Famous Reverse Engineer Bade Farewell

Fjalar Ravia, famously known for his pseudonym "Fravia", is one most distinguished reverse engineer in the world. He is best known for maintaining a web archive of reverse engineering techniques and for leading people from becoming "crackers" to "reversers".

Fravia has been suffering from cancer for more than two years now, and on his website he recently posted a farewell message entitled “Sour 'n Sweet Swan Song”. Here are some of the most touching parts of his message:

“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.”

“Anyway if universe and time are really infinite (which I somehow doubt), then an almost "metempsicotically identical" combination of neurons will re-appear again somewhere, e.g. on another galaxy and planet... hopefully one with less imbeciles.”

“Enough messages of doom: to be angry just because you die would be childish. And in fact I am not even angry, just analyzing and rambling aloud.”

“More generally, never underestimate all sciences "in decadence", they are often quite powerful resources, lowballed (or even forbidden) on purpose by those that want you to just work, drool before a TV screen and consume consume consume... wasting your whole life in order to be able to buy slightly sooner a car of a different color.”

“Yet my most cherished advice to all friends is the following: learn to enjoy your contingent present, don't be obsessed by the future. Carpe diem, and enjoy the current emotions: a starry sky, a fresh wind, the shells on the seashore, your love at your side in the night, a long talk in the evening twilight with a friend, the smile of your kids. Substituting *that* with a TV -or a computer screen- is a very poor bargain... that is one of the few things I am now pretty sure of.”

You can read the full post HERE.

On a previous note, Fravia expressed his deep interest in GNU/Linux:

“In fact I don't care much: I read a lot, spend time with my kids, write a lot, and delve more and more into GNU/Linux (a real panacea for seekers). I am also happily working on my searching stuff (at the moment on "linguistic related" seeking techniques), I'm trying to reverse the (nice but heavily commercialized) Microsoft *.lit format (pilfered by the MS-clowns from open source html protocols) in order to port it -as native as possible- to GNU/Linux... and might even open a small "ramblings of mine" section on searchlores, just for the fun and "hubris" of it. Ah, and I also play a lot of nice tactical ans strategic games and simulations (only in order to test the most recent -and amazingly powerful- wine implementations, ça va sans dire :-)”

He also posted this photo of him and Richard M. Stallman:

In October of 2000, Fravia got in touch with RMS at a LinuxDay event in Milan. This meeting inspired him to start exploring and helping free software and free culture.

Thank you Fravia for sharing with us your deep knowledge and skills. You will be missed.

Learn more about Fravia and his works by visiting his web site: HERE.


  1. Indeed he will be missed. Just today I had proved the new knowledge I acquired by reading one of his sites.
    I do believe he has done a great contribution to the betterment of this world.
    May he rest in peace and let us remember him for years to come.
    -- I still don't know if we're worthy of his legacy. May we, from now on, build a world like he desired to be.

  2. AnonymousMay 06, 2009

    Fravia+... perhaps one of the most influential individuals I've had the chance to encounter on the internet.

    His -many- websites are a gigantic source of wisdom and of useful information. I've studied reverse engineering through him, his tutorials and challenges - all in the hope of becoming a better programmer and person.

    Thanks Fravia+ for all the information, the time was well spent.

  3. Hello,
    I reread the article and remembering my comment I find I have wrote as if he already passed away. That was not by design and I am sorry: I did not meant to set that meaning to it.

    I just meant he has achieved much in his life, through his efforts to educate knowledge seekers. I hope seekers that learn from him will be worthy of his efforts and will find a way to thank him.

  4. God that makes me sad. I totally forgot about him until now. I remember reading his stuff when I was around 14 I think... I dunno what to say other than have a good journey, wherever you may go.

  5. Big respect to a great coder and someone that freed a lot of information. This wodka is for you Fravia+!

  6. R.I.P. Fravia.

    Btw, Fjalar Ravia was a fake "real name". His real name was Francesco Vianello (look up on wikipedia).

  7. Remembering Fravia (aka reverse Engineer) of all the efforts he made and his contributions.

    Memories remains every time cyber ages goes ahead.