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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
Maverick: but it forces you to do ton of boring stuff like taxes, managing, finding people, going on meetings with other companies etc. Not everyone has nerves for this
Post 03 May 2007, 13:28
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
HyperVista wrote:
...because of the area in which you (and MazeGen) work

Hmm.
obfuscation....
Wow. Full circle. I remember as a college student, more than four decades ago, my pal Arnie dropped out of college in order to commence employment at IBM, because he was so talented a programmer. Arnie's problem was English. He could not spell, could not pronounce words correctly, and could not write ANYTHING. He was a whiz at math, and there were NO ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS he could not improve. He used 360 Assembler to correct mistakes in the university computer's software. His career may have been spectactular, I don't know, for he was transferred tout de suite to New York to company headquarters, probably been in a black hole ever since!!
Mention of black, reminds me of my cousin, Joe Btfsplk, who always carried a black cloud over his head, wherever he went, it rained.
http://www.lil-abner.com/familyalbum2.html
Post 03 May 2007, 14:22
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HyperVista



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
Posts: 691
Location: Virginia, USA
HyperVista
tom wrote:
Hmm.
obfuscation....


Greetings tom! Well, not obfuscation specifically. One who knows how to protect code from reverse engineering certainly knows how to conduct effective reverse engineering against highly protected software. A skill very much in demand. Just yesterday I interviewed a grad student from Johns Hopkins for a summer intern position. He told me he has an offer from a well known company to reverse engineer / conduct binary analysis on malware. I would think vid and MazeGen's experience in protecting code and their expertise in assembly language and tools like IDA Pro, PEBrowser, etc. would make them highly sought by companies such as McAfee, Symantic, Microsoft, etc.

Brilliantly funny reference to Lil-Abner Link to other characters. I fear we're both dating ourselves in the reference though.
Post 03 May 2007, 14:44
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
Quote:
obfuscation

nope, area itself is copy-protection. That incorporates obfuscation as one of it's tools, along with many others.

For example my "main" project was protector for WinCE/ARM devices (first version already done, probably will be free, we just need to make some web for that).

- binary-level analysis (reverse engineering)
- debugging of disassembled code w/o symbols (this one was real fun to do...)
- usual designing and programming of small/middle sized project, portable C for x86, amd64 and ARM
- cross-platform programming (x86 protector must work with ARM code)
- basic polymorphism (this one incorporates intentional obfuscation)
Post 03 May 2007, 15:41
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Maverick



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Citizen of the Universe
Maverick
vid wrote:
Maverick: but it forces you to do ton of boring stuff like taxes, managing, finding people, going on meetings with other companies etc. Not everyone has nerves for this

Every coin has two sides, but although fearing myself the things you mentioned, then (now that I have my own company since one year and half ago) I can say:

# taxes: sucks, but at least in Italy you can't do it without an advisor anyway. So it's his job to handle your accounts. Not ideal (I'd like to do everything myself) but in my country there is a new law every day, so if you want to hope to follow all of that, you're going to become an advisor yourself.. so.. this is something practically unavoidable (all advisors I know are stupid assholes, so you can beat I'd do without them if only I really could).

# Again, about taxes: it's a pain to pay them, but do you really think that being someone else's employee you will earn as much as you could do by self employing yourself?
And, do you really think that being someone else's employee is safer than having your own company? Look, in Italy we're not in the USA: with some kind of contracts (the one I had when I worked for an important clinic as programmer) they CANNOT fire you, period. Otherwise you go to the judge and your employer has to pay you your retirement. ;->
However, I was fired. How? The clinic had many sub-companies taking care of this and that. We were 3 programmers employed in one of those sub-companies. Two of them (one expecially, but none was me) weren't really liked by our (shitty) boss. So what did he do to fire him? He closed down the company. He can do it, it's a legal way to fire people. He promised me to hire me again after a couple of months max.
Then he, some months after, opened the new company. Since he was paying me too little, he also wanted to demonstrate (expecially then that I became father, with new responsabilities, etc.. (by the way, in few days I'll become father again Smile )) that I could lose my job any moment, and I should not ask for a higher wage (something I started to do before he closed the company, although he was very happy about my work) because he can put me on a road whenever he wants, etc.. I kindly told him to fuck off, he and his new company. Now after 6 months I left him without support, I do work for him externally as my own company, and he has to pay me 4 or more times than before.

It was about time I founded my own company! And the only thing I regret is that I didn't do it many years before..

# managing, finding people: I usually++ do NOT outsource services, except of course materials as e.g. electronic components I buy from distributors (I do software but I also, expecially nowadays, design and manufacture hardware on a small/medium scale). I don't like the idea of hiring people, because I've been on the other side and I don't like it, although I know I would respect my employees. I don't think any employee can be as productive and motivated as one having his own company and working for himself/herself. If I had to outsource a work, I'd do it to a company (even a one-person company, no problems) or an individual as an one project, I wouldn't hire someone, I can't help but I don't believe in that kind of collaboration, at least for creative work as programming.

# going on meetings with other companies: uh.. I'm not the kind of marketing guy. It *has* happened that I had dinner with a possible client but, believe me, it was well worth. If you could earn 20000 Euro doing a dinner and just a month of (not even fulltime) work, and then ALSO resell to others the same work (thus make your company's product line grow) I bet you would also have a lunch. Wink But I don't like this kind of "social" stuff, I prefer to stay with my family, so I guess there are no rules at all, it depends by what you do, what kind of products you design and sell, and you're free anyway to say no to whoever you want. For example, if you make videogames (something I did many years ago) then you don't need that kind of "social marketing" you mentioned.

