Out of stock. 2nd Edition in 2022

Crackers I: The Gold Rush

Software piracy in the 80s and 90s. The first book in the CRACKERS series. Digital visions and copy parties, intrigues and industrial espionage, disk traders and pirates. Elitism, escape and persecution: The mysterious life of crackers and their scene organisations shaped the computer age. 


  • Book + Bookmark (standard) 
  • English Hardback Edition
  • 170 × 230 mm portrait format 
  • 336 brilliant colour pages 
  • 135 gr/m² semi-matt paper
  • Finest print raster (120) 
  • Surface laquer sealing
  • UV-resistant and abrasion-proof
  • Made in Germany


From USA to Europe. A narrative journey back to the last century when data was stored on floppy disks, computer games became entertainment and the law was unprepared for what happened next.... 


In a mixture of oral histories and media reports, the trail of one of the most secretive underground IT societies is uncovered. What distinguishes a cracker from a hacker? Why were they considered a threat to the entire games industry? Captivating anecdotes, historical depictions and hundreds of pictures bring this exciting software episode back to life.


Special Features on Hagbard Celine (Illuminatus!), Hacker vs. Cracker, Radwar Party 2/3, Was (Not Was), Cracking the Industry (a cracker’s view), The Crackers Deal (mimetic entrepreneurs), Cult of The Circle (inner scene), Blue Boxing, GNU license, Hackers in the Movies, WD1772 (Atari floppy controller), Bootsector Messages (Thalion), Dragonflight (uncrackable protection?), Manual Protection, Game Extensions (value enhancement).


Featuring: Radwar, German Cracking Service, B.O.S.S., MCA, Hotline, Dynamic Duo, 42-Crew, Copy Service Stuttgart, Troll & Co, ST Computer Service, The Blade Runners, The Medway Boys, Pompey Pirates, Automation, LSD, The Corporation, BBC, Cynix, The Replicants, Delight, The Exceptions, The Union, The Lost Boys, TCB, The Empire, Elite, Tristar & Red Sector, Thalion, Eclipse, Magic Bytes, Factor 5, Rainbow Arts, Argonica, Acornsoft, Graftgold, Firebird, Ocean, U.S. Gold, Magnetic Scrolls, Bullfrog, DMA Design, Mastertronic, Codemasters, Kingsoft, Erbe Software, Epyx, Electronic Arts, Ubi Soft, Infocom, Brøderbund, Microprose, Sierra,  Lucasfilm Games, FAST, APP, Copylock Software, Gravenreuth & Syndikus… and many more.


CRACKERS: The Gold Rush takes the reader a crucial step deeper into a highly organised illegal European network that acted like a corporation ahead of its time. Key industry figures such as Rob Northen make their point. Former codebreakers on Apple II, BBC Micro, Sinclair Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, C64, Amiga and especially Atari ST reveal the truth of a unique computer youth.


Please note: photos are used for the purpose of illustration. The number of delivered goods are listed above

Crackers: The Gold Rush (Episode 1)

39,90 €

  • 1,1 kg
  • Sold Out

“CRACKERS is an exciting and exploratory book experience in the spirit of the Borders Trilogy. In it, we will look at the illegal side of computer creativity and how cracking computer games evolved as a phenomenon in the 80s.​”

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