First of I just want to say thankyou to everyone who has submitted files over the past year or so. The site now preserves an additional 4,000 scene produced productions most of which were submitted by a few individuals, well done!
On the subject of scene productions I have received a portable hard drive from Scize which contained his 1.7 TB collection of original scene releases mostly from the 1990s. It’s sourced from a number of personal collections that he has exchanged with over the years. So there are bound to be duplicates and it will take a long time to go through. But needless to say the site will continue to receive updates for a long time to come! So thanks again to Scize for going out of his way to make this happen.
If you have a collection of original warez releases that you’d like to exchange or donate to Scize feel free to get in contact with him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has a personal website listing much of that collection at http://scenelist.hopto.org/.
On the more technical side I have applied some software changes and updates to the server so https://defacto2.net should be more reliable and faster. These changes also introduced SPDY 1.3 over HTTPS support which gives a very noticeable improvement to the pages with lots of thumbnails. I have personally seen some load times cut by half. Eventually the site will transition over to HTTP2 which should offer similar results for modern browsers over a secure connection. Though next on the list of updates is probably a switch to the SQL database software.
In late July Jason Scott producer of ground breaking BBS Documentary and maintainer of textfiles.com conducted an hour presentation at the famed DefCon 18 hacker conference. As the title suggest he used his allocated slot to gloss over three decades of piracy evolution using sources donated to him as a computer historian.
What I found most entertaining of this hour talk was his attacking of the reactionary anti-piracy movement and Jason near-mocking the pirate scene’s aggressive self cannibalisation. It lead me to believe he was attempting to convey a striking similarity, of today’s anti-piracy agendas with those of many decades past where history maybe just repeating itself.
Jason’s hour long talk was recently posted online on his Vimeo account.
For the first time in 6 years we have decided to change web hosting providers. This is the first stage in a long process of giving Defacto2 a much needed internal update whereby we will eventually simplify and unify the data within the website. One of the big changes with the move has the switching of server platforms. Previously we used Microsoft Windows 2003 Server operating a commercial application server by Adobe. But the website you see before you is now running on an open source platform.
Obviously as with any large platform change such as this there are bound to be some hiccups. While we have extensively troubleshoot the website there are bound to be glitches we have missed, so please get in contact with us if you encounter any bugs, missing files or broken URLs.
The only obvious downside to this migration so far has been a random, yet noticeable write performance lag to our database. We are well aware of the issue and will look at resolving this in the future.
On a more positive parting note we have reintroduced missing magazines that were accidently deleted from the database mid-last year. This means all the issues of The Game Scene Chart are back on-line.
Jason Scott, the man behind such legendary projects such as textfiles.com and the BBS Documentary is currently engaged in a Kickstarter fund raiser. Recently he was made unemployed and so he is looking for pledges to reach a goal of $25,000, within a month. Using this money to live off he plans to spend the next number of months working full time on his various computer history projects.
If his past projects are anything to go by then this in itself is worthy of a significant donation. Without Jason’s and his supporters’ work over the past decade hundreds of thousands of historic, computer files and computer related documents would have most certainly been lost to the black hole that is data rot.
I am in the very slow process of updating the whole backend of the Defacto2 website. This has meant rewriting the site’s database from scratch. Before then transferring all the data from an old, poorly designed MySQL catalogue, which itself was once migrated from an earlier Windows 2000 Access database. So because of this I have avoided adding new files to the site and this is why the it seems a little quiet.
I will continue to add certain, popular files such as The Scene Charts issues, but lesser known, obscure files will only be added to the new database, which obviously will not show up on the current site at http://www.defacto2.net.
Please DO continue to submit your old, scene related files though as all the submissions are collected, catalogued and stored. They will be placed online when the new site is ready for public consumption.
For those of you who use Twitter I thought I would remind the readers that Defacto2 tweaks. Not only are the latest updates from the site published to the Twitter account. We also tweet when files previews and progress updates on the website revision, news that you will not find on the website itself. You can find our Twitter page at Defacto2 Twitter.
In the past month if you have sent us a message using the Defacto2 contacts forms and have not received a reply, then I must apologise. Unfortunately it seems that the e-mail address those messages were forwarded to expired; so all the messages submitted in the past month has been lost. While the issue has now been fix there is not much I can do to recover the lost messages. So if it was important I would ask that you please resend.