Cracking MaGuS’s Fate Zero Encryption

I’m getting ready to upgrade my computer, and while going through some old files I stumbled across Fate Zero, the last version released of infamous Fate-X application. The tool was popular way back in the late 90’s since it added a lot extra functionality to AOL – some of which AOL was ok with, and some of which it wasn’t very fond of. It was created by two mysterious individuals known as MaGuS and FunGii. After Da Chronic (known for AOHell), MaGuS was probably the most widely known AOL hacker. Even though Fate-X 2.5 and 3.0 had a much bigger impact, Fate Zero was the most extensive in regards to features.

To maintain its status at the top of the heap, Fate Zero had to protect its external data, and this meant encrypting it so that other developers couldn’t snatch it up for their own progs. The prog scene of that time, however, is now long dead. Seeing these files today, I got curious. MaGuS was only 16 when he wrote Fate Zero. When I was 16, I knew almost nothing about encryption. It wasn’t until I was in college that I got a good exposure to the field of cryptography. Even though MaGuS seemed like a pretty smart guy, at that point in time he probably also didn’t know much about encryption. This made me think that the files might be easy to crack. It seemed like a fun way to spend a few hours, so I decided to see if I could decode them.

Interestingly (or not interestingly, depending on how you feel about it), the biggest source of external data for Fate Zero was AOL ASCII Art (ASCII Art done in 10pt Arial). This was typically used for scrolling into chat rooms. Fate Zero had over 500 files dedicated to this. You can see an example piece of art and its corresponding file encoding, below.

                         .--··´¯¯¯¨˜`·-.,
            .---··· ´¨¨¨                      `·.
       .·´                                        ',
    ,'                                               ',
   ¦             /|        |        /                  |
    ',     (     \\:\  |   /|      /''\     .|          |
      '·.  \|\ \.,'.|::\|\/ |¸,.-·´¨¨`·/.·´  |           |
         ` ·-\\|'/|¨`,     `|˜¨|¨˜`·„¸      |   |´¯`,    |
           ,'/||', \:'| ,     |_\::':/      |    |,  ,'     |
         ,'//|  ',¯¯·',                    |    | ¯        |
        ,'/  |  | ` ·.  --·´               |     |           |
        |´  |   |   _ ` ·.__ .·´        |      |/_        |
        |   |   |¨¯  ¯¯///,··\     ,.--·|      |  ',¯¨¨˜˜``'
        |.·´|   |--,··´¯//\ \ \    //   Aeka  _¸'·-By KioNe

File data for the above picture:

MDR恔…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f¡’ý)õý¦¡“rn~f”…f”…f”“sŽ¡ý”î
…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…fÁ,“Sk…f”…f,f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…mo恔…rˆ”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…fˆ rP”…쁔…f”…f”…f£áf”…f”…”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…Ân~f”Œr”…fœ…f”…¢½®Áfð…f£áf”…f£Œm½”…f”“”…f”…f”áSk…f”…m¢…f½ðÁf½¢‘mðŸ€½ðÁuðr¡ú
Åý¢ú”áf”…f”…f”áSk…f”…f”Åf¡Á¢Ý›”Â
Ô‘f”…fÁðýîÝý¦øf”…fð…fðõÁ …f”áSk…f”…f”…f›”ÂÝ›‘f½®ŒÂ …f”…ÂÀП€ˆ®”f”…fð…f”ár”‘m”…fðrP”…f”…f Œuð…fˆ õ›‘f”…f”…f”…f”…f”…”…fÝ”f”…f”…Ân~f”…f”‘m”…”áfÁ”t”’s)…f”…f”…f”…fð…f”…”…f”…f”…Ân~f”…f”áú”áf”áf”ÄfÁ”tÀÓ…t)…f”…f”áf”…fð”¥”…f”…f݁o恔…f”…”…”…Â
$…f$”u ý½”…f”‘tŽ¡”…f”áf›‘õ
ýÞÁÔŒSk…f”…fð“ýð…fð’s,ú£”¢Ð…¢”…f£…fµÊ±Â”…¥›s£í…‘Ê㳫n~

So right away it’s clear he’s not using a simple substitution cipher, yet due to the repeated use of white space in the source data, a pattern does seem to emerge in the encoded data. I compared the file sizes and found MaGuS’ encoded *.mdr files to be 5 bytes larger than their decoded counter parts. I chalked this up to the “MDR” that prefixed all the files, and the ending carriage return and line feed that seemed to end all of the files.

That meant there was probably one-for-one character encoding going on. After trying a few things out, I realized every 4th character seemed to use the same encoding. My guess was that he was combining 4 simple substitution ciphers, and using a different cipher depending on the index of the character. I created a quick script that read in an input/output combination and then tried to use that information to decode an encrypted file. To my delight, the script (mostly) worked! This was great, however, without knowing the full map of each cipher, I would only be able to get partial results.

I looked further and found each cipher was simply doing a character offset, meaning each cipher was a Caesar Cipher. The offsets were 70, 97, 116 and 101, respectively. If you look up the corresponding ASCII code for those numbers, you get the word “Fate”. I tried out this new decoding strategy and was able to successfully decode a directory of MaGuS’ files. I had broken the code! MaGuS was using what is known as the Vigenere Cipher, and for that particular directory, “Fate” was the pass-phrase.

In another interesting twist, I noticed certain types of files used different Vigenere keywords. For his *.mdf data files, the keyword “12151981” was used. My guess was that this was his birthday, since this date would have made him 16 when the prog was released and he mentions that he was 16 in the app’s about section. In this same about section he also mentions that he’s Asian and what high school he went to. This narrows down who he is to almost a T.

This got me thinking: “I wonder if I can track down who MaGuS was?” With the aid of some crafty googling, email addresses taken from webpages mentioned inside of Fate (if you dig through the machine code, you’ll find a dozen or so URLs), Rapportive (which can be used to look up social profiles based on email addresses), the internet archive, and leads taken from Fate Zero itself, I was able to pin point an individual who fit all of the criteria and was friends with people who got shout outs in Fate. I plugged their name and the “12-15-1981” birthday into dobsearch.com, and only one result came back, and it was from the state and city MaGuS said he lived in. I was stunned, I had found MaGuS.

I feel like it’d be wrong to out him, but at the same time I know it’d be a cop-out to not say anything. So I’ll just say that according to his LinkedIn and Facebook, he works for a consulting firm in the Washington DC area and is specializing in web related work. The rumors of him working for a security firm or of being this guy are false. He also seems to be somewhat of world traveler, and has a side hobby of being a photographer.

Part of me wondered for a second if I should contact him. He was a big inspiration to me back in the day, and Fate-X and its ilk are what led me to learn how to program. However, after talking with my wife, we thought that’d be too creepy. He made some cool progs a long, long time ago, no need to freak him out with some elaborate story that involves breaking some encryption he wrote over a decade ago.

Anyway, after I’d finished my little side quest, and I realized I still had 500+ decrypted AOL ASCII Art files, many of which haven’t seen the light of day in over a decade. Since some of that stuff is kind of cool, I decided to create a gallery for it. If you have a few moments check it out. Also, feel feel to grab and host any art there that you like, just be sure to leave in any artist signatures. It’s kind of strange to think that era is so far away, but also kind of neat to find remnants of it every so often.

