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Re: [PEN-TEST] A little levity Revisited
From: Pierre Vandevenne <pierre () datarescue com>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 20:10:02 +0200

On Fri, 29 Sep 2000 16:56:09 -0700, Sean Knox wrote:

hehe. This is silly. Go read the page-- i'm sure all the
eyeballs he's gotten today from people tearing apart his stuff
is only driving up his banner rates =)

In defense of Steve, his SpinRite disk repair tool is awesome.

Hmmmmm, well... It is not awesome.  It was useful in the past (old
"MFM/RLL" drives), because it filled a role that nothing else could

There is a least as much technohype in Spinrite as there is in
Nanoprobe. Think about it for a minute : which supposed very low-level
disk utility would require a recognizable and supported file system to
perform its feats ? What is the use of averaging "Interrupt System
Noise" testing "dynamic memories hard to spot pattern sensitivities" ?
Why is Spinrite totally unaware of S.M.A.R.T. or even simple direct
SCSI programming ? Etc... Spinrite basically is basically able to read
sectors that fail error correction ( using standard IDE stuff ) and
eventually average and rewrite the result elsewhere. Nothing fancy at
all. I bought a copy of version 5 because I used version 1 as a student
and it wasn't distributed / available in Europe at that time ( I like
to pay my debts ;-) ) and have found it mostly useless. It illustrates
a point though, while people with experience in data recovery will find
Spinrite's jargon hilarious, but might fall for "hand crafted
nanoprobes" and vice-versa.

Now, this being said, Steve Gibson does deserve some praise

- he is a very good coder (or he subcontracts one).

- his TIP (trouble in paradise) utility has saved the ass of many ZIP
users hit by the "click of death" - there is nothing "bright" about the
utility, it uses simple SCSI commands and performs standard SCSI tasks
but it performs them well and free of charge.

- his "Shields Up" test, flawed as it is, has made hundreds of
thousands of users aware of the need to take at least some precautions
when they connect on to the net.

He certainly isn't, imho, worse than the "security consultants" who
charge highly to have a part-time student run an unlicensed security
scanner on a gullible company network or anti-virus companies that hype
about the palm pilot equivalent of "del *.*" ...

Pierre Vandevenne - DataRescue sa/nv
Home of the IDA Pro Disassembler  -  Version 4.14 now available !

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