More on Display Eater

Monday, 2007-03-05; 00:08:00

Just an update regarding Display Eater and its home directory munching: apparently the minor uproar has caused the developer of Display Eater, Reza Hussain, to issue a public letter assuring the Mac community that Display Eater no longer eats your home directory, and promising to open source the next version of Display Eater.

Note that the public letter currently states that "this [eating home directories] was not the case at the time the slashdot article hit. It had stopped long before." This is in contrast to a previous wording on the site, which said "[i]t has been this way [sans home eating] since 2/7/07." I don't have a screenshot of the webpage when it looked like that, but the Apple Gazette has an archived copy of the text at that time. It seems the developer admits that there was just such an anti-piracy measure in Display Eater at one point, but it has since been removed.

Blake C. actually did some deconstruction of the latest version of Display Eater, 1.8.5, and found that there wasn't actually any home-directory eating code in Display Eater at that time. The only files that Display Eater actually destroyed were anything in its own Application Support folder. Blake also asked for further clarification of the situation from the developer, and the developer acknowledged in the comments that there are three separate versions of Display Eater 1.8.5, with only the second version sporting home folder deletion.

So while it seems the situation has been rectified, it still caused the destruction of some home folders. And that's unacceptable. If I were one of those few people, I would be completely pissed. Hopefully the developer will learn from his mistake and his wildly effective "anti-piracy measures".

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