2013.04.28 Update: A bit more has happened since I made the original post. MaGuS actually emailed me to congratulate me on the finding and to confirm his identity (though I’ll continue to respect his anonymity). He also mentioned that at the time he wrote Fate he had no training or knowledge of programming, and that he came up with his own encryption method as he went along. I don’t fault him for this, as Fate is still really impressive and I think most of us were in the same boat back then. He seems like a pretty cool guy, and I was glad to hear he enjoyed the post.

2016.03.10 Update: To reconnect with fellow former AOL developers:

210 thoughts on “Cracking MaGuS’s Fate Zero Encryption”

  1. Holy crap, sir. This post brought back a bunch of memories. I always wondered how those “verify MaGuS and FuNGii” bits of FateX worked! (Although, of course, this isn’t that…)

  2. I spent a few minutes trying to crack the verifier too, but was unable to do so. Most of the strings inside of Fate are plain text, so you can see them if you open up the exe in a text editor. However, it looks like MaGuS knew this. I didn’t see obvious strings around the piece of machine code representing the verifier. So he may have done something like this:

    key = Chr(#) + Chr(#) … (where # is the ASCII number of the letter)

    However, the interesting thing about the verifier is the it requires two inputs – a screen name and a key. This is presumably so MaGuS can prove himself while logged in as any account (and so he doesn’t need a static account, in case he were to get TOSed). This means that the program probably verifies a screen name/key combination by preforming some kind of hash on the screen name to see if it matches the key. And actually, I didn’t even think of this until I started typing this comment, but the verifier probably preforms the same Vigenere Cipher type encryption that’s used elsewhere in the program to get the key from the screen name.

    Now I’m going to have to go back and try this out… if a minimum string length wasn’t set in the code, this would be really easy to crack. You’d simply enter a 1 character screen name, and then try each single ascii input from 0 to 255 as the key. If you found a match, you could move on to a second character…

  3. Well, I tried the 1 character theory, and it looks like MaGuS was smart enough to check for short user names (the user “a” had no 1 character key). For longer user names I also tried the three other Vigenere key phrases he used in the app (“Fate”, “12151981”, and “2581”), and none of those worked. I dug around in the machine code but nothing popped out. I think I’ll throw in the towel for this piece since there’s the possibility that the app will always return a negative, and without any clues, the Vigenere key phrases could be anything. Oh well :/.

  4. Hey patorijk,
    Thank you so much for posting this and and decrypting the Fate Zero Ascii Art. This really braught back some awsome memories I used to hang out in the Server vVaReZ MP3 Audio rooms and with groups like BDBYZ and OLZ

  5. I’m not versed with cryptography at all, so I can’t quite keep up with you on here. I’m jealous that you have the talent to track him down. Why? Because I totally want to give him a big THANK YOU. It’s pretty crazy just how much of an influence his dinky little AOL “proggies” had on my life. It exposed me to programming, which got my brain working a different way. Here I am, today, using my skills for cancer research.

    MaGuS, or whatever his real name, is definitely one guy I’d love to meet some day.

    1. I have a feeling he’ll find this thread eventually, as it comes up for various MaGuS/Fate X searches on google. Cool to hear that it inspired you too, I sometimes shutter to think where I’d be if I’d stayed in creative writing (which is where I was heading before discovering progs and the AOL community).

  6. MaGuS & FuNGii were my heroes!! Trading “proggies” and getting on mass mail lists were part of my teenage years. I knew a lot of those macro artists too. Thanks for the trip down memory lane patorjk.

    1. A number of the old macro artists from AOL have gotten back together on a Facebook group to catch up and learn about each other (back then you were effectively just a 14-year old with an alias). Email me and I’ll point you to it.

    1. I unfortunately did not. There’s was not a lot of info on Fungii. I’d read everything from that he was MaGuS’s cousin to that he was dead. Nothing was verifiable though, and nothing gave any clues to who he was after I found MaGuS.

      As a side note though, I did also find HaVoK [1]. There was a poster on the digitalgangster.com message boards claiming to be him back in 2008. The person gave a lot of information that was not available without a ton of research, and even correctly gave MaGuS’s real life first name – though they spelled it wrong. However, it was close enough that I figured that they’d just forgotten how to spell it in the years that had passed. In the years since AOL, he apparently got really into gaming. He also gave out his email out to anyone who wanted to contact him.

      [1] http://www.digitalgangster.com/4um/archive/index.php/t-19940-p-2.html

  7. this was always one of my favorite top three sites. thanks for remaining.
    jeffrey aka SphinX and i’m so in love with magus and fungii because im like so much better than the two of themohz >=p.:….
    i’m from from int, oh, aohell, vbhelp, vb, vb6 etc etc and i says high. i went into an aol private room ‘Form1’ one day and i laughed my ass off because nobody was in there. i was like how f+ n+ wierd is this?

    hi patorjk im science

    i changed my name… hit me up people if you wanna be kept informed about when im releasing my book. itll be online for free on youtube because i hacked me some free web hosting… yep just plain old ascii file…youll scroll it left or right with the video placing instead of yeah that vertical one. i know i know. enjoy the tip everybody! mr free boy right here.

      1. wow I was on aol since aol 2.5 16 bit. I borrowed a friend’s aol account and the day after that told him thanks but I now have about 20 other accounts I can use. 10 years later I still had never paid for aol…those were the times…..anyway thank you Patorjk I absolutely loved reading this!!

  8. This article makes me happy. I too started a career in programming due to AOL punters, room busters, and other progs. Would love to re-live those days, too fun.

    1. That’s good to hear, I think many of us did. Those fun, being a lamer days were a pretty wild adventure I don’t think any of us will forget. I don’t keep in touch with anybody from that time, so it’s just a memory only I know about now. I just watched “Stand by Me,” on YouTube, and my days on AOL are kinda like a nerd version of that, with fat chicks and eLiTe TaLK (notice how I still get the caps right). 😉 Fun times.

      HaVoK

      1. When I was first discovering AOL progs, my friend Chris would come over and share the latest ones he’d found (on floppy disks, no less). After AOHell, HaVoK was the second one we tried out. I still remember the first time I opened it. I was in the basement of my parents house and it was mid-morning. The intro song was the first time I’d ever heard old school Metallica. I don’t know why I remember that, but it’s what I remember when I think of HaVoK.

        1. heh, I was going through a Metallica phase back then, so that makes sense. I’m impressed it even worked–that OLE stuff didn’t work sometimes. A lot of my code was written in “I hope it works!” mode. I was pretty bad, but that’s where I started, and it was fun being an asshole. 🙂

          ph0nikz, I hope you find more people. I saw HoSS in that thread in 2008 on that digitalganster link above. I’ve always liked SuPeR MaD CoW (or whatever the caps was) for it’s creativity, so it was nice hearing his version of those days (I didn’t know him). God knows what happened to the rest of us, although I’m guessing many became programmers.

          HaVoK

          1. Blast from the past. Seeing some great memories and fun times with a few who posted on here. HaVoK – I think the last time we spoke was using the SHiZZa private room encryptor. -chillz

  9. Mannnn..those were the days. I think magus, fungii, redxking, havok were all inspirations. I remember thinking i was the coolest kid on the planet. you messed with me, i kicked ya off online. Its what got me into computers and programs. I was just so fascinated. I love googling old handles and then finding people who still reminisce.

  10. I’m enjoying some discussion on the origin of Script Kiddies, and as I was referencing Fate and the myriad of other available programs in those Halcyon days of AOL I happened to search for ‘Fate by MaGuS’ for potential reference. Finding this was Neato Elito.

