
The first 256-color game on the IBM PC
Earliest BBS ANSI loader March
Earliest PC intro April
Earliest PC cracktro April 29
- Future Brain Inc FBI
- The Underground Council UGC
- New York Crackers NYC
- American Pirate Industries Newsletter
- Pirates Sick of Initials PSi
- Norwegian Cracking Company NCC
Sound Blaster audio standard
Use of the .NFO file extension Jan 23
Knights of Legend by The Humble Guys
Earliest PC cracktro with music December 2
First enchanced PC game on CD-ROM Winter
- Mixed-Up Mother Goose 1. 2.
- The Humble Guys
- Public Enemy PE
- National Elite Underground Alliance NEUA
- Red Sector Inc.
- Tristar & Red Sector Inc. TRSi ↩
- Razor 1911
- The Dream Team TDT
- Software Chronicles Digest
Earliest BBS VGA loader March
Earliest contemporary cracktro April 12
Earliest elite BBStro October 21
Earliest CD release November 17
Dimention XXX +215
Manhattan Project +503
Midnight Oil +214
Midnight Oil iii +818
Silicon Wasteland +713
Spyrits Crypt +802