HackMe program released then pulled

Aaron Ardiri, noted Palm OS software developer, wrote an application that was offered on Palmgear on April 22nd for several hours before being removed from the site. The app, named "HaCkMe" is a small (10K) utility that allows users to assign a specific user name for each application. For those with more than one Palm PDA this would allow having two different user names (one for each PDA) while requiring only one registration code.

HackMe srceen shotHaCkMe will allow assignment of any user name to each app to recognize upon launch. For example, if your Palm Vx user name is {John Doe} your m505 must be different to hotsync on the same desktop. Your favorite killer app is registered to {John Doe}. How can you run it on your m505 named {J. Doe}? You simply open up HaCkMe and select your killer app and then assign {John Doe} to it along with your old code. All of the software now runs properly.

The obvious problem is that anybody with a registered app can now pass it along with the user name and his unique registration code, completely bypassing security. The loss of revenue to developers who spend many hours developing apps that make the palm platform so great to use would be significant. Mr. Ardiri realized this and is no longer offering it. He explains on his site, "You cannot purchase this application due to the implications that can be made on the Palm Computing Platform. Since it can be used to circumvent registration schemes, a lot of developers have vented their opinions and as a result it has been decided to be more a threat than a benefit, even though there are legitimate uses for the product." Although it had a very short shelf life, it was a truly ingenious "Napster" of software.

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Cat is out of the bag?

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 10:43:17 AM #
First, I'm surprised that such a utility doesn't already exist. Second, now that people know it's possible, I'd be surprised if somebody else didn't make such a utility available. (Perhaps it already is, "underground" -- I'm not plugged into that world.)

RE: Cat is out of the bag?
atrizzah @ 4/30/2001 5:04:21 PM #
A utility similar to this one already exists. It's called Tweak User, and I have it on my computer, but I don't know where I got it from. It allows you to have one user name for Hotsyncing and one for running programs. It's useful if you want several Palms to sync under the same user name but have different internal names.

Peace Out


anonymous @ 4/30/2001 12:21:03 PM #
ardiri... hackme, liberty crack? sort of dubious.
RE: hmm
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 12:40:28 PM #
maybe Liberty crack was a statement

If you only know Mr. Ardiri for that Liberty crack only then you must not know his other contribution to the Palm community. He is currently responsible for the free Palm Resource compiler (PilRC) ... a great utility for Palm developers.

Found a link to still get it

robking @ 4/30/2001 1:56:23 PM #
RE: Found a link to still get it
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 2:06:52 PM #

you mix two things up...

the HackMe you mention is a challenge. The HackMe program is intended to be cracked... (read the description)


RE: Found a link to still get it
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 2:45:23 PM #
That link is to a completely different app.

RE: Found a link to still get it
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 4:40:33 PM #
Sorry guys. My mistake. robking

That's Not the same program!
Davy @ 5/2/2001 12:33:13 AM #
That's a link to a different program where you attempt to hack different protection schemes! Don't be fooled, that's not the same!

He's sharp!

Chromosome @ 4/30/2001 2:53:23 PM #
Personally, I think Ardiri is a genius. If I knew Palm OS as well as he does, I'd write the same programs. Liberty Crack would be devilishly fun to write. I would NEVER release it-I don't think he intended to either. The satisfaction of writing it would be enough. His emulations of coin-ops are pretty cool. His utility referred to earlier is a tour-de-force. HaCkMe is something we all would love to have. He is undeniably sharp, and an obvious maverick. It will be interesting to see what he develops in the future.


You dolts.

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 4:27:38 PM #
Such software already exists and has for quite a long time. Of course, the only difference is the software does not assign names SPECIFIC to each application. What you do is change the name (temporarily), reg the app, and change it back. Simple! Not only can you change the name, but also the (pseudo) OS version number, device serial number, and something else. The software in question is PalmName. It's been around for a LONG time...

RE: You dolts.
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 6:28:21 PM #
I have been using PalmName for some time. Yes it works but HaCkMe is a "set-and-forget" program that works SEAMLESSLY. To use PalmName on a regular basis would be tantamount to an exquisitely painful nag screen--you brainstem.

