An A-Z of warez terminology
Have I missed anything out? If so, please let me know so I can add it to the list.
< # >
0-Day ?Latest software releases. If we're to split hairs, 0-day software should only be referred to as 0-day if it appears on warez sites on the same day as it is released, but this isn't very practical in most cases.
0-Sec - Same as above, although the period of time between ripping a game or an application and it appearing on a warez site is even shorter. 0-Sec software doesn't actually exist, it is a blatant, attention grabbing exaggeration a bit like a tabloid headline.
< A >
Ace File ?The first file in a series of compressed archives, which has been created using Winace (the one you double click on to decompress all the files at once).
Active List ?Similar to a mailing list, but uses ICQ to send instant messages to subscribers.
Alpha - Software receives this label when it is in the very early stages of development. Usually full of bugs, so don't touch it with a barge pole!
Anti-Leech ?A system which uses CGI scripts to prevent people stealing links and then taking the credit for uploading the files.
Appz ?Short for applications. For example, Microsoft Office XP, Photoshop etc etc. The z differentiates official, legitimate releases from warez releases.
ASF File ?The worst quality movie file format (still pretty good though). Much smaller in size than DAT, AVI or MPG. Originally designed for streaming over the internet.
< B >
Banner Site ?Password and username restricted FTP site. To aquire the correct login details you must click on several banners, search for keywords, fill in forms and so on.
Beta - Refers to an almost finished piece of software that is released to the public for bug testing.
BSA - An acronym for Business Software Alliance, an organisation who are responsible for enforcing anti-piracy litigation. Similar groups in charge of controlling software "theft" include the SIIA, SPA and ELSPA.
BSOD - Many people read about BSODs on bulletin boards and think that they're being insulted, but there is no need to get paranoid. It is actually an acronym for "Blue Screen Of Death", a serious Windows error message which is reported in white text on a blue background. These can occur for a multitude of reasons (old Bill likes to keep us guessing!) and are the bane of PC user's lives.
Bulletin Board - A virtual meeting place on the web similar to a chat room except that it isn't in real time. One person leaves a message then others come along, read it and add a reply. Each new discussion is called a new topic or thread and has it's own link. Whenever a new topic is created the older topics are pushed one place downwards in the list. When someone replies to an older topic it is brought back to the top of the list.
Burn Proof - A term used when referring to CD writers. A writer is burn proof if it is fitted with a cache which makes it immune to the buffer underrun errors caused by data transfer interuptions.
< C >
C?? File ?File extension which indicates that a file is part of an .ace series of compressed files.
CD Key - Performs exactly the same function as a serial number (see below), but is specifically used when referring to the installation of either original or ISO warez releases of games. Without a valid CD key you will not be able to play certain games or at the very least you will not be able to play these games online.
CGI Scripts ?An ellipsis for "common gateway interface", a scripting language, which is mainly used to create online dynamic web content such as bulletin boards (UBB for example), guest books, and free for all links pages. Other less useful (annoying even) purposes that CGI scripts perform include making affiliate programs and voting "click-throughs" possible. When you click on a link with a "?cgi" reference you are either directed to a sponsor뭩 website, a voting gateway or an anti-leech protected file.
Coaster - If you're not carefully when burning CDs it's very easy to make mistakes which render them useless. If a CD-R has been corrupted, the damage is irreversible and all it is fit for is a drinks mat, hence the name coaster.
Cookie - A tiny text file (usually less than 1kb), which is stored on your hard drive when you visit a web site. These are used to remember who you are so that you can access members only areas on the site without having to type in a password every time or to retain your personalised settings so that they are available the next time you visit.
Courier - Someone who is involved in the logistics of delivering new releases directly from the release groups themselves to dump sites from which FXP groups further distribute the warez.
Crack ?A tiny executable file that is used to transform a program from shareware to full version software. Also used to remove any copy protection from the main executable of games (this will already have been done in 뱑ipped? warez games).
CRC Error ?These can occur when you try to decompress a file that has become corrupt during the downloading process, usually as a result of too much resuming (lots more about this in the FAQ section).
Credits ?A figure which represents the amount of data you are permitted to download from a ratio FTP site. The more credits you have the more software you are allowed to download.