  11. Wow… memories. I joined a little bit later than those listed here (they were legends in my time), but AOL got me on the track to a career in programming as well.

    Fun as hell.

  12. Excellent article. First prog I ever used was Fate X 2.5 by Magus. +1 for not outing him but I’d definitely shoot him a message and thank him for my career. I work as a sys admin now and have experience in almost every aspect of computing thanks to that guy. Had it not been for Fate X 2.5 I might have gone outside instead of falling into my computer!

  13. X99 here…

    Good read man, brings back memories… I recall creating a bunch of different artwork, macros and specifically launch screens for Fate Zero… and I always remember thinking what a big deal it was to email back and forth with MaGuS… and having him solicit work was even cooler. I felt like a part of something.

    I got my start in that scene doing tags and macros and some early photoshop art. If I recall there were even a few ‘X99’ macro fonts that were created for Fate Zero… or was it some other macro shop…. I can’t remember. I still have a big archive of all the old macros and art I did, it’s funny to look back on and realize that it really jumpstarted what I do professionally.

  14. Hey guys,

    Awesome article, I remember these times vividly.

    I made a little homage to the AOL days with a video on youtube where I open a few different progs- AOHELL, HAVOK, FATE X 2.5, CHRISTMAS 98, SPIZAM, SPAMSOCK, and a few others.

    I have a question for anyone out there who may know the answer… In Fate X 2.5 there is a Verifier for a person by the name of MegaPlex. You can actually verify Magus or Megaplex on this form BUT Megaplex is no where in the credits and I have never heard of this person before. Could this be the mentor of Magus? I always wondered how such a young kid was able to do such amazing things with coding. He was on the encryption bug back with Fate X 2.5 and his anti-decompiler shield. There is also another text encryption tool in Fate X 2.5.

    Link to my video:

  15. hahaha oh man, so embarrassing. My wife’s sitting behind me and I’m not sure if I want her to see this. Wow, great video, I can’t believe I wrote that stuff–haven’t seen it in ages. Great memories. Thanks for the video.

  16. Well I was bored today so I decided to see if I could get as far as you did.

    I found all of the URL’s in the application. All of them are dead/changed except for (1). It looks like Magus was leaving a trail to things he liked? Links to computer/electronics stores in VA, Asian pride/asian rap sites. On one of the sites MaGuS left a comment in 1997. I tried using information gathered but couldn’t find anything immediately and quickly threw in the towel.

    I have a ‘feeling’ that I’ve deduced his name and have probably seen his face amongst the many people he shares a name with, but I won’t throw it out there since I’m not 100% that is really his name ALSO I think if he wanted to be known he would throw up a website and say here I am.

    1. I just made an update to the post, and I agree that it wouldn’t be right to reveal his identity. If you got that far, you probably did see him somewhere along the line. Also, for looking up the old sites, I used archive.org, since most of them are dead / outdated.

      1. yep, archive.org is what I used as well.

        I just read the update and thats awesome that he reached out to you. Magus was a huge influence on me in my early days as well, particularly because his applications always seemed to be a cut above the rest.

        In 1994 got my first computer @ age 9, by mid-1995 I was fully into the AOL “hacking” scene at age 10 and AOHELL & Fate X 2.5 are the earliest programs I can clearly remember using on a frequent basis, though I always liked Fate better 😉 Soon after I started using these programs I “had” to learn how to make them and thus I unknowingly began my career in Information Technology. Funny how that worked out.

        1. I followed a similar path. Before AOL progs, I was heading towards biology or journalism. Had it not been my AOL days, I most likely wouldn’t have ended up a programmer.

    1. Watched the video, though it looks like it’s removed now? The handle casper is familiar. And as odd as this sounds, people still regularly download the VB6 files, it’s kind of neat. Though I guess this is one of the few places still hosting stuff related specifically to VB6.

      1. I actually just realized the code example download link was mixed up with the example below mine. Looks like I was using the handle “linux” in conjunction with casper at the time, lol the originality.

  17. hey kids. what an afternoon of reminiscence. started off finding an old aol cracker on my HD. started searching the net for old stuff, my stuff, friends stuff, including fate. my oh my the memories. dont know if anyone remembers me or not (doesnt matter). i released quite a number of things back in the 90’s, predominantly 96-98. so many fun times and learned so much. here is my old “shouts” list…

    8ball, aiw, akira, akuma, amp, ares, bacon, cirkit, cocoa, debo, dolan, eich, finch, flect, fo0, glare, glitch, goten, grifter, gza, ib, ieet, jim, kani, kip, lapd, layzie, less, madd, magus, mikey, mist, mistik, monk-e-god, monky, mza, new, niik, nsp, nyco, outlaw, plinx, poof, rj2, silkk, sodo, son, sour, spoon, ty, twd, utta, vert, viru, uw, ytc, zimzum

    just wanted to say “word”. and @pat, done my share of “detective work” myself. magus was my hero. was always HIGHLY into computers as a young child (remember my first 8086) but he definately inspired me to advance. so shouts to my boy Y.H. Thanks for the memories. anyone who knows/remembers me feel free to hit me up.

    -stank

  18. Wow! This really takes me back. It sounds like everyone here commenting was probably in the same group at one time or another. Does anyone remember firetools? It had prodigy “fire starter” music over a “rotext.vbx” intro. I think the author was JP or something. I always called these AOL hack programs proggies or progs. I learned visual basic making these programs back in 96-99. In 99 we were making them for AIM not AOL. I have not pursued career of programming but I wish I did. Almost 30 now and trying the learn a programming language gets harder and harder having not touched it since I was a teenager. Great reading all these memories. I was a proggie collector I must have had 50 or so.

    I think MaGuS made a mail sever (a type of AOL program similar to a mass-mailer but instead of sending your entire inbox to a bunch of people they could select, through commands in a chatroom, which mails they wanted from you and it would automatically forward them – similar to XDCC on IRC) anyhow… it had intro music from “NightRider”. Anyone remember what that one was called?

    1. I’m like 90% sure that was the ARiSE mail server, made specifically for the group ARiSE. Good Times.

  19. Man, I wish I can go back to these days. Some of the best times of my life was on aol using profs. I still remember the first prog I ever used – Aoice I still remember the password as well, iceman rulez aol. It opened to metallicas song trapped under ice which took me years to find. This was back in 96, still remember it like it was yesterday

  20. OH accounts, <'s 1 IM Punters, Anti's, pws, email punt, room punt, scrolling, lagging, warez…yes it was glorious.

    Copycon has gone offline.

    Damnit.

  21. I always heard that Magus was Adrian…I never believed it, and I guess you proved it to not be true. Great post…I wish the real MaGuS would tell everyone who he is…he’s a fucking legend. Fate Zero was the best “prog” ever made imho.

  22. Does anyone remember “masta”? I always felt like his programs were “leeto”. He created a few programs and they were so clean. Another programmer/artist was “Xarc” or “Xarchangel”. That dude was nasty. He didnt come out til AOL 4.0 though i think. I think there was another program called pens tools or something along the lines of that. One guy who was good was KINGDP. he created Devils Phreak, that was an awesome punter. there was one programmer named phold. he made a few lil progs.

    Sorry, im just rambling. Im just typing everyone that comes to mind who i respected.

    1. Masta as in ‘Da masta’ who made ‘god punta’? (I’m sure there we specials characters in the title and programmer name I just can’t remember which)

    2. He was for sure best known for his prog “Gothic Nightmares.” Pretty much the best name for a prog, ever.

  23. The best punter I ever came across was Black Lag, which was around 3.0. The interesting thing about it was you couldn’t share it or give it to other people.

