Old 1st February 2005, 15:30   #1
Ralf2
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Cool Maki decompiler

Hi,
I have written a Maki decompiler.
It's written in Perl and seems to work actually.
If you are interested, please have a look: http://www.rengels.de/maki_decompiler/

BR,
Ralf
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Old 1st February 2005, 15:59   #2
Mr Jones
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How many people have a perl library readily to hand ?

Have you also considered that people often only package the compiled maki files because they don't actually want people re-using parts of their scripts?


What makes you think I want you looking at my scripts so you can figure out how stuff works ?, if you can't figure it out to start with then tough luck.

Plenty of people open source their scripts to start with, and that's their choice, on the other hand there are plenty of people who don't for reasons mentioned above.
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Old 1st February 2005, 16:27   #3
Ralf2
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Hi,
just a summary of you post:
1. don't write Perl so that it can be used by everyone
2. don't write a decompiler because everyone could see what I am writing here.

And now my answers:
1. I did not use any special Perl libraries. Please read my README included in the package to find out more about why I used Perl and how you can get it.

2. Sorry for your illusions. Obfuscation is a myth.
Actually the only thing I did is to level the playing field. Anyone could have a look at the scripts now.
Why can't I see a complain that all the images are plain .png files and not encrypted.

By the way, are you interested in a DVD-decompiler that let you have a look at the DVD commands? I posted the announcement on dvdauthor.
Again, leveling the playing field.
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Old 1st February 2005, 17:42   #4
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Yeah, I read the readme file, and I saw where you could get perl from, my question was/is how many people would the required perl libraries installed to use the decompiler.

Your arguement about 'Why can't I see a complain that all the images are plain .png files and not encrypted' is moot, if you want to use an extreme example everyone can see a windows OS but the source for the code isn't available for everyone, extreme example I know but same principal applies here, your .png files in a skin are on display to the public, your source code that runs the show isn't (if the author decides so)

If someone decides their code is copyright and dosn't want people looking at it, who are you to decide that people should be able to?
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Old 1st February 2005, 18:05   #5
Ralf2
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Hi again,
it took me a weekend to figure out how the .maki files were set up. Other people can do the same thing, and maybe have done already.
Or they could use scripts from other skins (I have seen some strange differences in the used compiler versions while testing my tool)

In the end, I think it is only a tool. I am not posting a "Howto atomic bomb" and I am surely not cracking any encryption.
Maybe you also will benefit from this tool. I think it could make an end to most of the "how do I do..." postings in this forum, and it could help you writing faster code (the option --noshort puts out a representation of the stack machine commands).
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Old 1st February 2005, 18:56   #6
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i have never worked with perl befor, i would love to see it in a easier way. But i will DL perl now and try to run this app
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Old 2nd February 2005, 13:30   #7
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You get an A for effort, but I don't like the idea of this program one bit.

It defeats the whole purpose of not packaging skins with the source files.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 14:46   #8
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Well, you can still leave the .m files out if you want to, to make your skin smaller...
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Old 2nd February 2005, 15:35   #9
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Hi,
thanks for the "A"
two points here:

As I told before it was not really an effort. You were sending unprotected .maki files around all the time. Aren't you happy that you know this now?

I completely against those kind of secrets. Why can't I take the screwdriver and disassemble a skin? I do this with a lot of stuff at home, so why not with .maki files?

Oh, wait. I placed the tool under the GPL so you can use it in any way you like.
Have fun...
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Old 2nd February 2005, 16:01   #10
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They were only 'unprotected' up until the point you wrote a decompiler for them, I don't ever recall seeing another one in the 4+ years or so that maki has been used.

You are completely missing the point, if people wanted you to take the source of their maki files they would bundle the source with the skin, and a lot of people do, but as it keeps getting pointed out to you and you keep ignoring it a lot of people don't and right up until this point there was never a need to worry as there was no decompiler available.

So lets use a hypothetical situation, I package certain code tricks in my maki file that help protect my skin being passed off by someone else, I'm not saying what, but I get my code files to check certain things within the makeup of the skin and it it's not there then they fail, now what's to stop anyone decompiling those scripts now, editing out my security measures, recompiling and passing it off as their own?

People close source for a reason, a reason you might not understand but it happens anyhow, there is always a hard core geekdom around on the internet that believes everything should be free and available for everyone to fuck around with, sadly that's just the minority, the same minority that had a massive online orgasam when parts of the w2k source code was leaked last year onto the net, people just can't wait to tinker in the misguided belief that they are 'doing it for the good of the masses' when essentially they are doing it for their own gains.