< D >
DAP - A quick way of referring to "Download Accelerator Plus", a free download manager that claims to speed up file transfers by up to three hundred per cent. It works by making multiple connections to the same file and is paid for by revolving advertising banners. Most importantly, like Gozilla and Getright, it supports the resume function.
DAT File ?File format used for encoding movies, identical in quality and size to MPG. Not always recognised by Media Player without first setting your file associations.
DC - The lazy way of referring to the Dreamcast, Sega's latest (and now discontinued) console incarnation.
Decompression ?Unpacking/extracting many files that have been stored in a compressed archive. Unpacked archives inevitably occupy more hard drive space than the original archive.
Deleter - Someone who wipes out the files stored on public, anonymous FTP sites (known as pubs) for a variety of reasons - see the FTP/FXP section of the FAQ page.
Distro - A concise means of referring to a distribution FTP site. These are huge storage areas which act as a springboard for the transfer of new releases. Their whereabouts are never publicly disclosed to aid their survival rate. You can think of them as one of sources from which warez emanates - not the top of the distribution hierarchy, but essential nevertheless.
Direct Downloads - Links to actual files rather than other warez sites or pages. These are usually gathered together from many different sites and listed on one page for your convenience.
DivX - Movies ripped from a DVD using the DivX video codecs. Can be played back using Media Player.
DIZ File ?An ellipsis for description. Very brief text file found in warez archives (and legitimate software distributions). They state the title of the software, the number of files that makes up the set and the group/company who released it. Much like a miniature nfo file.
Download (or DL) ?Copying files from a web server or FTP site to your computer via the internet.
Dump site - The second link in the warez scene distribution chain. Like topsites, dumpsites are fast, private, FXP enabled FTP sites. Releases are transferred from topsites to dump sites and then onto public, anonymous FTP sites.
Dupe - When the release groups get their mitts on the latest piece of software their aim is to be the first group to crack it. Obviously they can't all be the first so inevitably we are left with lots of different versions of the same game or application. The version which hits the distribution chain first takes all the glory and is known as the "proper" release and what remains are termed dupes, short for duplicates.
< E >
Emulator - An application that simulates another computer system or console using a PC. Consoles/computer systems which have long been discontinued can be "recreated" without the need to buy the original hardware which is often very difficult to get hold of.
< F >
FAQ ?Stands for Frequently Asked Questions, an inventory of questions with subsequent answers to common quandaries.
FAW - Abbreviation for "Files Anywhere", a popular, (no longer free) web storage service.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) ?The method used to transfer files from one computer to another via the internet.
Fix - Not all releases work the first time you run them, after all pobody's nerfect! Whereas the original developers of a game would call something which corrected their initial mistakes, a patch, the release groups are much more honest about it. In contrast they would refer to it as a fix. However, the differences between the two usually are quite significant - if a ripped game needs a fix it usually won't run at all without it. If a particular game refuses to play ball you might want to check in at your favourite nfo site to see if a fix has been released.
Flaming - A general net term for "verbally" attacking someone. This can be done via email, bulletin board, chat room or any medium which involves communication across the web.
Freedrive ?Virtual hard drive storage area on the web. Free to join and anything and everything can be uploaded, downloaded and shared.
Freeware ?Unrestricted software that is downloaded from the net and is completely free to use. Often paid for using advertising or spyware unfortunately.
FTP Client/Browser ?A program used to access, upload and download data from FTP sites.
FXP - The art of transferring data from one FTP site to another using the connection speed of the slower of the two computers - see the FXP tutorial.
< G >
Gamez ?Pretty self-explanatory this one. The z differentiates official, legitimate releases from warez releases.
Getright ?One of the best download managers available.
Gold - A piece of software is said to have gone gold when the final version is complete and it is ready to ship to the public. If you want to keep an eye on the latest (legitimate) releases visit www.gonegold.com.
Gozilla ?Another excellent download manager, one of the top two in fact.
< H >
Hacking - Gaining access to a remote computer without the authorisation to do so. Usually for the purposes of stealing confidential information or the malicious destruction of data.
Hammering ?Repeatedly trying to access an FTP site using an FTP client or download manager.
HTTP ?Stands for 밐ypertext Transfer Protocol? The method you use to view a web page. Always comes before the address of a website in your Url bar.
< I >
ICQ ?Derives from the term 밒 Seek You? A program which is used for real time chat, instant messaging and transferring files over the internet.
