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CRACKERS II: The Data Storm

CRACKERS II: The Data Storm

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Software piracy in the ’80s and ’90s. The second book in the CRACKERS series. Digital visions and copy parties, intrigues and industrial espionage, disk traders and pirates. Elitism, escape and persecution: The mysterious life of crackers and their scene organisations shaped the computer age.

  • Hardback Edition + free PDF
  • 170 × 230 mm portrait format
  • 336 brilliant colour pages
  • 135 gr/m² semi-matt paper
  • Extra fine print
  • Surface laquer sealing
  • UV-resistant and abrasion-proof
  • Made in Germany

Zero-day warez and 101% cracks with “++ trainer” are the golden standards among the C64 crackers. In the early 1990s, software pirates organised themselves and the underground scene grew into a global distribution network. Uploading and downloading became daily business.

The BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems) became the distribution centres, the software goldmines. And when the console games became copyable, some sensed a business opportunity. But how did teenage crackers deal with the Far Eastern black market? And what led to perhaps the largest European piracy raid of the 1990s? Which role did American calling cards play? And how were the groups able to distribute their cracks via public commerce?

Special Features and Guest articles on When Cracking became popular (written by David Almer) // The Spirit of Swapping (by Cedric/Stranger HMD) // The Wonders of ASCII graphics (by SNS) // Photocopy Protection (manuals) // World of Copy Protection (by Denis Lechevalier) // Chaos Computer Club // Compact Disk Menus // AmiExpo Fair (Amiga Messe) // Scene Letters (handwritten) // X-Copy Professional // Calling Cards, Minitel (France) // BBSses // Trojan Virus // Total Apathy (Demo).

Featuring: Mr. Z, Eagle Soft Incorporated, Dynamic-Duo, Genesis Project, Cynix, ST/Amigos, ST Bandits, The Revolution, T.O.I., Nokturnal, The Big Four, HRFH, Cynix, Hotline, MCA, Elite, Elitendo, The Empire, The Syndicate, ICS, The Blade Runners, The Medway Boys, Pompey Pirates, Automation, BBC, Sub Humans of Turkey, RBCG, The Marvellous V8, Fuzion, Positivity, Jordan Corp, The Stranglers, Hemoroids, The Corporation, VMAX, Factory, The Overlanders, TCB, The Replicants, The Masters, Euro-Soft, 42-Crew, CSS, STCS, ACF, Vectronix, Tristar & Red Sector, Quartex, Fairlight, Paradox, Skid Row, Anthrox, Activision, Lucasfilm Games, Ubi Soft, Coktel Vision, Titus, Delphine, Lankhor, Ere Informatique, Infogrames, Eclipse, Gremlin, U. S. Gold, Ocean France, Argonaut, Domark, Accolade, Sega, Nintendo, Microsoft, Stacker, IAAD, Brigade des Recherches, FAST, ELSPA, Copylock Software, RATsoft ST, DMC, Codehead, Cachet, Chaos Computer Club, Gravenreuth & Syndikus, Triton, Bobmark, Supercom Partner... and many more.

90 pages of Interviews with 
Rob Northen of Copylock Software // Tsunoo Rhilty of STCS // AN Cool of TCB // Axe of Delight // Arthur Dent of CSS // Floyd of 42-Crew // Robocamp of VMAX // Ellfire of Fuzion // Dom of The Replicants // EGB of Automation // Orion of Fuzion // Yoda of The Marvelleous V8 // Ratboy of STCS // Metallinos of Vectronix // Mr Fly of ICS // The Threat of ICS // Illegal of The Replicants // Bacchus of Fairlight // Zippy of The Medway Boys // Pan of Anthrox // The White Knight of Anthrox.

CRACKERS: The Data Storm illuminates the networks and visionary entanglements of the BBS age. The world of the underground elites is spinning faster and faster. Their digital utopia sets them apart from the harsh reality of a doomed games industry.


Paper and Passion

Included products

Book + PDF, bookmark


~170 × 230 mm

Production quality

Hardback edition, reliable binding, UV-stable offset printing, protected pages

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Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews

In depth research and a very well told story. Full of history and information.


Good stuff. Looking forward to future publications.

Denis Lechevalier
Top Class Book !

The book is great to read, with lots of detailed information :)

I recommend it!

Michael Tanner
Stellar book

Mostly about the ST scene, but extremely interesting nonetheless!

Sebastien Morin
A wonderful trip into the glorious past of the Crackers era

It's a brilliant and quality book about some of the least known subject of '80s and '90s computing. If you want to know what exciting period you've missed because you're too young, or you're too old to have know this incredible moment (remember when computing was fun?). You'll learn why computing was even better before, when your computer was not spying you and made amazing performances unknown even sometimes for their own creators. It is the incredible story of the cracking groups and the demoscene. Read this, you'll learn a lot about the history of computers. Thanks a lot for its author for this deep work on these not enough known subjects!

Capture the spirit of the ’80s gaming industry

CRACKERS takes a bold look into the valleys of the floppy disk trade in Europe. US game production cast its shadow ahead and a game began that not only the illegal scene used to its advantage.

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