Also, I am trying to focus on selling my hardware boards first on eBay and then on my own site (www.omega64.com), but I still work in the medical field (ecg, dicom and lab software) and now in the geological one (custom data loggers, etc..), so as long as I get money from there, why abandon it.

In the future I want to push my own sale of my own hardware (mostly microcontroller and FPGA boards) and software (mostly videogames: in a previous life I had commercial Amiga games distributed all around the world).

Oh, and I don't need any useless degree! Wink

I think that the so called advantages of being an employee are for most part only illusory, but mine is a personal opinion of course, your mileage and experiences may vary. Also, some people are more keen on working in groups and may even feel lost alone, others (like) are more like lone wolves suffering when working in group.

_________________
Greets,
Fabio
Post 04 May 2007, 08:58
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 8897
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sleepsleep
you so brave, maverick!! Cool
marketing is just so crucial in business.
Post 04 May 2007, 10:34
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Maverick



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Citizen of the Universe
Maverick
hehe Very Happy

well, when you have more work than you can do, and you want to enjoy your family and have free time, then you can make some customers run away from you. Wink

Ideally you should higher your prices enough so that you won't get more work requests than you can fullfill, but you make the highest possible earnings anyway from your work. I say "ideally" because you don't even have to make everyone think you're too expensive. I tend to concentrate/offer quality vs quantity, I think it's a winning strategy, you cannot compete against who sacrifices quality anyway, at least not if you live and buy food in western countries. Also, offering quality makes you find better customers, IMHO.

It's a tough process.. but I like to manage also this aspect of my company. Of course if I say no I try to be kind. Wink I try to accept those works that can give an added value (e.g. designing a software that I can then sell also to others, or at least that I can reuse someway in part).

Don't be afraid to say NO's, it means your company is finally profitable. For the first year it really wasn't, it has been in the last 6-8 months that things really started to look good. It's cool and rewarding to say a NO because the customer doesn't offer enough of a earning for you, and you prefer to spend that time with your family, or investing on some project or idea, believe me.
Post 04 May 2007, 10:53
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HyperVista



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
Posts: 691
Location: Virginia, USA
HyperVista
Maverick wrote:
by the way, in few days I'll become father again


Fantastic news Maverick. Congratulations! I recall that photo of your daughter and how beautiful she is. You and your wife are building a beautiful Italian family. All the best to you and yours.

I agree that starting your own company is a very good thing to do. It's very demanding but also very rewarding. There's a new book out titled, "Founders at Work" that is a very good read for anyone interested in starting a company.
Link to Amazon Description. It tells the story of a number of tech companies and how they started and the obsticles they faced and overcame.
Post 04 May 2007, 11:30
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Maverick



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Citizen of the Universe
Maverick
Thank you for your kind words, HyperVista. Smile

I had an amazon order still not shipped, "Founders at Work" added, thank you. Wink

The other books are:

Freax: <-- about the demoscene
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/3981049403

On the Edge: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore: <-- another great book
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0973864907

The Video Games Guide: <-- may be inspiring for a return to games development
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0752226258

Collectible Microcomputers: <-- nostalgia time!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764316001

The Encyclopedia of Game Machines: <-- as above
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/3000153594

Digital Press Video Game Collector's Guide: <-- as above
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0970980701

On the Sensations of Tone: <-- this is about psychoacoustics, the DSP universe is an old love of mine
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0486607534

Greets,
Fabio
Post 04 May 2007, 11:37
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
Maverick wrote:

(by the way, in few days I'll become father again Smile )

Is that #3, you stud? Razz
Post 04 May 2007, 12:02
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Maverick



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Citizen of the Universe
Maverick
No, it's still #2 (first Sara, now Yuri). But there's more to do, we're sure. Very Happy

Sara is only 22 months old and already masters 6502 assembly. :^)
Post 04 May 2007, 12:39
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MHajduk



Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 6034
Location: Poland
MHajduk
If Tomasz lived in USA, he would be named Tom Greenstar and his FASM would be probably sold as MS-FASM now. Wink
Post 04 May 2007, 13:30
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Maverick



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Citizen of the Universe
Maverick
If it was took over by Microsoft, then it would slowly turn from the very best assembler around to the opposite, which we don't want to happen. Wink

And anyway who wants it to become a 8 GB package? =)
Post 05 May 2007, 08:39
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
MHajduk wrote:
If Tomasz lived in USA, he would be named Tom Greenstar
Really? Like Guiseppe Verdi--Joe Green?
Yeah, but, according to my source,
http://www.dict.pl/plen?word=grys+&lang=EN
grys corresponds to "grit", a very small piece of stone, i.e. A PLANET, not a star.
And, Green, according to that same dictionary, corresponds to "groz", wow, remember, IVAN GROZNY?
Well, he was on the scene a little before the birth of FASM....like about five centuries before. I somehow never thought of him as GREEN, more like RED-- there was something of a sanguinous aura about him.....
Post 05 May 2007, 10:58
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MHajduk



Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 6034
Location: Poland
MHajduk
tom tobias wrote:
grys corresponds to "grit", a very small piece of stone, i.e. A PLANET, not a star.
I was playing a little with phonetical similarities between a name of FASM creator and name "Greenstar". Very Happy I don't mean an etymology. Wink

BTW, Your links are useful as usual (I collect every dictionary which I could find in the net). Thanks.
Post 06 May 2007, 12:17
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kohlrak



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 1421
Location: Uncle Sam's Pad
kohlrak
I program out of hobby and kindness of heart. I never felt that any programming had a good future, here, especially since outsourcing is so much cheaper.
Post 08 May 2007, 21:00
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