IP Address ?A series of numbers separated by dots used to identify your computer on the Internet.
IRC ?Stands for 밒nstant Relay Chat? Used for real time chat and transferring files over the Internet. One of the earliest forms of instant messaging.
ISO - An exact copy of an original CD, all the multimedia bits and pieces are uncut and therefore they are extremely large and awkward to download - see the ISO tutorial.
< J >
Java - A programing language that is used to create applications known as applets which can then be either used off-line (or at least independently of your web browser) or by embedding them into web pages. Examples include chat applets, virtual hard drive interfaces and file sharing clients.
< K >
Key Generator - A tiny executable program that is capable of creating a valid serial number from a specified username. These are specific to particular applications or utilities, so a serial number created with one key generator will only work for the program for which the key generator was developed.
< L >
Lamer - An annoying and hackneyed general derogatory term used to insult/put down anyone and everything.
Leeching ?Downloading files without giving anything back in return or copying other people뭩 links.
< M >
Mirror - An exact copy of a web site that is stored on a different server. Using multiple locations for warez sites allows the site to be accessed using a different address if the main site is deleted.
Modchip ?Very common website sponsor found on warez sites. They don뭪 mind their banners being used on illegal software sites because their products represent one of the 밽rey areas?of the law. Modchips are small pieces of electronic circuitry which allow copied games to be played on your Playstation. If a Playstation has been fitted with a Modchip it is said to have been "chipped".
MP3 File ?Compressed music file format. Average track size is between 3 and 4 megabytes compared to 40-ish megabytes in WAV format.
MPG File ?The best quality and largest movie file format.
Multi Web Space Faker - A tool used to create lots of free web space accounts simultaneously (see FAQ for a more detailed explanation).
< N >
Name Zero - An organisation that offers free website domain names. The main drawbacks are that you have to put up with a very bulky banner residing at the bottom of your pages and the fact that you never actually own your chosen address.
NFO File ?Short for info or information. Basic text file containing all the important details relating to a particular release, such as number of files, release date, copy protection system, installation instructions etc.
Nuked - A release is said to have been nuked if either it is completely unplayable or it contravenes the rip rules and regulations laid down by The Faction (Class, Razor 1911 and Paradigm). Usually when this happens another group re-releases the software, preferably within 48 hours, of the original. Providing these replacements abide by the rip rules and are playable they are known as "proper rips", although this isn't always necessary as fixes do sometimes follow on to rescue the release from the trash can.
< O >
OEM - An acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM software products are repackaged versions of the full retail product. They are often re-branded to suit the needs of the particular vender and are much more reasonably priced because they lack excessive packaging and a hard copy of the manual.
OST - Not strictly a warez term this one, but one that you are likely to come across while searching for MP3 music. It stands for original soundtrack (movie music).
< P >
Patch ?We all know games and applications aren't perfect. When they are released we would hope that they have been thoroughly tested for bugs and incompatibility problems, but you can guarantee that many of these will still slip through the quality control net. Once the program is released to the general public, the bug reports start to flood in. A patch is a downloadable executive file which takes these reports into account and attempts to incorporate all the fixes for these known problems. A patch can resolve incompatibility problems, prevent crashes or improve the performance of a piece of software.
Piracy - The replication and distribution of videos or computer software. Goods are exchanged via physical means e.g. on CD or video cassette rather than digitally over the internet and money inevitably changes hands. Piracy is a criminal offense and is punishable by fine, imprisonment etc etc.
PM - Stands for private message. Much like email except that they are passed back and forth behind the scenes of bulletin boards. Unlike public posts they are only intended to be viewed by a single recipient.
Pop-ups ?Irritating browser windows that open automatically when you visit badly designed web sites. Often contain voting portals or porn sites.
Port - A port is a term which is mainly used when referring to FTP sites and is an essential extension of the address used to access them. If the port number of an FTP site isn't specified the default setting of 21 will automatically be used. Each remotely accessible aspect of your computer is assigned with a port number to facilitate external connections. Your email client has a port number, your ICQ interface uses another port number and so on and so forth.
Pron - A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away someone posted a request for porn on a bulletin board, only because of a typing error, what he ended up asking for was "pron". Since then this has become a bit of a running joke and so it is now deliberately misspelt.
