Files as thumbs

Fresh Coat of Paint

Defacto2 has changed servers, received a back-end upgrade and changed the overall look + feel of the site!

What is new?

Front-end has been redesigned to use Bootstrap, reduce complex navigation clutter and introduce a uniformed user interface. Icons have replaced a significant number of the text descriptions to hopefully make the site seem less cluttered and overloaded.

New and improved listings for files, links, search results, people and groups.

Files thumbnails can now be viewed in different sizes or in a more usable list mode and are now shown in their correct aspect ratio.

Fixed a significant number of back-end bugs.

Implemented both reactive and fluid design to improve support for mobile and desktop screens.

A new server and provider hopefully means improved bandwidth, so downloads for many users should be faster.

There is now a limited API like function enabling data exporting using JSON. This will be expanded in the future.

File details page layouts have been improved with options to view or play the file in browser, download it or export the database data as a JSON document.

User accessible links for file assets such as screenshots, thumbnails, image previews which are all covered under a liberal Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence.

Scene website portal has narrowed in focus to now only show sites that relate to the files hosted on the site. So links to alternative computer formats, emulation, etc have been culled.

Why the change?

I wanted to future proof the front-end code-base and migrate it to HTML5. The previous version of the site was stuck on XHTML 1.0. While compatible with all modern and most legacy browsers, it is an evolutionary dead-end. Keeping to XHTML it made implementing new functionality difficult so the change was needed. Besides the overhyped browser features of HTML5, it lays out the pages in a more logical manner which makes it easier to work with.

While the new HTML5 code-base will break many old browsers there is always the legacy HTML3 edition of the site. That will work in every browser and has access to every file served and hosted on Defacto2.

Potential hiccups

Site works great in modern Firefox, Chrome, Safari both on mobile and desktop. It does mostly work in Internet Explorer 9 but fails to render correctly in IE10 and IE11. There is no intention to fix this and instead these IE users are forced to view the page in IE9 quirks mode. I hope Internet Explorer will eventually catch-up to support the HTML5/CSS3 functionality that is breaking the layout.

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Our last major file dump?

We are happy to announce that after this week’s upload of 300+ files on our Arts & Files archive, Defacto2 is finish! Well by that we really mean the long queue of files for processing that we have sat on for years is finally now complete. This means unless we receive a large and unexpected future file donation there will probably be no more large, bulk file updates such as this.

These are some of the highlights of this current dump, enjoy.

November refresh

It may have seemed that we have been a little quiet at Defacto2 of late but there has been a bit of work behind the scenes. This week a significant backend upgrade has been rolled out to improve usability and file navigation.

  • Redesigned the ‘Arts & files’, ‘Organisations’, ‘People’ and ‘Our favourite sites’ items navigation. To me it looks more cluttered but it should be more logical and easier to use. The categories and platforms have been given more meaningful names and have small descriptors that popup when the mouse is hovered over the link. While the navigation controls have now been clustered together. Thumbnails now have Sort By headers rather than being thumbnail icons lined side-by-side.
  • Introduced a HTML 3 edition of the site. Only the Art & files section of the site has been converted into this mostly text based, legacy format. I thought some people on slower connections or who are using legacy PC’s to obtain the hosted files would prefer this format. Plus seeing as the site is mostly focused on the online activities of the 1990s it seemed apt that we introduced a mock 1990s, web FTP edition of Defacto2. You can find this retro mode at www.defacto2.net/html3
  • Removed all the social network buttons within the site (except the welcome page) as they potentially tracked users and slowed the site down. If you want to remove all tracking (such as Google Adsense, Google Analytics etc) visit HTTPS://www.defacto2.net instead of HTTP://www.defacto2.net
  • Twitter has removed all support for RSS/Atom feeds which the Defacto2 welcome page relied on for the Twitter Wall function. This feature has been temporarily removed but will return once the it has been reproduced using Twitter’s 1.1v API.
  • Added improved tablet and mobile phone CSS optimisations.
  • Individual groups, sites and organisation now have their own XML feeds that you can use with a feed reader to track their new file submissions.

