Eraser Honours List

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Here in England at the end of a year the Queen gives out new years honours (knighthoods) etc. The idea is that ordinary people who do remarkable things during their life, who would normally go unnoticed receive some recognition for their efforts.

I thought it would be fun if Eraser did the same at the end of each year to recognise the work done by the kind and generous contributors to the Eraser project. All too often people find a link to some free software, download it, use it for years on end and never for a single second consider the work involved in providing that same software to the end user.

I have seen at first hand the work and effort that goes into building a secure, reliable program such as Eraser and it is a formidable task !

As this is the first year of the Eraser Honours List I thought I would backtrack a little and start from the beginning.

Peter Gutmann

Thanks to Peter Gutmann who in 1996 scared the pants off everyone when he described how data on a computer hard drive was still there after a normal windows deletion.

He said.

“The delete function in most operating systems simply marks the space occupied by the file as reusable (removes the pointer to the file) without immediately removing any of its contents.”

This comment was to start an entire industry of secure deletion tools for windows.

Sami Tolvanen

Sami started Eraser, the best overwriting utility on the net. Sami took Eraser from conception to Version 5.3

Garrett Trant

Without Garrett Eraser may have ended at version 5.3 and we would have not enjoyed any of the versions since. For several years Garrett kept Eraser alive, pretty much by himself. He provided an Eraser website, forum, help, updates and enhancements. Quite an achievement ! He worked at Eraser like a trooper and I consider him an Eraser hero and I will always be grateful for his efforts.

Garrett took Eraser from 5.3 to 5.85 and still continues to provide hosting for the Eraser website and forum, I think from his own funds.

If you find Eraser useful please consider donating some funds to Garrett to compensate him for his costs.

Joel Low

Joel arrived on the Eraser forum Aug 19, 2006. He asked a couple of questions at first then disappeared for a while. Little did anyone know just what an impact on Eraser Joel would have !

Not long after, Joel offered his service to Eraser and started work fixing V5 bugs. New life was breathed into Eraser and the forum came alive again. Joel has a chaotic way of working but it quickly became apparent that he certainly knew what he was doing as he fixed bug after bug and added new features to the V5.

As limitations of V5 became more and more apparent Joel suggested a total re-write of Eraser and the decision was made to create Eraser V6.

On November 1, 2007 Joel created the Eraser 6 branch on Erasers new Trac. He has continued to bash away at the code ever since. He is always ready to listen to new ideas, feature request and fix any bugs anyone finds. I think it is fair to say Joel “is” Eraser V6 !

Joel is a young chap but he is very skilled (gifted) in programming especially considering his age. I can see Joel having a great future in computer programming should he choose to do that professionally when he decides on his career.

I believe Joel is available for commercial work.

Dennis Van Lith

As if by magic as soon as Joel started work on V6 Dennis very kindly offered his services for free. Dennis is an excellent graphic artist and is solely responsible for the fantastic new look of Eraser and the Eraser logo.

Dennis designs logo’s and graphics professionally so if you are writing a commercial product please look him up.

Svante Seleborg

Svante is a crypto guru and a very skilled programmer. He has his own software company called Axantum Software AB and also provides an excellent, easy to use free encryption program called Axcrypt. Eraser needed Svante’s expertise to ensure that Erasers CSPRNG was truly random and that it was implemented correctly. Fortunately for us Svante found the time to do this for Eraser.

This greatly helps Erasers Truecrypt plausible deniability feature.

All of the above have been involved with Eraser for at least a year or more and so that is why I have mentioned them here, however…I believe there is one last person that deserves a special mention now even though he has only been with us for quite literally the last few days of the year !

Chris Wagers

Chris contacted me on Fri Dec 26, 2008 and offered his help as a Beta tester. Of course on behalf of the Eraser team I was grateful for his offer of help as I am with anyone who offers to help the Eraser project but I had absolutely no idea what was about to happen to Eraser !

Within hours of accepting Chris’s kind offer of help I started to notice an alarming number of tickets appearing on the Eraser Trac ! Chris was finding bugs everywhere and giving clear and detailed reports of them.

I can honestly say I have never seen a bug tester like him before, even to this day I am certain chris12923 is just a user name for an entire room of software engineers working at NASA or something !

Eraser V5 has been out in one form or another for years now but Chris has reported many bugs on V5 just recently, which begs the question why didn’t anyone else spot them before !!

I understand Chris is in the transition period of turning fully professional as a software fault finder and tester. If you write software I suggest you book this guy while you can as I believe he will be in serious demand soon. If you mention you support Eraser he may give you a discount !

Thanks to all who have helped Eraser and to all those who will do so in the future. :D
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