Proper Rip - If a release is deemed to be unplayable or it breaks the "rip rules" it is abandoned (or "nuked"). If another group re-releases the game, thereby ironing out all the problems, their replacement release is said to be the "proper" rip. This tag will appear alongside the title of the game on NFO sites to ensure that you go in search of the working version of a particular release rather than the duff copy.
Proxy - A third party server which acts as an anonymous go between whenever you request a web page or contact a remote server. The message from your computer is first sent through the proxy server before being relayed to the final destination so that it appears as though the request has come from the IP address of the proxy server rather than you. Used when you wish to maintain your privacy on the net or speed up your connection (much more detailed info on this subject in the anonymity tutorial).
PSX - A quick way of referring to the Sony Playstation. PSX2 obviously refers to the second generation Playstation system.
Pub - A free for all FTP site where anonymous access is permitted - see the FTP/FXP section of the FAQ.
Pub Scanner - Someone who scours the net for anonymous access FTP sites, which permit the creation and deletion of files. Once found these are then exploited by uploading software for others to share.
Pub Stealer - Someone who posts the IP address of a public FTP site which they themselves have not built. Some pub stealers justify this by claiming that the elitism of private FXP groups discriminates against those people who do not have access, yet others simply post other people's work to try to claim the credit for themselves. Either way though, pub stealers are despised by the FXP groups and praised by those who would otherwise not have access to them.
Pub Tagging - When a public FTP site is discovered by an FXP group they name a directory after themselves, which serves as a calling card to let other groups know that the hard drive space has already been claimed and will soon be filled. This avoids duplicate uploads and disputes over the ownership of a pub.
< R >
Rar File ?The first file in a series of compressed archives (the one you double click on to decompress all the files at once). Usually decompressed using a program called ?a href="http://www.rarsoft.com/">Winrar?(although Winace can also handle the task very well).
Ratio ?Two numbers separated by a semi-colon. Indicates how much data you must upload to an FTP site before you are permitted to download anything.
Ratio Buster - An old DOS program that allows you to specify the size of an empty file. These pseudo-files can then be uploaded to ratio sites to gain credit at a much faster rate than usual (for further details see the "more tips" section).
Reget - Yet another free download manager. The only obvious advantage this one has over Getright and Gozilla is that in a few mouse clicks you can add all the linked files on a selected web page to the download queue in one go, which is a huge time saver. Also the interface has been translated into many different languages. Therefore if English is not your first language this may be a better option for you.
Release Groups - A group of people who are involved in cracking and/or ripping software and then repackaging it into easily downloadable segments.
Reg File ?Tiny file that adds essential configuration details into the registry of Windows operating systems.
Request - A plea for help in finding a piece of software, a movie, an MP3 file or whatever. Usually posted on bulletin boards, newsgroups, e-groups etc etc.
Resume ?The ability to stop and start downloading/uploading a file whenever you choose without having to start from the beginning again.
Rip ?Software that has had all the non-essential gubbins removed to reduce its size. Movies, music and speech are typical casualties.
Raped - A release is branded with this term if it has been damaged beyond repair during the ripping process. Used interchangeably with "nuked".
RM File - Shorthand for Real Media, a file format used to encode video sequences, which can only be played back using the "Real Player". Video clips produced using this format are not of the highest quality, but do have the advantage of a small file size and the ability to be streamed over the net.
ROM - Games which are designed for other platforms, but are played on the PC using an emulator.
< S >
Serial ?A valid username and code number combination (or just the code on its own) which is saved as a basic text file and is used to register a shareware program therefore removing all the restrictions.
SFV File - See the ISO section of the FAQ.
Shareware ?Try before you buy software downloaded from the net.
Spam - Unsolicited junk e-mail. Supposedly stands for "Stupid Person's Annoying Message", how appropriate!
Sponsor ?To make some money webmasters can place adverts on their sites. Each time you click on these adverts or banners they get paid a few cents for bringing potential customers to the sponsor's web site.
Spyware - Any software which is installed on your system without your consent and is capable of transmitting information regarding your browsing habits to market research companies. Spyware files are usually installed along with seemingly harmless shareware or freeware applications and operate in the background while you surf the net. However they can be eliminated using spyware removal programs such as Ad Aware, available from Lavasoft.
Surfer Friendly (SF) - Surfer friendly sites supposedly have no blind links, pop-ups or porn banners. Don't be fooled by this label though as some sites will tell you fibs to get you to visit them.
