Hello +F,

I've finished reading the contributions in your septem.htm page just now... Well, what can I say? As you already know, I completely agree your decision of changing the site, and I'm sure that what you will do will be (as usual) simply great. Anyway, after all these contributions, I've started to think to some other things that didn't came up to my mind when I wrote you the first time...

First of all, the "banal" essays. Of course, your site doesn't need them: there is really too much information yet for anyone willing to learn, and other material of this kind would be not only unuseful, but somehow dangerous for the student who just wants to learn a technique and finds 20 essays from which he can just view some examples, and no theory. Unfortunately, this is exactly what's happening in my university too: anybody can do an exam after he's done one thousand exercise, because statistically the ones he will find in the exam will be nearly the same he's done yet. BUT, if he finds a completely new exercise, HE CANNOT SOLVE IT! This is NOT reverse engineering, this is just a memory game!!! (For this reason, I'm writing the essay "reverse engineering university exams" I talked you about and I hope it'll be ready soon!). I said that the same thing is happening in my university, because what we have here is a bunch of students who think that master +ORC's tutorial are old, and ask for essays about just released programs. REAL knowledge won't EVER be old! In +his tutes the techniques are explained in detail, so that when you find a protection you immediately understand what kind of protection it is. The code isn't really important, and all the newbies who want to learn to crack should know that +HCU students did it reading tutes about programs they maybe didn't even crack... I personally cracked just ONE of them, and it was the one I had to crack to pass the strainer. Instead, more and more people ask new tutes about new programs (even if the protection is always of the same kind!) because they don't really want to learn to crack, but they just want to deprotect THAT particular program, and THIS is not good. Please don't blame me. I'm not against newbies (I'm trying to make my page as much "newbie-friendly" as I can, and I'd be happy, as I told you +F, to continue publishing essays for newbies since you've decided to stop).
But I would like to see NOT the crack, but the TECHNIQUE explained: the way the user intercepts the right call, the way he uses his tools, the order he uses them, the new tools he's written, and so on... only this way others will be able to apply the things they have learned on other proggies. After that, it's not important, IMO, if the target is a program to crack, a tool to ameliorate or a secret feature explained, because everybody will be able to crack other programs, ameliorate other tools and find new secret features if he's really learned the technique used. And, for the same reason, the program itself won't be important.
Said this, I don't think +you have to remove the old essays. They'll be a good reference anyway for the ones who, once learned the basic techniques, will want to try some "exercises". But they should remember this thing: reverse engineering is, after all, a _deductive_ process (it's called "inference" too): it starts from particular events and try to formulate general rules. So they should do with this material, trying to obtain general rules to follow to reverse engineer EVERY program they will find in the future.

For what concerns the other labs, I agree to your choices, with the hope that it will be possible to add new others in a second time (+gthorne's and +mammon's ideas are simply great imo!).

Finally, I'd like to thank all the +guys that wrote their contributions, because it's only thanks to them that I started to think about this email of mine... so it's their fault if you don't like it! ;)

*PHEW!* This was long... I hope I haven't bored you with my words, but I thought they could have been useful for someone. I've personally started to write more theorical essays and I'll publish them asap (of course, as always, you'll be the first to know it!).