It is almost a year since the PS3 was hacked, it has been a time full of excitement and a time full of drama, it has been a time filled with court cases and lawsuits.
It all started of in August 2010, when a little device was released, this device enabled game back ups and home brew on the PS3, Sony where hot on the heels of any one selling such devices, the original device, retailed at $100+, but clones soon emerged which were cheaper, around the same time open source versions began to appear, PSGroove from Mathieulh and his team, PSFreedom from KaKaRoTo, all these methods needed some sort of hardware and was only compatible with firmware 3.41 and below.
At the end of December 2010 a group known as fail0verflow, exposed the PS3′s lack of security, this brought on a chain of events, including the PS3 Keys being released and eventually a CFW for 3.55 consoles, this then lead to GeoHot who had released a CFW, being sued by Sony, so things died down for a little while.
An extremely talented developer/hacker known as graf_chokolo worked loyally on bringing back the OtherOS function that Sony stole from its customers, graf was only interested in the OtherOS function, he was only interested in bringing back, what we as PS3 owners payed for, he didn’t care about backups or the GameOS side of the console, his work was completely honest, but this wouldn’t stop Sony pestering him and unfortunately he was also sued, whilst he was fighting Sony he continued to work on the OtherOS function, but he was continually harassed by Sony, he was even raided on one occasion, so his work was put on hold.
That’s where a new group of talented people came in, when we first heard of them, it was a member under the nick of glevand, who took on graf_chokolo’s work and brought OtherOS++ to the PS3, so it is my pleasure to post this interview i had with these awesome group of people:
When and why did you get involved in the PS3 Scene ?
Durandal – Me personally? I dabbled in a few things here and there that’d make a long and boring story, but it was when Sony began their aggressive litigation at the beginning of the year that Snowy and Das convinced me to help them with this new endeavour. We wanted to create a community safe enough that we could welcome any dev team, even when nobody else is willing to assist them. One of the unintended consequences of this is that we have a lot of very talented devs doing a lot of awesome stuff, so a lot of cross pollenation goes on between projects.
Snowy – I’ve been in other scenes just partly / mostly testing out things and debugging stuff for developers. I heard about the ps3 stuff from fail0verflow and tried seeing what i could do to help out further. After graf_chokolo got raided for the first time i tried to help him a few days later. We were both shocked that no one offered him a shell to their ps3 and from there it just started to development into more stuff.
So you are the creators of Gitbrew.org, what was your reason for creating such a site ?
Durandal – After Mr. Hotz had his pleasant visit with Sony’s attorneys, a lot of sites pulled their resources out from under a lot of very good communities. We decided someone should take a stand, and set up a community with an infrastructure that allows safe communication and free flow of ideas. All of our servers are in secure datacenters, and I know the owners of most of them. Since I used to do forensic work, I set them up in such a way that if a server is compromised or seized, very little usable information can be pulled from it. Really about all anyone could do is come after me personally.
Snowy – After most websites were getting either taken down or data was being removed due to dmca, we had to find a secure place that we could give to other developers that couldn’t be touched. It worked out pretty well and we’re still going with it.
How big is your team and who are they(No names have to mentioned of course) ?
Durandal - As far as the core team that keeps everything running, there’s only a handful of us. There are numerous groups with really awesome devs working on a lot of cool stuff, but we’re not allowed to give out any information on the number of people involved.
Snowy – Everyone helps everyone so far, because of that a lot of stuff gets done behind the scene. It just takes awhile for some stuff to be released.
You guys keep working hard, and give us brilliant work, so how did you feel when GeoHot gave in to Sony ?
Durandal – Thanks… it’s nice to see we’re being noticed. As far as Mr. Hotz is concerned, he’s just an attention loving sellout. Maybe one day he’ll do seminars with Kevin Mitnick and HB Gary. To be honest, I don’t really think about guys like him. I’d rather stay focused on actually innovating.
Snowy – I don’t agree with it, but it’s his life so you can’t really stay mad at him because of his decisions.
Some sites received DMCA take down notices, do you receive many and if so does legal action not bother you ?
Surprisingly we haven’t received one yet. Personally, I’m a tad disappointed. Guess we’ll have to wait our turn. As far as it bothering us, the way you deal with that kind of annoyance is to out annoy them.
You used the work started by graf_chokolo, do you still have contact with him, if so do you know how his court case is working out.
Durandal – He cheers us on from time to time. I don’t think we can say any more than that until after his case is decided. I did have one very inspiring conversation with him when this all began. I promised him that as long as he was willing to keep up the fight in the court room, gitbrew would keep doing what we do best. And when Sony finally grows tired of pestering the guy, there’s definitely a place for him in our dev team.
Snowy – Yup, starting out was weird for setting stuff up, but after that I made sure I could help him in any way possible for development purposes. Graf, I have to say without you the scene wouldn’t be the way it is now. A lot of devs respect you because of it. Thank you for everything you’ve done man. Stand your ground and you will win, we’re behind you 100%
What are your opinions on the PS3 Scene, the devs, the end users, Sony etc.
PS3 Scene: I can only speak about what I’ve seen. It’s, well…different from the communities I came from before. There’s some really awesome groups out there, but I think a lot of it’s too focused on sensationalizing things like the keys Mr. Hotz leaked.
The devs: All I can say is the PS3 community is lucky to have the level of talent a lot of these guys provide. Graf, KaKaRoTo, Mathieulh, tuxuser, etc are all guys I’d be honored to work with on any project for any platform. Maybe one day Sony’ll get bored of annoying them so we can get them all together under our roof.
The end users: Haven’t really had a reason to think on them much. Though more and more are using our solutions as an alternative to the official PS3 firmware.
Sony, etc.: There’s no reason to speak ill of them. They do more to alienate their own community than I could ever do with any words I could write. They’re not alone, either. Too many companies place a monopoly on innovation when it comes to their platforms. It’s funny that Microsoft’s Xbox is probably the least restricted platform currently. I guess they learned their lesson by trying to fight Linux developers.
When the likes of Sony Fanboys see people that do your work, they immediately lumber you with being a “Pirate”, what would you say to them to convince them that piracy and homebrew/linux are not the same.
To be honest, I wouldn’t waste my time trying to justify myself to the lot. Sony does a better job of giving us positive PR in front of the fanboys than we ever could.
What projects do you have planned for the future.
On the PS3 we’ve got a few projects going on. Expect to see a suite of tools for blu-ray drives in the not so distant future. Also, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing a linux video driver that makes better use of the RSX. I’ll also be furthering my work on distributed cluster computing on the PS3 and other platforms.
In our other communities, expect to see more utilities for the kindle, and a lot more in the way of android development. Also, I’ve brought in a couple of my old friends to develop security-oriented tools for various platforms. Long story short…there’s very little we don’t have planned for the future.
Several consoles are being released in the near future, the PS Vita and WiiU, do you plan on working on them ?
If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be gitbrew…
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There may be a few more additions to the interview, but from what is posted so far, you can see the passion, you can see the dedication these guys have, everyone of you that have OtherOS++ on your PS3, should be very thank full to these guys and the work they continue to bring for our benefit, you can be guaranteed that they wont sell out either.
With the interview over, i would like to personally request something from each of you and that is to send the guys at Gitbrew a little donation, it can be as little as $1, if one hundred people donate only $1 each, that’s $100, which helps a huge way to covering server expenses and it shows that you appreciate the work they do.
To donate, please follow this link.
For support with OtherOS visit them on IRC here:
To get tutorials and help with OtherOS++, visit the Gitbrew website here.