It’s not my war but…

I just saw the following at MSJ and the reaction of the one byte fag and other idiots is simply childish, to not digress much about it.  The author of Remote Buddy leaves the post below, asking for them to stop distributing cracks on his software. As a response, tons of links with the crack are published and they start complaining about the price. I really hope that these guys one day get what they deserve, their works pirated or them exploited by their bosses and underpaid. Everyone wants to have tons of shit, for free if possible, but then they forget that money drives the economy. I’m not saying that the price is right or wrong, that’s a market/customer decision. What really pisses me off is the lack of effort for all those idiots downloading the cracks and bashing the developer. At least make an equivalent effort and learn how to do it and take on a “fair fight”.

Disclaimer: I did cracked Remote Buddy in the past and published some information regarding it. The author asked for removal and I kindly refused because, at that moment, I believed that the published information wasn’t valuable enough.

Update: Just to put some things in perspective, let me show a simple math example:

Months 12
Monthly Salary $2,500
Annual $30,000
App Price $20
Total Sales 1504
Monthly Sales 125

If selling this program is the only source of income to this developer and we project a $30k annual salary (low salary by US standards for developers!), this will require 125 copies sold each month. Let me remind this values are not liquid, so there are still other costs and tax burden on the developer (you can add Apple’s 30% as a good estimative).
Now, you could say that 125 monthly or 1500 annual copies is a piece of cake to sell…  Have a read at this article,  and observe the low numbers of books sold for each book that guy wrote. They are pretty shocking and a good example about how hard is to sell (start a company and try it yourself ;-)). Not every app is Angry Birds or equivalent!


I’m the author of Remote Buddy and am kindly asking you to stop what you’re doing here.

You may not be aware of it, but the development of Remote Buddy has cost and continues to cost _a lot_ of money and I can only keep working on this and other related projects, if Remote Buddy sales stay above a certain level that allows me to pay all bills for the company, for product development and – most importantly – for my family.

I know many of you believe that piracy doesn’t do any harm or even helps sales, but I sure know that the bare numbers – at least for Remote Buddy – speak a very different language.

Whenever there has been a crack or serial number floating around in the past, sales dropped significantly. It was only when pirated serials had been blocked and cracks went offline that the revenue stream slowly (but luckily!) recovered to a level where Remote Buddy could have a future again.

I’ve always been very generous with my work.

Users can fully try out Remote Buddy for a full 30 days, they can purchase a license for as little as 19.99 Euro and for the last 4 (four!!) years there’s been nothing but free updates (many of them major redesigns you’ll usually have to pay an upgrade fee for at other software companies, plus free updates to support three major OS X releases as they appeared).

When Snow Leopard appeared, I helped out the Plex and many other open source and commercial projects with a free, instant fix for their Apple Remote issues that SL brought along: Candelair. It certainly helped out many of you and some software like Hulu Desktop can’t use an Apple Remote under SL without it to date.

I also spent a lot of time developing and documenting the HIDRemote class (which I have no use for personally) and made it available for free to vastly improve the state of Apple Remote support in OS X applications. I continue to work with open source and commercial developers (even competitors!) to help them with providing better Apple Remote integration in their applications.

You all benefit of this work whenever you use an Apple Remote – regardless of whether you use it with Remote Buddy or not.

I’ve worked very hard to make all of this happen – and I happily did so, because I believe in community and fairness.

But if instead of at least a minimum of respect, all I get in return from the community is that they try to find a way to exploit the generous, feature-unlimited demo time, or that they crack my software and are seemingly happy uploading it to a dozen filehosters, which – in end result – directly cuts into the personal income of my family, I really have to wonder why I’m doing all this – and what for.

Some of you may not have realized that – as a matter of fact – what you are doing directly affects and hurts real people that live off of this project – and – that what you’re doing is part of the biggest threat for the future of this product that you all obviously seem to like.

I’m appealing to nothing else but your sense of honor, community and fairness when I ask you to stop cracking Remote Buddy, to stop spreading copies of cracked versions or instructions on demo timeout circumvention – and to remove any copies from where you’ve already uploaded them to.

If you ignore this and just continue, be aware that you are taking away from the table of my family and that you are working on killing an important, unique product for all Mac users that there’ll be no replacement for.

I’m hoping for your sense of honor, community and fairness – and that my open words are really all that’s necessary.


– Felix Schwarz

19 thoughts on “It’s not my war but…

  1. That seems like a kind and fair way to ask these guys to stop.
    TOBW truly IS AN ASSHOLE, I cant believe his response to that thread.
    Now I know why you call him the one byte fag — I would have used “dickhead” instead of “fag” because that is offensive to a certain community but whatever!