  24. i used to chill in vb, oh, int, poa, jade, suni,
    my handle was ‘sai’
    i made a few progs in vb 3 like “guidetools” for when the Guide#### exploit was around
    and Lotsen####.

    i was even around for 1ch and 2chr sn’s using vb to insert something like:
    sa imaticowns
    into the create sn box, it would trunicate the letters longer then 10chr.

    i used to mess with Donna aka “FunEOne” in deacon’s bench (aol employee area invoked via master-aol)

    I even recorded the data streams with secureID logins trying to figure that out
    and some of us did invoke CRIS with master aol before it was firewalled and pulled infos on OH’s INTS etc. I loved scrolling on ohs 😛

    ahhh the days of being a SN whore, and how being about to =qpermagag someone made you so l33t0 sk33t0 burrito… (cough)

    then we all graduated to IRC and started DDoSing one another and our sites, remember Sub7? LOL … or how about that active-x mime encryption exploit embed in the page to auto-exe an uploader, then upload your server, good lord. back-orifice.
    g0sh.

    shout outs: xl, trixter, g0d, suni, (xl made some badass progs) island, cyan, bratt(from observers) heat, vango, dolan, frost (thanks for letting me use ur .bas), rxr, quik, eazy, sly, rooster, glare, Vincent Glaze aka VG, pook, smoke, adrian, island55, root, dayz, wylde, dozi, ioft aka loft, lobo, quadrent, vae aka vaeisma, ytcracker, and all the other countless others i ran into. peace !!

  25. So i have been out of the AOL scene for many, many years (almost a decade) and today while bored at work, I decided to google “AOL Progz”. After about three results I found this page. Man does this bring back memories. I remember using all of these back in the day when I was twelve. Once I turned 15 I started experimenting with programming. I taught myself a lot thanks to open source sites. While magus was a huge influence on the interesting capabilities of programming, I would say that later on in my life, patorjk was just as much as an influence. I used your api-spy (as well as my basic knowledge i had taught myself) to make not 1, not 2, but 3 different password stealers. The later two, I made with omer, and eventually changed the game of PWS by posting the passwords to a cgi script rather than sending and then deleting the emails from the sent box. This is too awesome to come across. While I am still very computer literate, I wish I would have kept up with the computers more. I now work sales, but this post made me feel like a kid again. Great info pat!

  26. Haha. This made my day. All these old AOL progs that started my career. I think the first one I ever used was SubZero or something along those lines. I haven’t done anything with AOL in ages (or AIM for that matter)!

    I used to work on the file serves and mass mailers. Got a chance to visit with Heat while he was working on the epidemic mail server, he helped me a lot with understanding some of the core stuff for making a mass mailer, using timing and what windows to watch for.

    I watched PatOrJK’s site religiously and used the API Spy to help run through the windows. Gotta say, this was an awesome day down nostalgia lane today.

    I’m here, working from home on iOS and Mac stuff now… Not all the cool Windows stuff, but I wouldn’t be here without all of you, so thank you!

  27. One of the most impressive things I ever saw (back then) was a program that could bypass AOL’s client and send instant messages (and it wasn’t aim toc protocal)

    Oh the potential was awesome.

  28. I remember when I was developing my own AOL program, I contacted HaVoK who gave me my first example of using vbmsg.vbx for sub-classing the chat room and creating a bot…

    Thanks for being so kind 😉

  29. My god.

    28 years old, as a full-time web developer and I’ll never forget FateX 2.5, which started it all for me. The 1IM punt HTML tag that overloaded AOL’s own buffer <font size="199999999999…" and fill the 9's to the end of the IM window.

    We used to have our little "cyber armies," and things that kids do at that age. The server and mail lists that used to dish out copies of VB3, VB4, and VB5. I went out to actually buy VB6 after working one summer only to realize the bullshit licenses of Microsoft, and that I could only afford the Express edition. That's where I learned to love open-source, and ultimately got into Linux.

    This post is great, and I really enjoyed reading it, as flashbacks of crappy VB spaghetti code flashbacked thru my head.

  30. Great seeing this thread.. those were the days. Congrats on discovering MaGuS, very cool. Shouts to WirM and ike, Morbid, RGH, and many more. maybe if they google themselves they can find and enjoy this article.

  31. Wow, I was 14 when aol 3.0 came out and I remember one of the first people I met online asking me to program some stuff for his “crew”. I had no idea what it was but he sent me vb and I learned from there. I recently started thinking about those simpler times and looking for screen shots of all the old programs from those days but they are few and far between. I mainly just ended up making things for myself and a few friends and remember getting added to the upcoming list of releases on lenshell for a cchat program if I remember correctly before the scene moved over to mirc and I just left all together.

    I went by the name of blinks way back then, I met so many people back then that were really awesome.

    I don’t know why all my memories of those times came flooding back but they were really fun times trying to make stuff work not really having a full grasp on what I was doing.

  32. Ah the good ol’ days. MaGus, Rj2, Unab0mb. Those guys really were inspirations to me, and the whole AOL Scene is what made me get into programming. Today I am a web developer with a BS in computer science and can absolutely say the AOL scene is what made me realize programming is what I wanted to do as a career.

    I remember your site from back then PatOrJK, I was really happy to see it still exists and you fondly remember those days like I do. I actually visited the lenshell forums 5-6 years ago and saw a bunch of guys from the scene on there.

    My claim to fame is helping Unab0mb make Prophecy v4, which wasn’t as big as Prophecy 3.0, but my name ‘filter’ is in there in the Prophecy v4 credits somewhere. Dave (Unab0mb)/Majesty (shane or sean?)/Mystic if you come across this post – shoot me an e-mail!

    Great post! I would love to see the face behind Fate 3.0/FateX!

    1. i haven’t thought about any of these programs for years. i remember making a few things for unab0mb for prophecy 3, 4. wish i could get a hold of him, don’t have any of the source code from those projects. those were good times .

  33. So I uploaded a little gallery of some stuff I found on a disc in my computer room, It had so much code/bas/projects on it but I don’t have vb or anything to access it 🙁

    Also a lot of programs I have wont load due to 64 bit windows, no aol, etc..

    http://imgur.com/a/RHYxl

    1. Very cool, thanks for sharing the images Mike!

      Microsoft provides something called “Windows Virtual PC”, which allows you to run older versions of Windows. It’s free and I downloaded it a while back when I was trying to run an old program. Here are some links to check out if you’re interested:

      http://www.essjae.com/virtualization/default.htm
      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2010/05/27/installing-windows-98-on-windows-virtual-pc.aspx

  34. Easy was is to load on dual partition and don’t install 64 bit version. Or you can try VirtualBox too… Second get a copy of VB which isn’t to hard.

    1. So I got the virtualbox running win 98 but the graphics were all messed up whenever I loaded a program, almost looked like I was using teamviewer to view them.

  35. The heyday of AOL progs was such a magical time. “Server” turning into “Cerver” was particular painful to me, considering I was still checking in with 56k.

    Does anyone remember the “testing” chat rooms? We ran our ‘progs’ to sort shit out.

  36. A little update on my AOL/Misc prog screenshot gallery, found an old PC with windows XP on it. Downloaded the vb runtimes and got some new images from Fate Zero / Fate X 2.5. Couldn’t do much since almost everything checks to see if you’re signed into aol. I do have an old AOL account (my parents never moved into the 21st century apparently) so I am going to try loading them up at a later time.

