About – David Leach and Failedexe

This is Failedexe – Technology News and Reviews. It is more of a shell of ‘what it was’ rather than ‘what it is’. This is the 4th and (hopefully) final resurrection. I’m David Leach, you can learn more about me on my personal website: http://DavidLeach.io . I am this David Leach on Linkedin. And this is me on crunchbase. I am a US Army Veteran, a former Googler, Data scientist, passionate photographer/cinematographer… and I wear a few other hats. Since I was a child I had an affinity for technology.

History of Failedexe

When I originally created Failedexe I was still attending college while working on my network security startup. That startup would later be the first company I sold.

I used to hack under the alias “3x3mpt’ or “exempt”. Eventually I was caught and found myself in legal trouble. I will elaborate more on the hacking successes and failures in my upcoming book.

‘Exempt’ was subsequently my gamer tag as well from 95- 2010. Prior to that I played under the gamertag ‘skub@steeve’.  Failedexe started out as a wordpress blog on the free hosting platform in 2002. I originally blogged about Linux/ Unix how-tos, pc modding, overclocking, hardware & software reviews, HTPC setup and modding, video game reviews, and illegal and legal hack/cracks. Youtube didn’t exist yet. High speed internet was not rolled out in the majority of America yet.

On the white-hat/public facing side I hung out in forums like xtremeresources.com, xtremesystems.org, overclockers.com, 3dmark forums, Anandtech, to name a handful. If you missed out on Anand Lal Shimpi (he retired) you truly missed out on the most competent technical reviews of our time. This kid makes MKBHD look like Dora the explorer.

I wrote a ton of posts on LN2, peltier, and lots of R504b and R404a Prometeia, or Vapochill LS units that were modded by myself (“Exempt”), “Baker”, “PC-Ice” and “Muropuketti” during these days. “PC-Ice” assisted me with my Vapochill LS conversion to R504b and my Mach II gt unit to pull lower temps faster.  Baker created the infamous copper water-cooling “baker blocks”, I acquired two from him for my custom water cooled PCs before water cooling kits were even created. LN2 overclocking legend “Muropuketti” taught me how to slather non-conductive die-electric grease in my CPU socket to prevent condensation from -60c temps on the CPU and how to create a hermetic cell to seal the CPU. For several years we dominated the 3dmark2001 scores for consumer PCs. 

Over several years Failedexe grew and the self-hosted site couldn’t suffice. Failedexe moved to it’s own hosting server and I rebranded with a new logo and new site design. The newly polished (and much faster) site doubled in traffic almost overnight. Failedexe hit 60k subscribers and 150k visits a month. I acquired advertisers and sponsors and the site continued to flourish. For a brief period of time Failedexe videos were self hosted, however around this time Youtube emerged and people were moving over from sites like ebaumsworld, digg, etc. As you can see from the posts in the blog section, I made several embarrassing youtube videos for Failedexe, but they never did as well as the self hosted videos. Only this SuSe video of my geeking out with UI effects broke a few hundred thousand views on youtube and I have no clue why.

The demise of Failedexe…

A significant portion of the Failedexe traffic was always on the site for the free Adobe and Windows hacks and crack packs that I was posting on the site. Once Google began cooperating with the DMCA, RIAA, and MPAA, Failedexe was quickly blacklisted…meaning directly googling anything on or about Failedexe, simply wouldn’t list ‘failedexe.com’ in any of the results, or would result in a link to a DMCA notice. You can read more about that in my post here.

Simultaneously while the blacklisting was occurring I began receiving DMCA, RIAA, and MPAA legal notices/threats.

As traffic plummeted due to the blacklisting, advertisers pulled out and any monetization on Failedexe halted. I left the site up for a while but feeling defeated, I stopped posting any new content. Emails began coming in asking for updates and new content. I tuned them out. Life and other projects were catching up with me and Failedexe wasn’t a productive use of energy at the time. It was at this time that I pulled Failedexe down.


Failedexe came back online in January 2019. I won’t be blogging under “exempt” anymore but rather my name real name, David Leach. I also won’t link to or no longer write about Windows or Adobe cracks. I have yet to determine the ultimate direction for Failedexe but at least getting back online is a start. If you are reading this, I appreciate your visit and your time. It has been a long road.


David Leach