I see you wrote the de-compiler for ..'I wrote the de-compiler as part of a Linux media player that should be able
to fully use Winamp skins. Even the cool modern ones.'

Great, who says I want my skin being made available for some linux player? oh wait, you do, thanks for asking.....
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Old 2nd February 2005, 16:21   #11
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Seems like you were living in happy ignorance until yesterday.

Now someone told you that it takes two days to figure out how Maki files look like.
And I hinted that scripts could be used across other skins.
And now I will tell you another thing. I hope you are prepared for it:

Xmms, the Linux Music player can use Classic Winamp skins since several years.

Yes, I am a Linux geek.
I love to update my complete homepage with one command.
I shake my head when people tell me about their windows problems.
I use open source tools and I am proud that I don't have pirated programs on my computer.

I also don't have pirated skins on my computer!
I love them and I give praise to all the great designers. The do a first class job.

Now I would like also to hear about your feelings. Do you hate Linux users or are you just afraid of them?
How about MacOS users? Are they acceptable?
Why don't you want them to go to the Winamp.com page and download your skin like everyone else?


PS: I work as SW engineer and I know about the quality of closed source code. Bad. But again, why bother to get the sources when you can use Visual C++ to step through it?
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Old 2nd February 2005, 16:33   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ralf2

Yes, I am a Linux geek.
I'd have never have guessed

Do I hate Linux users?, to be honest I don't know a single person in the real world who uses it, only people on line like yourself, who I don't really know so it dosn't count.

So no, don't know a single user who has it has a primary home system, don't know of any instances of it running on our 8000+ user base at work, so it's hard to hate something or someone you don't know eh, lets just say, I don't have an opinion on the subject.

The whole point behind maki and wasabi is that it wasn't supposed to be platform specific in the first place, and it the linux version of wa3 hadn't have been canned then you would have been using compiled scripts between assorted platforms, win32, linux, macOS etc etc, but that never came to pass, if it had come to pass then there probably would have still been the need for privacy among people code, remember the key factor here not everyone wants you poking around in their compiled code finding out how they did things, simple plain fact, again I reitterate up until you wrote this decompiler there was no other version available, a compiled script was a compiled script, and if you wanted to give the source away you did and if you didn't you didn't, simple as that.

Anyhow, I'm done and off home have a good day, what's left of it.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 16:52   #13
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Actually I did a certain amount of work on the maki binary format myself and I'd have released a decompiler eventually.

Is it legal? yes.
Is it ethical? Well that's hard to answer.

The fact of the matter is, it's not hard to reverse-engineer, and someone who could pay a half-decent coder could have had a maki decompiler for years previously. They could have been stealing your skins' source code and nobody would be any the wiser. At least now people know how easy it is to do so.

Security through obscurity is no security at all, and only fools believe otherwise. Granted, by that token there are a hell of a lot of fools in this world, but it's still sound practice.

Is it good for skinners? Probably not.
Is it good for open-source players, the new Wasabi project, and open source in general? A resounding yes.

And you can't do a damn thing about it.

For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide, and balanced on the biggest wave you race towards an early grave.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 17:10   #14
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Quote:
So no, don't know a single user who has it has a primary home system, don't know of any instances of it running on our 8000+ user base at work, so it's hard to hate something or someone you don't know eh, lets just say, I don't have an opinion on the subject.
Wow. Over 8000 users and no Linux.
Isn't it strange that the fraction is much higher when you have SW-engineers around you? e.g. in my team we have four of twelve who are actively using Linux at home. At work it's 100% because you can't really do parallel builds on Windows.

Ok, but that's beside the point. I want to reinforce the point from Russ:
It's completely legal, even in the US. No trade secret was touched. Only freely available information used.

And now a list of programming languages that are really secret:
PHP (because you can't get the sources from the server)

And now the insecure listing:
C, C++ (visual C++ does a good job if you known Assembler)
Java (jode and others can de-compile)
DVD-commands (specification is freely available)
Postscript (even encapsulated Postscript. Wrote some cool programs in Postscript )
...

