The Serpent

// Cursing the Internet since 1998

Year 2002 Roundup

Posted December 31, 2002 Archive
A blow to Gnutella - Tragic death of Gene Kan
Published July 16, 2002

Gene Kan, one of the Gnutella pioneers, has died of a perforating gunshot wound to the head. His tragic passing has been labelled a suicide, but an investigation is in progress. He died on the 29th of June, aged 25.

On the 29th of June, Gene Kan, 25, died of an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was amongst the first programmers to develop the open-source software Gnutella to enable it to be replicated by other programmers worldwide. He helped to bring Gnutella into the limelight after its first, brief, release on the Web by an employee of AOL.

I feel it only necessary to pay respects to this young man, helping to keep open-source alive, who died such a tragic death. May he rest in peace.

A memorial fund is being organised in his name at UC Berkeley.

If you would like to send a donation, please make cheques out to "UC Regents" but clearly defined for the "Gene Kan Fund". Here is the address to send them to:

      In memory of Gene Kan;
      Gift Stewardship;
      College of Engineering;
      University of California,
      201 McLaughlin Hall;
      Berkeley, California,

If you would like to read more about Gene Kan and his life, visit

Windows 2000 SP3 is available!
Published July 31, 2002

Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 is currently available for download, although its not supposed to be released until Thursday for the general public, they seemed to have forgot to patch up this link. You can get it here.

Who liked the RIAA anyway?
Published August 20, 2002

We all know the RIAA as the 'Recording Industry Association of America'. The people who bring us such problems as DRM (Digital Rights Management), MP3 file lockdowns and other interesting alliances with Microsoft (Palladium), but what is the next thing they plan to do? Read on to find out...

The RIAA are attempting to sue the major ISP's because they are ignoring demands to cease access to certian websites which promote P2P filesharing, and of course from their point of view, violation of copyright. It's hardly suprising they would try this next, as a country wide firewall denying access to certian sites clearly contrdicts their very own beliefts regarding free speach.

Basically they are following the morals of the first amendment, and stand against censorship, which hardly sounds true if they are pushing for a ban on certian websites.

My review of ircD, with comments!
Published October 09, 2002

ircD is an open source IRC server software package. It was designed for the *nix platform and supports all major functions of IRC as well as being fully compliant with the protocol standard. I will be installing and using this software to create a chat community for a small number of people I know and thought...what the hell! lets write about it!

Visit back soon to read about my views on ircD, and other packages needed to install and configure this IRC server. I've only had small experience with IRC servers, including WebMasters Conference Room, which was a lot eaiser to administer, only costs a lot!

I will be writing about common pitfalls you may experience when setting up your own IRC server.

Linux as a desktop?
Published October 29, 2002

The newest article to The Serpent has arrived! (or it wouldn't be new would it.....!). Check out the article titled 'Linux as a desktop', it covers the issues of weather or not it will be accepted, when will this happen, what what steps are being taken to make it eaiser on the end user. Go to the InfoPages or click here to read it. 30th Oct update - SuSE to release desktop version...

While were on the subject, SuSE has announced the up coming release of SuSE Desktop, a linux distribution designed for the desktop, with no linux experience needed!

This is one of many positive moves I think we will be seeing from the German based Linux buffs, sales will start in January.

This new version will see custiomized versions of Microsoft Office, to allow full integration with your existing IT structure, and will also guide you through the setup process, detecting Windows installations and advising you on a course of action. I will hopefully be getting a copy and reviewing it!

Blockbuster vs Time Warner
Published December 02, 2002

Ever wondered why you can't walk into your local Blockbuster and rent a copy of Ocean's Eleven or Scooby Doo? This has been caused by the movie industries gross greed, causing suppliers such as Blockbuster to prevent the rental of such films. Read on for more...

After wondering why I couldn't rent out certain films from Blockbuster (Not that I wanted Ocean's Eleven, or Scooby Doo!), I decided to contact Blockbuster. I recieve a reply from the Blockbuster Press Office stating:

Blockbuster will not be stocking Warner's most recent movie releases, including Scooby Doo and Ocean's Eleven, until a pricing dispute has been settled between the two companies.

The document then goes on to explain:

Warner's new pricing structure requires rentailers, such as Blockbuster, to pay nearly three times as much for a new movie than it charges its retail customers, despite simultaneous release. This will drive up the price of rental whilst also reducing the number of copies we and other rentailers can afford to buy in order to satisfy customer demand. This is a bad deal for the British public.

So there we have it. Time Warner are to blame. The document ends with:

We continue to talk to Warners and we hope ultimately to resolve the situation. However, we believe it is in the best interests of movies fans that we take this position to ensure that our customers still have the option to rent rather than buy.

Lets hope it stays this way to prevent such crappy films from Time warner being exposed to the public domain :-)

DeCSS Creator in court today
Published December 10, 2002

Ask anyone what DeCSS is and you'll probally get a blank look. DeCSS is a utility created by Jon Johansen when he was 15. The utility makes it possible to view DVD's on Linux. Read on to find out why he has been sent to court for creating something so simple sounding...

DeCSS does nothing more then decrypt the contents of DVD's, then displaying them on your computer running Linux. The software does not allow you to copy disks, or gain any information about the encryption on this DVD, it does however, decrypt the DVD to allow playback.

This caused some problems for the evil giants in media. This is en extract of a notice plublished on the site

"The DVD-Copy Control Association and movie studio members of the MPAA have filed lawsuits to stop the development of independent players for DVDs. They argue that decrypting the Content Scrambling System (CSS) encryption without a DVD-CCA-licensed player violates their trade secrets (DVD-CCA's California lawsuit) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (movie studios' New York and Connecticut lawsuits)."

They then go on to explain they are doing everything they can to aid the defense.

It's believed little will come of this, however, it poses a problem for users who wish to choose what platform they want to view DVD's on. The software does protect the copyright of the creator, but the MPAA and the like are going to far when demanding control over what you view your DVD's on.

Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 Trainer
Published December 30, 2002

Finally I found a Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 cheat that works!

The Myth Trainer only has two functions, but lets be honest! all you need is cash right? All you need to do is run this trainer from your RCT2 directory and follow the instructions to let the cash roll in!

Click here to download from

Year 2002 Roundup
Posted December 31, 2002
Written by John Payne