File navigation changes

HTML 3 formatted file browsing

A minor Defacto2 refresh

Today brings Defacto2.net a nice site-wide point release update. With a significant tweaking of both the back and the front ends we hope to improve your user experience by bring a more unified site-wide theme in addition to some critical bug corrections.

One of the major changes is the complete overhaul of the CSS implementation which is rebuilt from scratch and offers extra CSS 3 values. The CSS is now translated into the Javascript based LESS dynamic stylesheet extender which allows a more structured code with less redundancy.

The new CSS implementation supports tablets such as the IPad held in either landscape or portrait modes. For example if viewed in portrait mode the site’s font sizes will automatically upscale.

Site wide searching is fixed and is reworked to into something more useful. We have introduced more attractive search term highlighting as well as more flexible result filtering.

We have optimised some of the site features such as viewing a file’s details to better support wide-screen monitors. Whereby the text based file information will remain on the left pane while video and image previews will float on a right pane.

Anyway take a browse through when you get a chance and please let us know what you think.

MindCandy: Volume 2 Amiga Demos Has Sold Out! So It Is Now Available For Free Online.

The Amiga computer was launched in 1985 as an advanced personal and gaming computer. Many hobbyist computer programmers, graphic artists, and musicians took hold of this platform and created spectacular programs to show off their talent and the Amiga’s capabilities. Over the past several decades, many talented individuals created amazing works of art unseen and unknown to world outside the small Amiga computer and demo scene. The Amiga only survived for a decade, but these demonstrations will live on forever.

“MindCandy Volume 2: Amiga Demos” was a DVD project by Hornet, Fusecon, and Blue 7 Media, started in 2003 and completed in late 2006. Free preview discs were given away at the Assembly 2005 demoparty, featuring an Amiga Workbench-style menu (you can still get the preview .ISO, search for “mindcandy” at www.scene.org). The final DVD was officially released on January 16th, 2007.

Over five years later, as of May 1st, 2012, MC2 has officially sold out! To celebrate the occasion, we are releasing both the PAL and NTSC versions under a Creative Commons license. Details of the license are below.

This archive contains the same full dual-layer .ISO image that the retail disc contained, including the layer break in the right place. Also included are the DVD case cover, the full booklet, and even the images we used for our stickers. So if you missed your chance to experience MC2, fret no more! We’ve also thrown in some reviews we got from Amiga Power and c’t magazine.

We had to capture RGB video in as good quality as possible (the video had to come directly from the Amiga RGB port) using 2004-era technology on a small budget, including an uncompressed workflow to avoid any generational artifacts. The NTSC video is 720×480 @ 29.97i (interlaced) while PAL is 720×576 @ 25i (both in 4:3 aspect ratio). MC2 was mastered for CRT tube televisions, but should still look great on any output device.

MindCandy Volume 2 was a very successful release, having sold 3000 copies (1000 NTSC and 2000 PAL). The sales of MC2 provided the seed money to make MindCandy Volume 3, our Blu-ray high-def follow-up to our first PC volume, so the project gave back to the scene community not once but twice. MindCandy Volume 3 is still available – visit http://www.mindcandydvd.com/3 to get your copy!

We hope you enjoy MindCandy Volume 2 as much as we enjoyed making it.

LICENSE:

The work “MindCandy Volume 2: Amiga Demos” (both PAL and NTSC editions, including the print materials in the archive) is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) license.