Only help for you: Let me write you an obfuscator (like there is for Java). That could help a little bit and even make the .maki files smaller.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 20:55   #15
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make this app as kinda exe app and i will love it, we are programmer and not moralists
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Old 2nd February 2005, 21:01   #16
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Yes, a runnable exe file without having to install it, like the script compiler. That's really cool, but I'm not exactly an experienced coder. I don't know how hard it is or what language is best suited for that.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 21:13   #17
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so, what he is doing is taking the compiled code, and decompiling that to steal the source, without the origional coders permition?
isnt that illegal?
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Old 2nd February 2005, 22:38   #18
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can someone explain to me how this is different from someone opening up the .wal's as a zip and looking at that code?
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Old 2nd February 2005, 22:41   #19
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This allows you to turn .maki files back into .m files and look at the code even when the author hasn't provided the .m files in the wal.

For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide, and balanced on the biggest wave you race towards an early grave.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 22:51   #20
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I see...kinda like exposing .h files in a C program or something like that.
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Old 2nd February 2005, 22:53   #21
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no, its like getting an exe, and reversing the compile to get the .h's/.c's/.cpp's that made that exe...

if people arnt willing to code a skin properly.. they just shouldnt do it
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Old 3rd February 2005, 09:09   #22
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Like every de-compiler it does the reverse step of compiling.
So I called it dmc

So in comes .maki, out comes a .m file.
Some function names and most variable names will get lost in the process.

And yes, it's now easier to steal someone else's code. About 2% easier.
Instead of just copying the .maki file I can now make changes too.

But this is bad. I am completely against this. You have to respect the copyright of the original author. You can also see that I clearly stated the copyright in my README.

However you could also say that debuggers could help you stealing code because they disassemble the machine code of .exe's. Do you ban them because of this?
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Old 3rd February 2005, 17:15   #23
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debug apps are there so people who create applications can debug their own software.. with their source code..

this script is designed to steal source code from the compiled maki file so you can see how someone did something, and then slap your name on it. how difficult is it to send someone an email and ask them how they did something?
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Old 4th February 2005, 08:11   #24
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Hi,
I am tired of this discussion and I don't think that this is the right forum.
We can discuss this by mail if you like.
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Old 7th February 2005, 21:13   #25
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Clearly the more experienced users are against this. So am I.

Please take this piece of software from your website, it's bad for the Community.

There is a lot of knowledge around, and we will help people when they need it.
But this just steals the creativity of the coding.
Thanks
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Old 8th February 2005, 08:50   #26
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Clearly the Windows-world is not evolved enough to see the benefit of converters.

I will go back to my happy Linux world and let you suffer in ignorance...
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Old 8th February 2005, 10:56   #27
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I see nobody suffering here...
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Old 9th February 2005, 03:04   #28
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im against this...why the hell would anyone want someone else to see how they created something?(unless thats what they want of course)

someone using someone elses good unique code is like admitting you wouldnt of been able to come up with it yourself and is EXACTLY like ripping a section of someones graphics and drawing around it because you wouldn't of been able to do it yourself despite that fact that many talented others could.

this encourages people to take good code rather than ask for a good coder.

forcing people to open source is never good no matter how rightous your intentions are.

.........?.
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Old 9th February 2005, 07:39   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ralf2
Clearly the Windows-world is not evolved enough to see the benefit of converters.

I will go back to my happy Linux world and let you suffer in ignorance...

Maybe it is your ignorance with trying to know it all.
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Old 9th February 2005, 10:47   #30
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Hi,
with "ignorance" I meant claiming that compiled .maki files are save when everyone with a course in compiler-building can figure it out in a couple of hours.

Point proven.

Yes, at least I am trying to know it all. What's your excuse?
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Old 9th February 2005, 11:03   #31
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okay, I do graphics and no code, but I do have an opinion about this. When a programmer decides to keep his code private he does it for a reason. Your decompiler might not be illegal but I see that it is rejected by the majority of the forum users who represent a large part of the winamp modern skinning community. I think that you should respect that instead of plugging your program and trying to convince people that their opinion is wrong and yours is the only right one. Mentioning the word 'ignorance' in this context sounds like hypocrisy to me.
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Old 9th February 2005, 14:04   #32
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lol this is a funny thread

not to start a flaming war here but maybe if Ralf2 unstuck his head from his arse he might see the majority of the wa community although excited by the idea of ripping code from .maki files frowns upon the very thing they try to keep unique, personal and not open source.

after all if they wanted to help people they keep the .m files in the package (irrespective of if it can be decompiled)

I'm all for making it easier for people to learn stuff but this is not promoting easier learning (it is to a point) but more of an easier ripping excercise.

technology is moving far faster than software can keep up, your not going to make someone learn the new code/stuff to get it working and encourage new methods etc if you give it to them on a plate by decompiling source that the original author didnt want you to see.