RE: You dolts.
ardiri @ 4/30/2001 7:18:57 PM #
you could always write a patch such that when an app is started, palmname is launched, the username is set.. and wola.. no more manual changing :) but, i'll just let you dream about having that possibility - not something you can code up so easily (without some serious knowledge) for now, the |HaCkMe| application just... isn't available. :) consider it a tease.

the application was removed due to several discussions on a mailing list about the product - many of which were very negative in nature. it was removed as it was deemed inappropriate to have available - too many people would use it illegally, although, it could be used for valid purposes.

i personally have registered software with the names "aaron ardiri", "ardiri", "ardiri V", "ardiri IIIc" etc.. some developers just dont answer their emails, and there are a limited few who dont re-issue codes. it has become apparent with these discussions about |HaCkMe| that many developers will provide additional codes on request (if reasons are valid) - thats good news for many users who upgrade devices and change their usernames.

// az

biting the hand that feeds you

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 6:21:02 PM #
Ardiri is an evil genius, but first and foremost, evil. He's shown himself to be an adept programmer, but has yet to do anything original with his talents. He is best known for ripping off Nintendo, then for trying to mess with the people who tried to rip him off (how's that for irony?) and now with this latest project, for ripping off the rest of the shareware community. Luckily there are still enough folks who recognize that shareware benefits everyone, and people still register desptite all the hacker tools out there that Ardiri and others like him have created.

RE: biting the hand that feeds you--Are you that hungry?
MadMax @ 4/30/2001 11:29:45 PM #
I am probably like most Palm users when it comes to applications. I download them, try 'em, and if I like them, I register them. If I don't like it or think it's not worth it price, then I delete the application to make room for more new stuff. I'm not interested in saving $5 to $30 so I can weasle some developer. If you want to save thirty bucks, try backing off the Starbucks & cancer sticks for a week.

RE: biting the hand that feeds you
Nate @ 5/2/2001 12:54:10 PM #
Hmm. Which is harder to break - my addiction to cigarrettes and nicotine, or my addiction to new Palm software? Tough call.

Syncplicity. Redefining Simple. www.cognitiveroot.com


I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 7:23:51 PM #
"Mr. Ardiri realized this and is no longer offering it."

This quote is only partially accurate. Mr. Ardiri vehemently argued for keeping the app on reseller sites he had posted it, and it was only pressure by developers on the site and on Ardiri that finally made resellers remove the app and Ardiri withdraw it.

If it hadn't been for this, Ardiri would have continued to offer the app. It wasn't out of the "goodness of his heart" that he withdrew it.

RE: Ardiri - missing something?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 7:36:52 PM #
Your a developer who got pissed at Ardiri are you not?

If I recall correctly, there was also some positive discussion about the product. It should be noted that the discussions were done in an Enterpreneurs forum - it is very difficult to have positive thinking of such an application when most of the members care about money and how they can force it out of the user base.

RE: Ardiri
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 7:39:05 PM #
For myself and anyone else who has gone thru the got new palm and used different name since old one was handed to someone else.... only to find half your apps need a new code, then to find half of those are from folks not in palm development anymore so you can't even get a new code... and then for the ones you can get a code... it might take ya a week or more to get them since the programmers are paranoid about loosing a sale. For all those people... I say... bring it on!!!!!!!! I want this prog.

Btw, im a software developer (including palm software) and understand why the developers are ticked, but from a users perspective who has had to rebuy or abandon software simply because my old code wouldnt work something like this is a lifesaver and i'll watch impatiently for it or something similar to reappear.

RE: Ardiri
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/1/2001 12:03:17 PM #
I don't get it - why would you give your old Palm to someone else without hard resetting it? Even if you want to give them some or all of your data, isn't it better to just transfer data to them during a hotsync?

I'm not a developer, and I have no technical background, but I have to say that this thing doesn't smell right. Aaron had an "inadvertant" release of the Liberty Crack code, and now has issued and "withdrawn" (really, can something ever be successfully "withdrawn" from the Internet once it goes out?) a hack that seems to facilitate software piracy? Does lightning strike twice? I apologize, Aaron, if this is overboard, but this whole thing just doesn't smell right.

Missed it

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 9:21:01 PM #
I saw this app on PalmGear and decided to d/l it later. My mistake! Anyone know where I can find it on the 'net? I don't agree with the reasons not to make it available - there are plenty of legitimate reasons to own this app.

RE: Missed it
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/1/2001 9:55:18 AM #
There is an app called palmname that's been out for several years now. V3.0 was released in 1999.

No need for this app

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2001 11:02:06 PM #
I've found no need for this app. I've changed Palms several times and been disatisfied with my HotSync name, and I've NEVER had a problem with software developers giving me a new registration code for the new HotSync name. As for software developers who disappear - 90% of developers who disappear never made a worthwhile app to buy anyway. Those ones I spent time researching - SmartDoc, Tinysheet, etc - and registering turn out to be solid apps whose developers either carry on or are able to sell these apps to other companies.