    1. Most probably just another frustrated computer technician or has a shitty day job, inferring from his posts and speech. When OS X protections rise to the same level as Windows, he will be outdated. A guy who says he cracks for many years and still unable to use a debugger will not survive 😉

  2. I haven’t checked that thread at MSJ but it does sound like the wrong way to react to the developer.

    Personally I love the way the DaisyDisk-developer have done it (at MacBB). Personally I even bought DD because of the developers kind interaction with us. 🙂 Read that thread if you haven’t. 🙂

  3. I agree with Hacxor, this developer should try another approach and reach out to these communities just like the DaisyDisk developer has successfully done.

    It makes me very sad to see the kind of childish reactions some persons at MSJ are showing in that thread in response to this developers honest pleas. I’m not saying the pleas should be answered, after all we all know what kind of community MSJ is..I’m just saying this guy seems fair and honest and he aint no David Watanabe..

    1. I’d rather see developers spend time on implementing new useful features than on crazy protection schemes that in the end will just hurt the “legitimate” users of the app. Pirates will always exist. Get used to it.

      Neil Gaiman has a good take on things (books in his case and not computer software):

      He writes great books btw 😀

      1. From an economic point of view I still have some doubts regarding resources spent on protections – there’s not much data on this, but I expect most advanced protections to allow developers to recoup their investment and in this case it’s not wasted resources. I know piracy will always exist and I’m not even trying to fight it. I’m just trying to inject some responsibility and respect in all this.

        Books are a little different and there are many other contradictory articles about it. But it can work if people are balanced and keep buying books. We can’t greed take over everything – the current crisis genesis is due to greed all over the world, not just Wall Street.

  4. TOBW’s reaction has nothing to do with hacker/cracker ethos. It’s just plain stupid and childish. And it shows a disturbing lack of manners and ability from TOBW with regards to his ability to deal with other human beings like humans do. Hope he’ll eventually have to pay for what he’s done.

    So .. does The One Byte Wonder stand for “zero character”? Don’t wonder any longer – the answer is clear now: hell, yeah! What a looser.

  5. Did you even bother to look at the post date on that thread? Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:09 pm. Summer of last year. Why are you dragging this up now? Apparently only so you can make homophobic remarks about some one.

    “Disclaimer: I did cracked Remote Buddy in the past and published some information regarding it. The author asked for removal and I kindly refused because, at that moment, I believed that the published information wasn’t valuable enough.”

    So what your saying, was your crack was more valuable, so you don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else? Or perhaps that because you “kindly” refused, that was more appropriate then the way TOBW refused? You and TOBW both cracked it, and you also refused to remove yours, by your own admission. Im finding it hard to see how you can claim to take the higher ground in this argument. What would have been the “proper” response to that post? What was your response to the developer?

    This post just reads like a “mightier then thou” soap box rant. A developer comes to a community based on software piracy and asks them not to pirate software. The community reacts by laughing at said developer, and you are surprised?

    (We shall see if this comment is moderated. Removing comments you don’t agree with, now that would be childish)

    1. Don’t worry because there’s no such thing as moderation or censorship except for avoiding spam and real useless comments. So let’s get the fact straight.
      I never saw the date of the post and wasn’t even searching for it. It shown up in latest posts because someone commented it. And it could have happened 2 or 3 years ago that the one byte fag attitude is still the same these days and the problem in general is still the same.
      As with censorship, I don’t have any problem disclaiming what I did. But you should try to get the facts straight before talking about what you don’t know in detail (or at least go download the mirror of this site and read the post in question). I never cracked this app and the only information I publicly published was about the extended attributes the app was using – I didn’t even published the details about it. The only step I gave was creating an app for reading the attributes because there wasn’t anything I could find that could work with them. That’s the sole reason that why I never removed that post, because there wasn’t even anything close to a crack. At that time I still believed you could post information and people would know how to take care of that; my belief was modified with all the fuss around Pace posts. So yes, I’m in a higher ground than the one byte fag (oh yes I will continue to call him this).
      I’m surprised by people being a fucking morons and lack of common sense. But hey, most of them are probably kids and still need to grow up.

      Oh and here it is my answer to the developer, posted at that time. The developer never talked back to me (I talked with other developers and helped them; as an example I privately disclosed my attack to Little Snitch and it was fixed).

      The proper response isn’t certainly being a prick and increasing the number of places where the kids can download the cracks. But anyone is free to do whatever they want. I’m also and this is my blog!