Sys Op - The person who has the responsibility for running the computer from which an FTP site has been established. When warez is uploaded to public FTP sites and then suddenly goes "Missing In Action" you can often lay the blame at the door of the Sys Op who has an obligation to make sure his/her server stays within the boundaries of the law (i.e. warez free).
< T >
Tagging - A term used in reference to the claim of ownership of a public FTP site by an FXP group. When a "pub" is located, the group who found it name a directory after themselves so that other groups know not to use the space for their own uploads. This is really just common courtesy - a good example of FXP etiquette.
The Faction - An organisation composed of three of the largest release groups (Razor 1911, Class and Paradigm). They originally joined forces in 1998 in order to produce a 10 point document consisting of the rules and regulations that release groups are expected to follow when ripping a game. This document has now been superseded by a revised version devised by Class, Myth and Divine.
Top List ?Chart which lists in rank order the best warez sites, worked out on the basis of votes.
Topsite - The pinnacle of the warez scene hierarchy. Topsites are extremely fast, private FTP sites, which contain newly released software direct from the release groups themselves. From topsites couriers distribute the warez to dump sites and so on.
Trading - Swapping warez, file for file via FTP, IRC, ICQ etc. Not usually approved of by the real warez community who believe that warez should be freely distributed. To put it simply, it is not the "warez way".
Trainer - A small, executable program which sits in your taskbar while you play a game. Hotkeys are associated with cheat commands which when activated provide you with extra ammo, weapons, lives or the ability to toggle between invincible/mortal modes etc etc.
Trojans ?Nasty virus like attachments which can be merged with executable files. These are tiny so are unlikely to arouse suspicion. When executed they allow a hacker to access your computer and wreak havoc. Can occasionally be found in warez files yet they can be removed using "The Cleaner" or an equivalent program.
< U >
UBB - Shorthand for Ultimate Bulletin Board, currently the most popular script used for creating warez bulletin boards - see the bulletin board tutorial.
UBB Hacks - This term falsely gives the impression that something destructive or malicious is involved, but when you hear people talking about a hack in the context of bulletin boards they are simply referring to customised code which helps to improve the functionality/appearance of a board. For example a "thread hack" would effect the way in which individual threads look and operate. Bulletin board hacks are not exclusive to UBB, however. They are also available for VBulletin, Ikonboard, YABB etc etc.
Undeletable Pub - An anonymous access, public FTP site where the permission attributes are set to allow uploads and downloads, but do not permit deletion.
Unzip ?Unpacking or decompressing many files that have been stored in a compressed archive. Originally only used when referring to zip files, however, it also makes sense to talk about unzipping ace or rar files.
Upload ?Copying files from your computer to a web server or FTP site via the internet.
URL ?Stands for 밬niform Resource Locator? The web site address you type into the address bar of your browser.
< V >
VBulletin - A professional, PHP message board script which is rapidly overtaking UBB in the popularity stakes - see the bulletin board tutorial.
VCD - Stands for Video Compact Disc. Basically these are huge movie files which can be viewed with the latest version of Media Player.
Voting ?Warez site webmasters are very keen to reach the number one slot of top lists such as Sub List, Top 100 etc. and will therefore encourage you to vote for their site to improve their position and thereby get the credit they deserve (or not as the case may be!). A higher position means more visitors and in theory more sponsor clicks.
< W >
Warez ?Illegal, full version software that is uploaded to the internet and distributed freely.
Warez Board ?Bulletin board used by the warez community to share links and discuss anything and everything related to warez.
Winace ?Another must-have utility used for decompressing ACE files in addition to all the other common archive formats.
Winrar ?Utility used for decompressing RAR and ZIP files (amongst other lesser known formats). Also very useful for decompressing many archive files simultaneously - a wonderful time/RSI saver!
Winzip ?An essential tool used to decompress ZIP archives (amongst many other lesser known compression formats).
< Z >
ZIP File ?The most commonly used compression format. Used for the second "squishing" process of warez files (games/apps are first compressed using Winace or Winrar and the resulting files are then "zipped" up using Winzip to make them even smaller and protect them from CRC errors to some extent).
Last updated on:
Thursday, July 5, 2001
?001 Beelzebub's Warez Guide. All Rights Reserved.