    Anyways here is some updated screenshttp://imgur.com/a/RHYxl

    The .Wav that plays loading Fate Zero scared the hell out of me, I forgot about that evil laugh.

  37. Wow..memory lane! I read this about a year and a half ago when it was written and just checked back. Such funny timing. I just broke into an old Iomega JAZ drive…went through hell and back to get into it. Anyway, I used to hangout in the old rooms circa 1996-2001. My first proggie was Fate ULTRA 8.0. When 9.0 came out, it was even more amazing, and then the Fate X series started up. I just found the intro song for Fate Ultra 9.0, as I loaded the .wav file yesterday and then used google sound search on it and it nailed a hit. For anyone interested:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNzYIEY-CcM

    Funny how it took 17 YEARS to figure out what that 25sec intro clip was from. Anyway, my screenname back then was SPYER2000 – anyone remember me?

    Here is the list of Proggies that I have just found and accessed – does anyone want them to host? Most of these do not run on 64bit, but I am sure a virtual machine can fix that issue.

    Aftermath
    AoAnarchy
    AoBliss98
    AoCreep
    AoDoggy
    AoEwy
    AoFun
    AoHade
    AoHell95
    AoIce
    AoInsanity
    AOL Guide Tool
    AoLazy97
    AoLord
    AoMassacre
    AoMess
    AoMyGod
    AoNetwork
    AoNirvana
    AoPepsi
    AoSkam97
    AoStorm 2
    AoStr8
    AoWizard
    Area 53
    Black Ice
    Blizzard Server
    Blue Cross 5.2 Punter
    Chat Com
    Chip Chat
    Chocolate X Punter
    Cold Fire
    Distortion
    Elite IP Stealer
    Exorcist 1.0
    Exorcist 2.0
    Exorcist 3.0
    Fake Prog
    Fate Ultra 8.0
    Fate Ultra 9.0
    Fate X 1.0
    Fate X 2.5
    Fate X 3.0
    Fate X 4.0a
    Fate X 4.1 Server
    FBI
    Fire Toolz X 3.0
    Flare IP
    Forever 1.7
    French Fry Room Buster
    Gadget C-Chat
    Geniculi
    GET-IN
    Got Lag
    Havok Final
    Havok Metallica
    Havok Platinum
    Hell Raiser 3.0
    Hell Raiser Final
    Ice Drop MMer
    Imperial 2000
    Infiniti Turbo
    Jai Jen Punter
    Madcow 2
    Madcow 97
    Madcow 2000
    Madcow Final
    Magenta
    Magic Tools
    Master AOL 3.0
    Master AOL 4.0
    Master AOL 5.0
    Millenium MMer
    Murder MMer
    MyStiC Gold
    Nikka Server Helper
    Nuclear Winter
    Panic 1.5
    Paranoia
    Paws MMer
    Pepsi 4.0
    Phase 9
    Pondscum 1.1
    Queso Server 2.0
    Rampage
    Remix Dova
    Sonic Chat Tools
    Soylent Green Server Final
    Stay Online
    Stealths Password Stealer Detector 8.0
    SubZero 3.0
    SurF n Styx’s Mp3 C-Chat
    Thanatos 2
    Toolz Of Destruction 2.0
    Toolz Of Destruction 3.0
    Turbo Ice Drop
    VP Toolz 2
    x23x TOSser
    X-Zone 4
    Zonk Mp3 C-Chat

    I hope you’re all feeling nostalgic by now. I have all of these available. I would love to share these as I am sure that 99% of everyone deleted or lost them. I would rather them not be lost to the sands of time. Ball is in your court.

    1. Zip them and upload to drop box or Google drive and then mark them as public and share the link. I can be reached itstonye(at)gmail(dot)com if you need help. I would love to get my hands on the whole lot.

    2. LOL @ Stealth’s PWSD. I’m working on a u/x project for him right now. We wrote Outbreak 3, 4, and Gold together (his PWSD was built-in, ) and Anode Warez Server (in a single night) after getting in to AOL in like 96 and have been friends since.

    3. ha, soylent green deserves its own shrine! i remember my dad’s account getting killed within a month. soylent helped me continue thriving. wake up each morning with 47 new accounts to choose from, and who could forget pissing our 12yr old pants when we’d wake up to find an OH account was in our list! lmao we’d stay online for days with it because the aol admin couldn’t log in if we were already on it. i remember going straight to the chat rooms to scroll ascii with OH scrollers (remember those?! aol would boot you if you scrolled 5 sentences in 1 second.. but OH could blast thousands of lines!). and you could punt people that had their IM’s turned off… OMFG funny. sneak in to the GREEN ROOM (remember that?) to see staff meetings! lol. we had our little punter gangs.. 15 of us would punt the same person simultaneously. hahaha the birth of DDoS.. damn what memories. go to bed at 7:29am because my parents would wake up at 7:30. hahaha

  38. P.S. I have Fate Zero, AoPussy, and some others on another old computer back at home. Perhaps if my mother lets me in the storage and on that computer, one day I can retrieve the remaining ones not in the list. That list is mostly complete though.

    CATWatch01 has left the room.

  39. If they get hosted, please share the link. Lenshell is still up and running (i think) but it would be nice if all the progs were available as a single download imho (not like we are on 56k anymore)

  40. Patorjk, would we be able to host it here? I can send you the file…rar’d up, all of it is roughly 240mb only. You can doublecheck for viruses. AVG does say some of them are, but I promise that they are all false flags. It did the same thing for all my old ICQ proggies as well. The proggies that require passwords, all have PW.txt in their folders. Some have multiple passwords for secret areas and such.

    I will keep an eye on this page for a bit to see how much interest there is in this. Personally, i think it’s a great idea, especially for preservation purposes.

    1. Probably not, my host does periodically does virus scans on files, and if they’re triggering the virus scanner that could be problematic. I wouldn’t mind linking to the rar once it’s posted somewhere though.

      I agree about preservation. lenshellarchive.com has a good collection, but you never know when a site like that will shut down, so having these files in more than one place in a good idea.

      One idea may be to just setup a dropbox

  41. I wouldn’t mind having those progs for old time sake. I have nowhere to host them online though. Aside from what everyone else has suggested.

    I was messing around with some stuff in Fate and I am really curious as to what FunGii’s role was. Everyone knew who MaGuS was and Im pretty sure I saw him in pr: loud a few times. FunGii has always been a mystery to people it seems. Im hoping if MaGuS ever contacts Pat again or whatever he may shed some light onto what his role was, etc. I know he got credit for some of the art work but did he go beyond that.

    Anyways it’s been fun talking about it on here the last few days it was honestly some of the best times of my life just messing around trying to figure out vb at the time when computers were nothing like they are today. I wish I would have stayed in contact with most of those people just to see what they went on to do. I read that Monk-e-god passed and that sucks I can still remember him using forest green arial black on aol.

    This was one of my favorite sites back then as well, I learned a lot from your non-aol related examples which made me think beyond what I was doing at the time of strictly aol add-ons. Glad to see it is still around. As for Lenshell I worry about that site, it has a massive amount of files but who knows whats up with beav (think he is the owner) hopefully he plans to keep it up just for old time sake to preserve the history of what once was a great experience.

