On SearchLores, Fravia’s site, “Alas (for you),” he says, “you are not using the Opera browser … enjoy my site nevertheless.
“You’ll find here a considerable amount of sheer, raw searching knowledge ~ however, if your attention span is too short, please, by all means, bugger off …”
The Reader’s Write points to Sour ‘n Sweet Swan Song, on which we read, in part »»»
Ok, so all the cures I had to undergo for almost two years: two complete and quite debilitating chemotherapy cycles, 4 operations, many biopsies, uncounted PET scans and MRIs, months spent inside a clinic… did not work out.
The metastases escaped from the throat: my dutch professor managed to stop everything but not the liver tumour, and my liver is now imploding. So it is a matter of weeks, not even months.
My remaining choices are to die in a clinic, to die home or to ask for euthanasia (the last I will of course do if needs arise… fortunately this is a civilised EU-country and religious nuts don’t have here -at least for now- enough power to nuke my rights just to appease and placate the alleged wishes of their dubious godzilla).
I’ll go for home: it seems (again: this ubiquitous “seem”) that I will die while asleep. I will “just” get weaker (and yellower, gosh: nothing like a terminal tumour to become really ugly) until one day I won’t wake up any more. If so, fair enough: you go with a gentle puff on your final trip, an experience that btw is usually reported as unique and unrepeatable
A comment post under the first quotes a Wikipedia item about Fravia, and which explains »»»
Fravia was a pseudonym/handle for a European software reverse engineer (his real name, according to his autobiography, was Fjalar Ravia, but other names have been suggested) who is probably best known for his web archive of reverse engineering techniques and papers. Mirrors of the old web site (fravia.org) still exist (see, e.g., Internet Archive), though Fravia has publicly requested their removal in favor of his new web-searching-centric sites.
He led people from being `crackers` to `reversers`, both in the sense of software reverse engineering, and as an ideology. He was strongly against advertisements, software user-restrictions, and what he claimed to be needless software protectionism. He was interested in written history, language, information theory, and was known to speak Finnish, German, English, Italian, Spanish and French.
His principal interests were most recently advanced web searching techniques, including how to write search bots, how to cut through the web to your target using special search strings (webbits), and how to find anything digitized, including unknown music pieces and rare books and images without knowing their names.
His anti-commercial attitude is well known, and there is not a single banner or advertisement on his sites. Similarly, his writings and workshops always underline and demonstrate his belief that the very structure of the web was made for sharing, not hoarding or selling.
In October 2000, Fravia got in touch with Richard Stallman at a LinuxDay event in Milan to which they were invited by a common friend. This meeting induced Fravia to start exploring and helping free software and free culture. He was also a friend of reverse engineering legends like _Mammon (creator of bastard, a linux disassembler), Razzia (a visual basic disassembler), Zero aka Dr. Thorsten Schneider, and Woodman.
As of September 9th 2008, Fravia had stopped updating his site and holding conferences after being diagnosed and receiving treatment for a Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the tonsil, that metastasized. His site was frozen for half a year but was then updated as Fravia slowly recovered, announcing that experimental cures seem to work and seem to have stopped the nastier metastasis, even slightly reduced them. He then focused on GNU/Linux.
On his site, “Bye bye to all my readers,” he posts, saying finally »»»
… a big hug to the many friends I made all over the world. A great experience for me! I’ll carry on as far as I manage, I’ll even try to held a last talk in KÃ¶ln end May, but I doubt I’ll manage it, and anyway soon my sites won’t be updated anymore, unless my friends will take care and devise some sort of wiki/blog (and monitoring & corrections facilities) to allow this. We will see.
But do not worry in the least: If you did learn how to search you’ll find other good resources anyway. There are aplenty around after all.
Yes! There’s sound knowledge on the web, albeit hidden and buried behind or beneath slimy morasses of useless frills, moving dunes of commercial crap and an incredible amount of content-empty and utterly useless “bait” advertisement sites.
Yet the web very structure was made for sharing, not for hoarding and surely not for “selling”, never forget it! Therefore searchers may take advantage of this … A good knowledge of the main web-protocols, a good browser and our trusted wireshark and no one is gonna stop a mighty seeker from finding whatever he fancies
Granted there’s indeed a lot of obsolete stuff on searchlores, and – as already stated – the byzantine-labyrinthine structure of the site should have been streamlined long ago.
However, even if partly obsolete (but real knowledge is seldom obsolete, isn’t it?) I have decided to leave on line everything I gathered and offered along many years as it is and as long as it will remain on the web, because I believe there’s still a great wealth of free searching knowledge here, awaiting those among my visitors that are interested in learning and mastering the difficult twin arts of searching the web and reversing everything they find.
If – as some say – people all over our planet did and will learn using what I offered, my life was not wasted :=)
Fravia died the day before yesterday.
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