Last year, via jwz, I watched the video "Archive Team: A distributed Preservation of Service Attack" from Defcon 19. I learned about the Archive Team and the work of Jason Scott.
More recently I learned about the archive.org Shareware CD Archive. In the fledgling days of the Internet, shareware (and cover-mount) CD-ROMs were a popular way for files to be distributed. They therefore archive an interesting age in the history of modern Internet culture.
Inspired by the above, I dug out some of my old shareware Doom CDs, ripped them, scanned their covers (where I had them) and uploaded them to archive.org. Here they are:
- The Ultimate Add-On Collection for Doom and Doom II
- D! 1000 (better CD scan needed)
- D!|Zone Gold
- 3D Game Alchemy — the CD that accompanied the book "3D Game Alchemy" (needs a better CD scan). I thought everyone had seen the stuff on this, but when Justin Fisher's NEMESIS.WAD appeared on Doomworld - relatively recently - I was surprised how few people were familiar with it.
They are all part of the growing Doom Level CD Collection. In most cases, the CDs are a super set of files that exist in the /idgames archive. I'm fairly sure there is some stuff on these CDs that never made out of BBSes or the AOL and CompuServe walled gardens onto the wider Internet, with the exception of these shovelware collections. A follow-on project would be to cross-reference their indexes with the /idgames archive and upload whats missing (that can be done so, legally.)
Finally, I also had a single, solitary PC ZONE covermount CD that I held on to because it was a Quake (and Duke Nukem 3D) add-on special:
From an archive-perspective, Quake has not fared as well as Doom did. The
Internet was young when Doom was popular, the World Wide Web was not the
all-encompassing thing it has become and by accident rather than design nearly
all Doom add-ons ended up being uploaded to a single FTP server: The Walnut
Creek CDROM FTP Server, to a
This single archive was mirrored wide and has lived on past the death of Walnut Creek. Today, it is small enough for casual enthusiasts to mirror, and has been kept alive by volunteer admins. The most popular front-end is now http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/.
The WWW had grown up by the time Quake came along. There is an
it was never as popular as
/idgames was for Doom. The Quake modding community
was centered around a series of commercial websites such as Planet
Quake, later part of the Gamespy
network. Sadly the vast majority of web pages on the old Planet Quake site and
similar sites have died completely from bit-rot. Large chunks of the history of
the Quake community are therefore lost to a sort-of technological dark age.