Quote:
Hi,
I am tired of this discussion and I don't think that this is the right forum.
We can discuss this by mail if you like.
thats funny rofl

ther's 2 main sides to this decompiling, its a great tool on one hand and can prove invaluable say with lost source code etc.. and the other is the aspect of the ripping purposes which you will find by most here the latter is the kind of purposes it would be aimed at.

the fact that you state in your readme (not read it) that the original authors work should not be copied is complete crap, most people dont even read the readme file unless something goes wrong, so your on a loser from the start off.

we all know that maki could be decompiled but you will find people wanting to know how to code maki scripts than how to decompile, this is what we as people try to do is learn.

anyways it is a discussion and this is the right place imo

perhaps your tired of it cos you know your onto a losing battle with the morals of this community rather than it embracing the hey look i can decompile maki scripts
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Old 9th February 2005, 14:42   #33
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Hi SLoB,
I thought a general thread with the topic "copying is bad" would be a better place for this.

Also I didn't take someone with "fisting for fun" and "Forum Pirate" really serious.
But you have a working homepage and so I don't want to take your opinion so lightly.

I just noticed during this discussion that I have a completely other opinion than most of the people on this forum.
Bill Gates was right. Open Source is really "communism". At least I feel like this when I want to expose inner workings of tools. Also my tools.
Who knows when you might need this. Maybe the guy next door is writing a tool with the ground work I layed.

I also came to realize that a lot of guys here do see their code as a holy grail.
I think it's not.
Yes, maybe you found some cool trick to do an effect that looks cute, but's what the point.
You invest two weeks in painting the pictures and half a week in programming.
What's more important to protect?

So, what am I going to do next?
I will continue writing my Winamp modern skin engine for Linux (where the decompiler is a groundwork).
Oh, and I will continue to publish my code, because that's the way we are doing it in communism.
You know, power to the people

Too bad you don't want power too...
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Old 9th February 2005, 14:52   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ralf2

Also I didn't take someone with "fisting for fun" and "Forum Pirate" really serious.

Haha, you should, I'm about as serious as they come around these parts sunshine


Quote:
Oh, and I will continue to publish my code, because that's the way we are doing it in communism.
You know, power to the people
Hadn't you heard? communism didn't work....

If you want a serious discussion about the should and should not's of this project, don't try and mess it up with ludicrous innane statements like that, you'll only only manage to make yourself look foolish.


Bit of light reading for you

Quote:
The Fall of communism

On the night of November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall—the most potent symbol of the cold-war division of Europe—came down. Earlier that day, the Communist authorities of the German Democratic Republic had announced the removal of travel restrictions to democratic West Berlin. Thousands of East Germans streamed into the West, and in the course of the night, celebrants on both sides of the wall began to tear it down.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall was the culminating point of the revolutionary changes sweeping East Central Europe in 1989. Throughout the Soviet bloc, reformers assumed power and ended over 40 years of dictatorial Communist rule. The reform movement that ended communism in East Central Europe began in Poland. Solidarity, an anti-Communist trade union and social movement, had forced Poland’s Communist government to recognize it in 1980 through a wave of strikes that gained international attention. In 1981, Poland’s Communist authorities, under pressure from Moscow, declared martial law, arrested Solidarity’s leaders, and banned the democratic trade union. The ban did not bring an end to Solidarity. The movement simply went underground, and the rebellious Poles organized their own civil society, separate from the Communist government and its edicts.

In 1985, the assumption of power in the Soviet Union by a reformer, Mikhail Gorbachev, paved the way for political and economic reforms in East Central Europe. Gorbachev abandoned the “Brezhnev Doctrine”—the Soviet Union’s policy of intervening with military force, if necessary, to preserve Communist rule in the region. Instead, he encouraged the local Communist leaders to seek new ways of gaining popular support for their rule. In Hungary, the Communist government initiated reforms in 1989 that led to the sanctioning of a multiparty system and competitive elections. In Poland, the Communists entered into round-table talks with a rein******ted Solidarity. As a result, Poland held its first competitive elections since before World War II, and in 1989, Solidarity formed the first non-Communist government within the Soviet bloc since 1948. Inspired by their neighbors’ reforms, East Germans took to the streets in the summer and fall of 1989 to call for reforms, including freedom to visit West Berlin and West Germany. Moscow’s refusal to use military force to buoy the regime of East German leader Erich Honecker led to his replacement and the initiation of political reforms, leading up to the fateful decision to open the border crossings on the night of November 9, 1989.