This license allows you to freely copy and view the work provided you do not sell it, attempt to transform it, or reference it without attribution. For more details on this license, please visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Read the release NFO:

http://scene.org/file.php?file=%2Fdemos%2Fcompilations%2Fmindcandy_2_final%2Fmindcandy2.nfo&fileinfo

Download the DVD from:

Legit Torrents: http://www.legittorrents.info/index.php?page=torrent-details&id=a9f35c70b29708bb0af77dad926380aadfad483b

Scene.org: http://scene.org/dir.php?dir=%2Fdemos%2Fcompilations%2Fmindcandy_2_final%2F

A Merry Bulletin Board System Christmas

Hey guys, here at Defacto2 we thought we would give you an early Christmas present by finally making public our collection of BBS files we have been sitting on for far too long. We are happy to give you nearly 1,600 new files to explore and play with. This new addition to our collection now increases our curated, public holdings by 45%!
Most of the files in this new collection are sourced worldwide from over 400 elite PC Bulletin Board Systems from the early 1990s. It was in a era when the BBS was at it’s peak and the underground art and demo scenes were just finding their footing including ACiD, Aces of Ansi Art, Bitchin Ansi Design, GRiM, Hype, iCE, LTDMirage, Superior Art Creations, Silicon Dream Artists.
So please explore this collection of ANSI art, coded adverts, session and screen captures to take a nostalgia trip back to the elite underground of 20 years ago!

MindCandy 3: PC Demos 2003-2010 Blu-Ray+DVD Is Available For Shipping This Week

MindCandy 3 takes these poetic programs of the computer world to the next level: Each of the demos has been optimized scene by scene or even rewritten just for MindCandy (thanks to ryg, Haujobb, Satori, Cubic Team) in order to achieve perfectly smooth 60 frames per second in a mind-blowing “better-than-realtime” visual quality on HD video. It will push the limits of your Blu-ray player and HD(TV) with its spectacular audio-visual effects. MindCandy 3 is a best-of-the-best look at what imaginative amateur programmers, musicians and graphic artists can do with an off-the-shelf personal computer. The demos produced are often shown at parties throughout Europe, and are created to push the PC to its limits while impressing the audience.

The included 3.5 hours playback of demos include…

The Popular Demo [Farbrausch],   Stargazer [Orb & Andromeda],   1995 [Kewlers & mfx],   Wir Sind Einstein [United Force & Digital Dynamite],   Iconoclast [ASD],   Masagin [Farbrausch & Neuro],   Ix [Moppi Productions],   Track One [Fairlight],   Lifeforce [ASD],   Final Audition [Plastic],   Size Antimatters [ASD],   Electric Kool-Aid [Synesthetics],   Theta [Farbrausch],   Deities [mfx],   Passing [Still],   Only One Wish [Fairlight & The Black Lotus],   Bombman [Matt Current],   Nazca [Cocoon],   You Should [Haujobb],   We Cell [Kewlers],   Faded Memories [Farbrausch],   Instant Zen [Synesthetics],   Onwards [Traction],   Metamorphosis [ASD],   Midnight Run [ASD],   Route 1066 [UKScene Allstars],   Agenda Circling Forth [CNCD & Fairlight],   Aether [mfx],   Ferner [Still],   The Beauty [Einklang.net & Extrawelt],   Inflorescence [mfx],   Vokawardoai [Satori],   Chromosphere [SQNY],   Debris [Farbrausch],   Rupture [ASD],   Frameranger [CNCD, Fairlight, & Orange],   Shad 3 [Cocoon],   Into The Pink [Plastic],   Happiness Is Around The Bend [ASD],   Rove [Farbrausch]

In addition the Blu-Ray disc exclusively contains 6.5 hours of extras including these demos …

Frameskool [Equinox],   Heaven Seven (in HD) [Exceed],   Chaos Theory [Conspiracy],   Panic Room [Fairlight],   Elevated [RGBA & TBC]

Both region-free Blu-Ray and DVD discs are sold together in a single package for the introductory price of €16 or around $22 USD. They can be bought from the 16 year-old German online retailer, MAZ Sound Tools. I imagine USA based sellers will be announced soon.

http://www.maz-sound.com/index.php?show=product&id=49