    I wish I still had access to my old source code for most stuff, I was always working on what seemed like 15 projects at once. Would be funny to see how the code would look today to me. The few projects I actually completed I was always timid to release them to the public I didn’t want them to fail. I swore I backed up my code/bas files but I can’t find them so either I left them at my parents about 12 years ago or they are gone for ever minus 2 small progs and a little api spy I made for myself to do little things I needed at the time.

  42. I’d like to see the history preserved. Most of the stuff I archived was my own, although I really wish I had saved more than that. Looking at old code makes me smile, mostly because it’s sloppy and all over the place.

    I think a lot of programs can still run on windows 2k (with vb3 runtimes installed. Not so sure on the earliest of programs from 95.

    Getting windows 98 to work on virtualbox was a challenge for me. I don’t think I could do it with windows 95. But there is also Windows Virtual PC too.

  43. Good memories, I was actually able to track down MaGuS once on AOL and helped with some Yo-Mama jokes , as well as help him with his anonymity. I was able to track him by dissecting the email trail of a release of fate, that originated from him. So I let him know that in the future he might wish to be more careful. I also know he was friends with the programmer Outcast or Outkast, something along those lines, its been so so long its hard to remember all the details, but I remember thinking how cool it was that there wasn’t a rivalry between the programmers of these things but good friendships and teamwork.

  44. The best error punt in my opinion was the aol 2.5 GPF error punt. That thing was so brutal you often had to reboot your PC.

    Christ, I remember being in conference calls at work and met a few aol’ers from the old days. Funny seeing how quick the kid in them comes out.

    1. If I recall correctly the aol 2.5 punt was simply a link to a website. It’s was immune to all of the aol 3.0 punters, because it didn’t have HTML, but a simple website that you can type out without a program caused a gpf. exp http://hackz.com/hacks That’s not it, but it something simple like that.

      I still preferred 2.5 for a long time. When punters were running ramped, aol 2.5 was the only way you could go around without shutting your IMs off. Because there was always someone punting, even in the public chat rooms.

  45. Damn…..this really defines the phrase “take a trip down memory lane” As with most of you I must say that the good ol days of AOL are what got me into computers. I remember the very first time I signed on to AOL 1.0 at my Dad’s friend’s house. Once I was on, I think around 10 or so, it captivated me. I immediately begged my mom to get AOL on our 486 computer. The scrolling ascii art in the chatrooms was so intriguing that I had to learn more. Within a few weeks I was on mass mailers….. (_(\ \/ /)_) (_(\ \/ /)_). Using these programs to feel like the ultimate AOL beast. I remember phishing a dudes account SkateKing or something. Using the non toll free dial up numbers for immediate access if the server was too busy. Eventually I almost got into trouble for doing some of the stuff I did on AOL. But damn man, I’d be ignorant to not give credit to those who started that scene. If it weren’t for that, my knowledge base of computers and IT would have been half what it is today. Although I didn’t go into the field of programming (I work at a reputable cable company as a video engineer) I do look back on all of this and laugh a subtle laugh because that era taught me sooooo much. Those programs were the shit. I remember trying to find all of the secrets in each little program too, hidden buttons, password protected areas, hidden jpegs. It was all so great. The punters hahahaha so funny to reminisce about it all. Good job on the article Pator. I found this site after I googled AOL FATE yesterday. Just had a random thought yesterday about it and wanted to see what was still lurking on the net about those times. We were all so young and innocent…NOT! HAHAHA. Anyway, great read, glad to see you all still have it in your blood. As the monotone voice of AOL would say…….”GOODBYE”

    1. agreed! i’ll never forget joining the first chat and seeing someone scroll the ascii art and i begged him to tell me how he did it. the rest is history. i was 11yrs old then. now i’m 31 and a sr. network architect for one of the top 5’s. all b/c of that. good times.

  46. Its so cool to see everyone find this page and reminisce the good ole AOL days. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments about it. Nobody outside our circle understands, I can talk to people about it but they are clueless.

      1. Yo, upload Fear X 2.0! Judgement Night 4 is on Lenshell but the new (relatively speaking) version of Fear X is not.

        Also, Oogle was not a ‘lamer’ by any stretch of the imagination. I always felt the need to clarify that. The person formerly known as Oogle works for Google now (funny, eh?)

  47. Aww man this made my day, I would love to get my hands on some of those proggies! I must have had thousands of un/pws…vb3 was the best, .bas files. Even worse was mming tens of thousands of people with back orifice from cult dead cow, lol. I used to have a phone line ran across my backyard to the neighbors phone box that I would only hook up at night time, I thought I would never talk to anybody from back then I’m 30 now…Anybody remember i88i? I just remember being blown away by his macros I always told him he was going to be a famous artist one day, lol…nice to see fate influenced other people’s career choices as well. Test! -siic

    1. +1. i couldn’t remember his name… the one guy that absolutely 0wn3d macros. i88i. if magus was the aol proggie master, i88i was the equivalent aol graffiti master. his tags were e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. anytime soylent nailed me an OH account, i went straight to my top shelf collections… i88i’s OH scroller! lmao

    2. hahaha remember Rotext?? i used to code the most badass GR33Tz shows ever. fuckin text twirling and spinning all over the place. window.background=black, timeout 1, window.backround=white strobe lights and shit. omfg i wish coding was still that easy!

  48. I am suffer, if anyone here remembers me. I was friends with psmalls, hazy, ctrl, sizzer, jakez, notion, suffer, poboy, n0x, paste, chevelle and dipp. Plus many more like oogle who crafted rampage toolz.

    So glad to see all this stuff.

    1. HA HA Hell ya how can I forget Rampage Toolz. I started programming in high school with PLASTIK and learned everything I know from DOS and Plastik I never had a big release of any of my progz but I made alot of .BAS files for rookies. Plastik and I made a prog in a few hours using all the source we had written over the years just using CALL commands and tried to see how many downloads we could get in a year span. Called it SORBITAL2k, had no name Ideas so we picked up objects around the room that had writing on them searching for a name….. and the back of a pack of gum said SOBITAL as an ingredient …So that’s what we called it. ha ha the program was more or less a joke and just did it to see how fast we could design the prog, what would have taken 6 months we did In three hours with over 35 different chat room options (all tested and working). I went by the name PIMPD and later became DeEpSYX.
      Not that you care about all of that history but I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed your prog very much.

  49. I am suffer, if anyone here remembers me. I was friends with psmalls, hazy, ctrl, sizzer, jakez, notion, poboy, n0x, paste, chevelle and dipp. Plus many more like oogle who crafted rampage toolz.

    So glad to see all this stuff.

  50. Wow the good ole days… All us chilling on DOS’s IRC channel playing Tetri-net and counterstrike, after we hung our shoes up and decided the AOL scene was fading or was it that we were just getting to old for that shit.

    1. That is a lot of stuff to go through, nice collection.

      I just watched a marathon of I love the 90s those old vh1 shows.. What a great time to be a teenager that was. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. So many awesome things in the 90s led to the technology we have today so nostalgic.

      1. Also if you want to use any of the SS fromhttp://imgur.com/a/RHYxl I compiled go for it. I have got a bit lazy and haven’t updated it at all in the last few months.

      1. hahaha nice. hellraiser and magenta were my first progs ever. the rest is history.

        wtf was that graphics program called? that did the retarded mountains with water reflection? lol and the 3d lettering tool? those plus photoshop 4x/5x with every plugin imaginable.. brought to us by our favorite.. FedEx and UPS mass mailer “gangs”! damn what good times. what was the string again? screenname send index, or something? get an email with everything they had, like a menu, then screenname send [1-15] hahaha. then download all damn night. rinse and repeat.