RE: This app is for multi-Palm owners
fkclo @ 5/1/2001 3:01:03 AM #
|HackMe| was originally destined for "Palm enthusiast" who typically have more than one Palm devices. With HackMe one can use the same piece of registered application ( and the reg code) on his different devices. This is useful for those who are trying to find out if different combination of applications will work in harmony on a specific OS or other configuration.

I was the lucky one who managed to buy the software from that narrow window of public access. And I found it useful.

Francis Lo
Hong Kong

RE: No need for this app
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/1/2001 9:15:46 AM #
While this app is useful, it's not legally depensible. Most software require a one copy, one machine policy. You had to buy multiple copies if you owned more than one. While it's not enforced for homeusers, you could get into trouble in the corporate world. Microsoft's upcoming XP (Desktop) will make sure even homeusers stick to the rule by requiring registration.

RE: No need for this app
fkclo @ 5/1/2001 10:03:30 AM #
We are dealing with complex legality here. The EULA differs between software. But if it requires the licensor to use the application on one unit at any one time. there is no legal conflict even if HackMe is used.

I have observed some win app developers are allowing application to be installed on a notebook + a desktop, provided that they are not run at the same time.

Francis Lo
Hong Kong

RE: No need for this app
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/2/2001 12:23:07 AM #
Hey Francis,

Mind sending it to me? xylarr@hotmail.com I have a lot of palm stuff if you are looking for anything...


RE: No need for this app
fkclo @ 5/2/2001 2:06:32 AM #

As the intention of the author is to withdraw / limit the spread of his work, I don't think I am here to act on the contrary.

Francis Lo

Francis Lo
Hong Kong

Is there any way to obtain HaCkMe?

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/14/2001 12:12:07 PM #
I was unfortunately unable to obtain what appears to be a very useful program while it was being offered last month. My emails to the developer have gone unanswered. Does anyone here know if it's possible to still obtain HaCkMe? Thanks.

By the way, if Mr. Ardiri is reading, I think there are many people who would appreciate you releasing the program again. I find it difficult to believe that it would cause any loss in software sales for other authors. (If people are really interested in stealing programs, all they have to do is visit the Palm binaries newsgroup or any of the hundreds of sites on the internet offering Palm programs for download.)



I.M. Anonymous @ 5/18/2001 11:32:00 AM #
HaCkMe is probably the closest thing to an actual hacking program ever offered on a legitimate website. While HaCkMe has legal uses there are other programs available which have no purpose other than to steal software. The most notable (which I won't name), is a very polished app that has plug-ins that are updated for apps that are recently cracked. It is difficult to master, but once it's done many current releases of excellent programs can be stolen. I started researching this when HaCkMe was withdrawn. These outright theft programs are the ones that the Palm community should really fear. I am not hoaxing you, they really exist. And no, I haven't stolen any software.
Harry Palm

PW-Patcher: How to get over 1000 new Palm apps for free!
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/18/2001 11:50:46 AM #
Do you mean PW-Patcher, available from www.pilotwarez.com?

It is unbelievable that no-one can shut these guys down. They release cracks to new software daily - often within a day of a program's official release.

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/18/2001 4:38:25 PM #
Uh, yeah, that with PSNG on the Palm. I kind of hoped it would stay un-named.
Harry Palm

Patched Apps
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/21/2001 9:04:26 AM #
I got about 50-60 own written patches for recent palm apps - any idea where to post the patched apps?


Ardiri releases HaCkMe as freeware!

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/20/2001 3:49:17 PM #
The infamous "Liberty virus" programmer has done it again and is now giving away his program that can be used to register software with different user names.



RE: Ardiri releases HaCkMe as freeware!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/20/2001 4:05:51 PM #
RE: Ardiri releases HaCkMe as freeware!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/20/2001 5:41:58 PM #
This guy sure knows how to piss people off!


After the "Liberty" virus disaster...
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/20/2001 6:36:18 PM #
I'm afraid to download anything connected with the name "ARDIRI". It has indeed become infamous. He has become the poster-child...

RE: Ardiri releases HaCkMe as freeware!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/20/2001 11:31:18 PM #
Thank you Aaron.

You ROCK, Dude!

RE: Ardiri releases HaCkMe as freeware!
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/21/2001 5:16:30 PM #
HaCkMe OPEN???

Very amusing, Aaron

Liberty Virus was anti-warez!
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/29/2001 7:40:18 AM #
Don't complain ! You should always test anything from an underground site on an emulator first!

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