      “Dear Felix,

      It’s trully not my objective to undermine your business or anyone’s else business by learning how their software protections are implemented. My objective is to learn more about Mac OS X especially in the security field. Remote Buddy sysctl tricks allowed me to advance a little more and to create a kernel module which can be helpful to analyse malware.

      The battle between full disclosure and no disclosure is long and without any winners. I believe in partial disclosure and that’s what I have tried to do here. There are no totally functional cracks or keygens because I believe if people want to do something they should learn about it. The best example is the post about Age of Empires. It would be easy and “glorious” to post a full crack since lots of people are looking for it. I just posted a tip, those who really want to do it must be able to learn and do it if they really want to.
      I don’t believe you can stop knowledge these days (Internet is too big compared to the BBS days) and those who really want to do it will research, learn and do it. You can see that beowulf and diegus83 found stuff on their own without minimal or no guidance.

      The same information published here can help you and others to improve their protections since in general they are really bad! There is no side here.

      I’m not ignoring your message but I don’t believe the information here is so harmful to your sales. We can leave things like they are without any further public advances. What really interested me where the sysctl tricks and extended attributes. To create a small program to encrypt/decrypt the trial info would be fun too, something we can do in private.

      Tell me (us) what you think.


      1. I did not know the details of your pervious interactions with this dev, and honestly cant be bothered or expected to track down an old mirror of your posts. You win that one

        You response to him is well written, but in my mind still just a personal belief on where that magic line you should not cross is. You’ve made it clear where you think it should be, but others clearly don’t agree, and have that right.

        My only issue that remains is this:
        “I’m in a higher ground than the one byte fag (oh yes I will continue to call him this).”

        That is very childish and immature, the very traits you so despise in him. You want to keep calling him names like a preschooler, thats your choice, and I am not going to ask you to stop. I am asking you to stop using the word fag though. To use “fag” in a derogatory fashion, as you do, is insulting to the homosexual community and reeks of ignorance and fear. Im sure you wouldn’t appreciate the world appropriating the term for people of your nationality to describe those of lower breeding or intelligence?

        Your continued homophobic speech hurts the world far more then anything else you’ve written or written about on this blog.

        As the intelligent, mature individual you claim to be, I am sure you can come up with another insulting pun that doesn’t encourage the degradation of 2% of the worlds population.

        (Please delete double comment below)

        1. Of course everyone has the right to disagree (that’s one of the good things of free speech) but I can make an effort to try to show people that maybe we should modify our behavior. That is how society progresses.

          Come on, you are trying to over stretch that argument. I have nothing against sexual preferences of anyone. It’s called slang, trolling, whatever, and more important, it’s a damn nick and an Internet alias. If people are really offended by such things then we are really fucked up. But if it’s such an offense to sexual preferences (it depends on the interpretation of words, I might concede this to you since the world is too belligerent these days and unable to easy going), I can start calling him the one byte dumb fuck (I honestly prefer the term dumb fuck and in reality he’s really a dumb fuck since he’s unable to progress). He really doesn’t appear to be that offended, besides adding some null routes to MSJ 😉

          Don’t worry, my country allows homosexual marriage (and abortion) and I voted in the party who implemented it 😉 My country doesn’t have the 1st amendment but it’s a little more open-minded and respectful than the pseudo-liberal US 😉


          1. You’re using the word “fag” as a synonym for “dumbass” or “jerk”. It’s the same thing as saying something is “gay” when what you really mean is that it sucks. What if people started calling other people “Greeks” to mean “dumbasses”, and you were Greek? It would be offensive to you.

  6. Reviving the old, again … sorry.

    I found this post while trying to find out what was behind the disappearance of TOBW. It’s still not clear, but I’m convinced not to bother seeking further info.

    I, personally, appreciate that you were willing to listen to what others relate to you about the impact of your words (on them) rather than staunchly insisting on your “right” to (continue to) say them. Changing the language to “dumb fuck” or something similar is much more appropriate, on point, and doesn’t bring a perfectly innocent/non-involved community into the fray without reason. Please continue with this attitude and the amended alternative.

    @Billy … you need to recognize and stop at “yes” – you won the point about the needless “ad hominem” and seemingly homophobic slur and 1G was graceful in his response – you could/should have let him have the last word, which was exactly what you sought: he had accepted your point. Why the need for one more push?

    1. His ego trip was put to an end due to very active scene groups and outdated skills?

      Or he just got bored – piracy is fun up to a certain point. Not that he was someone producing real added value to reversing & cracking knowledge…

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