  51. Hey guys, wow, this page brings back memories. I ran across this post while searching for Fate haha. Like most of you guys, I started in mid 90’s. Started up a group called MOL (I was DaPrez), we mostly hung out and I learned VB from Mr Pompey (who suddenly disappeared one day), along with camelsoft, damennblk, but I still to this day keep contact with couple of people. Shortly after getting banned from AOL, I got an earthlink account and just lived on <. People used to call me <, until I came back and established my handle as "Un0". I was in some other groups, such as UPSS, Audio, and LouD (wow – that ascii art brought back memories). I beta tested Fate Zero, but I was a fan since Fate 2.5. I remember the huge ordeal that happened with MaGuS and Jakal..apparently he stole his source or something, but it was a big misunderstanding.

    There are so many stories to tell, but I don't have enough time at the moment. But there is one thing that I would like to say:

    I was going through very tough times during those years (personal, depression, etc), but all the love I felt among everyone really changed my life for the better. I had no friends in real life…no one would understand me, except my online friends. There are no words that I can say, but just a huge THANK YOU to everyone that was part of the scene…I truly believe we are a special group.

    I ended up going to college and getting my bs in computer science, married, and living a great life. I post more later one, I have lots of cool aol coding stories 🙂

  52. wow…memories for sure. i’ve been looking for people from macros / vb / phish ect. rooms forever. i was in with nv2 when krazed and cam0 went nuts on everyone and ran shit. i miss those days… a much more simple time. hit me if anyone remembers me haha.

    to0n,epix,roli,sirk,kz,majy,cidaz from oakland to name a few
    conwayent@yahoo.com

  53. I had so many names over the years its too hard to mention. All I can say is it is incredible that other people are as infatuated as I am with the past and the AOL era. So many influential names have been mentioned and I’m happy to see REAL people, that paved the way, be mentioned and not mass developers that made imitations based on others code with different art work. If anyone can get a copy of magenta with the sound add-on I would love to add that to my collection. Thanks guys for the fascinating trip down memory lane.

  54. FunGii was a Jew from Philadelphia. That is as much as I remember, because I met up with them briefly in the DC area.

  55. Wow, such great memories. I was into this stuff from about age 11 to 14 when I finally got my dad kicked off AOL (banned for life were the words he used) for getting caught in some chat room (I think it was either Server, Warez or Zeraw). I did try to learn Visual Basic in that time but never really got good enough with it to do anything but the most basic stuff. I do remember using keyloggers to steal my friends passwords and mess with them and, after AOL, using a program I think was called “Back Orifice” to fuck with people using mIRC (because it was so easy to get their IP address and, back then, almost nobody had an antivirus program and people were more gullible than they are today).

    I ended up not choosing programming as a career (went into chemistry/physics instead) but I have retained my interest and passion for programming. Finally, in college, every chance I got I took programming classes and finally got pretty good with C/C++. Then, just recently I taught myself C# to help with writing a Windows program for a company I work for (much faster and easier than using WIN32API, especially when speed isn’t a primary concern).

    So, this is what I’ve done so far to indulge my intense feelings of nostalgia for all this jazz: I set up Win95 and Win98 virtual machines in VirtualBox. I have acquired all the old AOL versions up until 5.0 (I think 4.0 had just came out when I got kicked off) and plan on installing them. Some of the “proggies” will allow you to play around with them just as long as AOL is running, however, many of them won’t even start up unless you are “online”. So, I started thinking of an extremely ambitious project: an AOL “emulator” that would be able to trick these “progs” into thinking you are on AOL. But not just that, perhaps something could be set up to allow you “pretend” that you are on AOL. Like some fake buddies that can get kicked offline by a punter and maybe some fake chatrooms. Or, hell, maybe there’s a “market” for a Real/Mock AOL wherein all the old people who reminisce about AOL 2.0-4.0 can “sign in” and experience it with other like minded individuals. Kind of like an “underground” AOL that worked with the older versions on Win95/98/2000 virtual machines. On problem is that there would need to be dedicated servers–unless some sort of P2P system was achieved. It may get boring quick OR it may not. I don’t know. But it’s at least something to dream about. I’m not sure if my skills would be even up to the challenge of a purely local “emulator” but…. Anyway, I wish I could travel back in time and experience those days over again. Things will never be the same. And I don’t have any of my “local” friends that used to do the same things around to reminisce with. One of them I have no idea where he is and the other became a transgender person and said “she” never wanted to talk to me again because I pretty much wasn’t a radical feminist.

    But, I digress. For some reason, towards the latter year that I was into this stuff I remember the newest Magenta being my most sought after “prog” yet I never hear anyone talk about it. I still remember going over to my friend’s house for the sole purpose of copying a copy of Magenta he had found from his floppy to mine. I was so fucking excited.

    Of course, Pepsi was also one of the ones we always sought the newest version of. And the seeking of these new versions never ended because we never knew what the latest version was exactly and there was no shortage of fakes/viruses. I destroyed and subsequently repaired my dad’s computer probably 5 times during that period (it’s what taught me what I know now about computers).

    I also remember FateX. But by the time I made it onto the “scene” AOHell was a legend but didn’t work anymore. I remember I found AOPussy a little offensive as I was 12. Maybe that’s why I never showed much interest in it. But, yeah, my favorites were definitely Magenta, FateX, Havok and Pepsi. Of course, I possessed many others but those are the ones I remember.

    I think my screen name back then started out really lame like “jjkewl” and, when I figured out how lame it was I changed it to “Xercist0” or something similar to that. (Xorcist0 was taken I believe)

    I was elated when AIM came out so that I could still talk to all my old AOL “buddies” even though we were banned. At that point I thought “what the hell do we even need AOL for now that there’s mIRC, Kazaa (that came later I think) and those shitty hit-or-miss warez sites for pirates.

    1. An AOL emulator is pretty ambitious. It might be a cool web project though – like if you created a site that looked like old school AOL and let users sign in and explore it.

      Most progs that want you to be online are checking for the presence of the Welcome window. So if you change the caption of the Sign On window to “Welcome, ScreenName”, they’ll think you’re online.

    2. All the programs did back then was look for a subclass window in the “AOL Window” with a title of “Welcome, !”… I suppose all you would have to do was spoof that window. Shouldnt be hard?

  56. It’s very possible though. AOL is limited to chat, ims, email and keywords for the most part. A server could work with the 2.5 client. AOL did block chat for 2.5…and maybe 3.0? most likey to keep the old (and most popular) proggies dead.

  57. Does anyone remember the old chatroom margorp? I remember we used to hang in vb3 and I think leet then everyone merged to margorp (program backwards). I remember guys like hydro, faze, twl, phool, clown, enoz, grifter, and tons more. I collaborated with a few people on some stuff. Those were good times.

  58. If anyone remembers some of my programs, my most memorable one I built was Fear X and I was also known for cracking many OH (OverHead) AOL accounts. I built the Judgement Night series as well. I thought all of this was dead until now. MaGuS and I were friends for sometime and Fate Zero was one of his last programs. The reason he encrypted the program, was because Fate X got decompiled and many spoof programs went out trying to denounce his great works. My earliest memory of the Warez scene was the chatroom “Cold Ice”, haha!

  59. Damn, id give anything to be able to rewind 18 years, for just one day!!! I wrote an html punter for aol 3.0, and I did it in send keys!!!!!!! Pat, thank you for this trip down ML

  60. I own my own business selling window coverings, married, one kid. Used my programming skills to put my business on the cloud…Something positive I guess, lol. How about you?