In the wake of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Czechs and Slovaks took to the streets to demand political reforms in Czechoslovakia. Leading the demonstrations in Prague was dissident playwright Vaclav Havel, co-founder of the reform group Charter 77. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia quietly and peacefully transferred rule to Havel and the Czechoslovak reformers in what was later dubbed the “Velvet Revolution.” In Romania, the Communist regime of hardliner Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown by popular protest and force of arms in December 1989. Soon, the Communist parties of Bulgaria and Albania also ceded power.

The revolutions of 1989 marked the death knell of communism in Europe. As a result, not only was Germany reunified in 1990, but soon, revolution spread to the Soviet Union itself. After surviving a hard line coup attempt in 1991, Gorbachev was forced to cede power in Russia to Boris Yeltsin, who oversaw the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The collapse of communism in East Central Europe and the Soviet Union marked the end of the cold war. The U.S. long-term policy of containing Soviet expansion while encouraging democratic reform in Central and Eastern Europe through scientific and cultural exchanges, information policy (e.g., Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty), and the United States’ own example, provided invaluable support to the peoples of East Central Europe in their struggle for freedom.

Additional Reading:

Timothy Garton Ash, The Magic Lantern: The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague (New York: Vintage Books, 1993).
Gale Stokes, The Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).
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Old 9th February 2005, 15:50   #35
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Yeah,
now this discussion is getting funny
Did you notice that you actually did a copyright breach by copying the content of the internet page?

You should have posted a link, maybe to Wiki wikipedia where Communism is not set in direct relationship with dictatorship like it does on the US-goverment page.

However Bill Gates said something about open source and communism (however I did not manage to find the original quote).

But again, I understand your fears, uncertainty and doubts (FUD) and will not longer promote the decompiler as such.

By the way, how about trying out some cool open source tools? Mozilla, Firefox, Apache, php, bittorrent, Gnutella?
Oh, maybe you already have those. Then you want to try some of the other 40000 oss project available on the light side Freshmeat
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Old 9th February 2005, 16:33   #36
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Yes, yes, I use Firefox, I use apache, I write in php blah blah blah, Why do I use them? not becuase they are open source, I use them, and wait for it..... I use them because they suit my needs as a user best, I also use many many closed source products as well, say like, errrr, Winamp for example, because it suits my needs best.

What I don't do however is reverse enginner them and pass them off as my own work

Get it?
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Old 9th February 2005, 16:47   #37
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Jo, I get it.

Maybe you noticed that I am also opposed to breaking copyrights.

On the other hand I want to have my options. And man do I love this options!
Executing xemacs on windows, sun and my old Silicon Graphics rocks.
Executing Xmms on Sun, Linux and also SGI is great, after all I can use the same skins on all architectures.

Only It's bugging me that I can't use modern skins.
Not for much longer...

Hey, don't you want to install a Linux? On a 86x platform you should be able to use Wine to run Winamp.
Not a perfect solution but much better than having some strange Windows in the background.

Only problem. A recent test revealed that Wine does execute only one of six tested virus programs, and even the running virus did not do anything usefull
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Old 9th February 2005, 16:54   #38
Mr Jones
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I was contemplating rebuilding my file server at home lately, doubles duty as a file/print/media/ server for other workstations around my house and I have it in my mind to maybe build it on Linux or maybe not, it'll be whatever works best for my needs at that given time.

Although another option for me it to build a linux workstation as well, simply for the fact that I think the experience might be fun.

Oh, and something I forgot when we first started talking, I'm not a total linux novice, although I had forgotten it, I do have one or two unix boxes at work, although they are pretty much self containing, in so much as I set them up 5 years ago and left them running , so I have 'some' experience in the joys of linux/unix, but it's been such a long time since I actually did any real work on them.
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Old 9th February 2005, 17:44   #39
Ralf2
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Thats the perfect task for a Linux box, however you can also use them as normal desktop computers.

I am using a Gentoo distribution since several months now. Good documentation and you can easily update the system.

And if something is not working you have the sources (although my compilation of Open Office failed. I had to install it from binaries
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Old 9th February 2005, 21:53   #40
Bizzeh
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i think you should just let the linux zellout have his way jones, once they are on the "i hate microsoft and closed source stuff because my friends do" bandwaggon.. they usualy stay their and give childish ridicule to people who dont "belive" the same as them and try to make life hard for people just because they use windows..

you really do have to feel sorry for these people
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