  61. My name was sliver and I invented a cracker in the 90’s as well as a clone scroller I would LOVE TO GET MY HANDS ON! 🙂 I’m now the president if an independent oil and gas production company but love day dreaming about the good times online when punk teens were outsmarting everyone.

    Please contact me if you remember me or you have a copy of my programs. Also invented burgerworld. Lol

  62. Greetz to ZeR0, iCeBOx, Kiki, Oogle, unab0mb, t3chnx, DrDoS, DammoDay, jump0ffabuilding, Xeon, and a dozen others.

    JFC, the memories. OK, here we go… Read this whole thing, it’s worth it:

    Top 10 progs AOL 4.0+:
    1. Rampage Toolz 2.0 by Oogle
    2. Lethal Fragment 3 by bk
    3. Prophecy 2000 by unab0mb, filter, mystic
    4. Fear X 2.0 by RaZoR (and maybe Blade, I can’t remember off hand)
    5. Methodus Toolz 2.0 (or 3.0) by ChiefDregFleer, jump0ffabuilding
    6. Toad 2000 by Toad
    7. Gothic Nightmarez by masta (more by reputation)
    8-10. Nevermind. Most other progz are negligible compared to these.

    Best programs never released:
    1. Prophecy Media Player 2.0 by unab0mb (I created the default skin and kept him convinced that he should finish PMP2 just long enough to get “somewhere” with it)
    2. Unreal 2.0 by Hail (would have ruled and rivaled P2K in aesthetics, but never made it past beta)
    3. Gothic Nightmares Final by Hail & Masta (have the source code on another computer)
    4. My amazing prog that was ridiculously massive in scope and thus never finished. Target rivals were Rampage 2, Prophecy 2000, Lethal Fragment 3, and eventually Unreal 2 and Swarm. Then again, everyone thinks theirs was the best. Instead I released two pieces of junk that I don’t even want to claim.
    5. Something else I remember seeing advertised on the Transcend Creations website.

    Other random facts I remember:
    – The password to Celtic Toolz 1.1 by Sirk was ‘SiRK’. You get there by triple clicking the status/helper bar on the main interface.
    – The full password to Rampage Toolz 1.1 was found by clicking the “tm” trademark symbol on the splash screen, and by clicking the click until it pretended to infect you with a virus. But it turned out there was nothing it in.
    – Prophecy 2.0 had a secret area accessible by going to the ‘About’ screen and dragging a cross icon from the top over a different element that was at the bottom of the screen. Pictures of unab0mb, majesty, and some other dudes were shown. unab0mb told me about a quasi easter egg in which you could skip the intro by pressing a series of numbers that resembled a cross. (Where can I get a copy of Prophecy 2.0?)
    – Toad 2000 was written in Delphi.
    – Almost every prog I came across for 4.0 used the same Mass Mailer example as its mass mailer. It had a progress bar made of a picture box, and linked to a separate “options” form. Way too many to name.
    – masta started rapping at some point in time.
    – I remember reading that nytworx was creating a Dreamcatcher 2.0 that included an AOL clone. Unsurprisingly, such as thing was never finished.
    – Digital Dynasty by Digital was every form from a prog called Elements of Destruction 2 by Click and some forms from Rampage Toolz 1.1 by Oogle put together in one project. I asked Digital about this one time and he said that originally he and click were making the program together and then decided not to. I assume he wasn’t lying, but every form and message box used Click’s writing style (mainly “u” instead of “you”; Digital always used “you”). I liked his website D5k though; dude actually still has it as of about a month ago.
    – I am convinced that 90% of AOL prog programmers didn’t know how to write API code using the standard FindWindow and SendMessage methods.
    – As of 2012, Oogle works for Google. C’mon, that’s funny.
    – Pat or JK’s API spy was sooooooo, sooooo much better than CodeGenie by BoFeN.
    – DoS (name: Chad J Cox, which I remember from his Real Slim Shady parody on KnK2000) invented later AIM progz by Robbie Saunders, Xeon and Seven; he was the first to create a stand alone AIM client, which was the blueprint for every AIM exploit afterward.
    – LensHell came back online in 2008 as LensHellArchive. It immediately stopped being updated. (Maybe that’s because for some reason AOL prog creation has died down in recent years…)
    – Oogle eventually released the source code to Rampage Toolz 2.0, which had some unreleased features such as a multi-user scroller, a then-obsolete large text sender, and About Oogle screen. This was significant to me because so many 4.0 progz completely lifted the Rampage Toolz 1.1 source code without credit.

    IF ANYONE MENTIONED ABOVE READS THIS OR IS STILL ACTIVE (ALIVE), LET ME KNOW.

    1. LeeCh – Thanks for recognizing my programs. Fear X 2.0 was written by myself and ManTis, of whom I’ve lost contact with over the years. It was a gold and black interface that had the latest API modes for AOL’s interface that I coded myself. I wish I still had the program.

      Sliver – Greetings! That was one of the best clone scrollers back in the day. It inspired me to write the first Network Clone Scroller, where added programs weren’t necessary, just multiple friends signed into the network.

      Great to hear from all of you.

      1. Razor, what’s up bro? I just did a random Google search on this topic and was brought to this site. Not sure if you remember me, I went by Fo0. I think you and I started work on a prog together at one point – I was always in pr’s OH and int before I retired to AIM and became a spammer. This all brings back a ton of great memories.

    2. ha, i remember that easter egg in prophecy. i’m the one that orignally coded the media player for prophecy. lost the code years ago. I think i was going by Sudo or dsi, but not too sure, it’s been YEARS since the good ol’ aol days.

  63. FøO,

    I do remember you man! I’ve lost contact with so many people and can’t believe how many old faces I’m seeing pop up on here. You were listed in many of my GreeTz~! I’d love to keep in touch with many of you on here. I just joined that AOL Proggie Facebook group thing someone posted. Look me up.

  64. Razor! foo, n0x, moose, chevelle, snow, Floyd? Something like that, leech, jake, heat, psyco, filter!, man what up. So many I can’t begin to remember, spent many nights raising hell in the chatrooms, good to reminisce. If we knew what we knew now then, world would be an even bigger oyster!

    1. haha I remember you coded some fun shit… I cant remember what… but I rocked it ;P I think a cracker 🙂 I used to kick it with fo0. was one of my main boys.

      -stank

  65. “Banned for life” yeah my dad got that phone call too after something, I’m pretty sure they call it identity theft and cc fraud today, when you’re 12 and the internet is 5 well that’s a different story lol

  66. Wow.. just found this site… old aol’ers who have died… I only knew rj2 and DEFINATELY knew iB. I know fo0 used to know ib really well too. I remember the big “joke” in all the chatrooms and aim was that ib was in a wheelchair.. lol. I remember we used to be like “heard you put some 20’s on your wheelchair.” he used to get soooo mad. im shocked to hear he’s gone.. I remember still talking to him on aim once in a while just a few years ago… he had “ib and “Justin”.

    http://justinakapaste.com/category/aolers-rip/

  67. The good old days. I was searching for my old bas files, and some of the old stuff I did back in the day and this was one of the links. I never released a compiled program. I would code something and then release the source code.

    This brought back some good memories and some of the friends I made back then are still friends now.

  68. Good post! It’s nice to see sites like this that have reference to what the internet used to be (for a lot of us anyway). There’s not much of that scene left anymore. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

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