Sunday, 7 March 2021

January 2002 - Tee

Tee owned a website called Da Fast Lane (DFL for short) which was co-owned with his real life friend Shaka. It originally started as a download website that had been themed on his favourite game; Jones in the Fast Lane. I personally had not been aware of Tee until he converted DFL into a community website, which incorporated news articles ('Da News') which allowed the community to write and publish articles (prior approval by a DFL team member required - however, a majority of articles would be published) that gave the user the ability to comment too. The Giant Abanadonware Ring List (TGARL) which would showcase and archive all the Abandonware Rings of past and present. There had also been plans to open up 'Da Games' which would be a download section and 'Da Ring' which would be an abandonware ring. It had became apparent quite fast, that as the 'community' would be split into 'cliques' that 'Da News' would serve as the centre stage for discussions (also spats) to take place and have a wide array of input. In my opinion, this had been and would become the most succesful of any community websites that the Abandonware scene had encountered.

The Saint: Hi Tee, since relaunching DFL into a resource site instead of the download site it used to be, how have things been going? Have you had any issues so far? In your opinion has it been harder running, opposed to just as a download site?

Tee: I always wanted to create a resource site, and Da News is working great as a news service... our problems has always revolved around servers... The old university server was good, but denied me in getting ftp-access - so I had to send stuff to shaka, then he had to upload. Real time-consuming and not to mention boring method. That's why TGARL had long runs without updates. After we moved to Diskboy's server, I got ftp-access (wee) but some IE6 users had problems with the site because of the servers incompatability, and the server was also quite slow. Now Diskboy is deleting his hosting account, so we have to move servers again :( We moved all the stuff back to the uni-server, but it's not working properly... don't be suprised if DFL is down for a while in the time to come... Our code and design has worked great, so we actually managed quite fine. It's just as easy running the news site as the download site, as long as the system is created. But the creation process is a long and hard one, shaka worked several weeks to create the download system, and a long time on the news site too... but as I said, after it's created it's a walk in the park. The problem with the game site is that it takes a long time to write reviews and find screenshots for all the games, so I guess it's easier now when we dropped it. We plan to launch the game site again, but then we're going to hire crew that can run that section. After Jason, Diskboy and NeoPickaze joined the crew as newswriters, I've gotten more time for TGARL... thank god..

The Saint: Do you have any further plans for TGARL? When will we see 'Da Games' section and 'Da Ring' added?

Tee: Hmm.. I'm not actually sure about TGARL... I think I'll add some more features to it later, but ATM I don't have any certain plans of sudden changes. Da Games and Da Ring, the question already asked 1000 times unfortunately still can't be answered yet :( What I can tell you though is that Da Ring isn't even under construction, so Da Games will definately be released first! The problem is lack of time from shaka's side, he has to focus on his University education - something I have total respect for and don't want to rush him too much! Afterall, real life comes first!

The Saint: What would you say your goals for Da Fast Lane are?

Tee: Our goals...
- To release Da Ring and Da Games
- To help visitors in an informative matter
- To serve kickass godlike aw-news
- To get lots of awards :P
- To get a visitor or two ;)
- To keep ruling Da Lane & live 4ever...


The Saint: If there's something about DFL you could change what would it be and why?

Tee: I would change our server into a permanent stabil compatible working one... I would also get rid of namezero and buy a real domain... A moron detector could also be installed, keeping all the weirdo posters out of the site... I guess some people are just born stupid ;)

The Saint: What are your views on the current state of the scene? Is there anything/anyone that's really getting on your nerves?

Tee: The state of the scene is the same as always. I'm not saying that it's negative, becuase that's the scene I love. Sure there are bad elements, as it is in every scene, but the good elements are truly good - and makes up for it all. About people getting on my nerves, sure.... but I'm not going to go deeper into that subject now, next question please ;)

The Saint: If you could sum up in just only one word to describe DFL, what would it be?

Tee: l337 ;)

The Saint: If you could sum up in just one word to describe the state of the Abandonware scene, what would it be?

Tee: wicked ;)

The Saint: What are your views on other community websites, such as TAG and ToT? And what is your relationship like with those webmasters?

Tee: ToT is a nice site, but I still feel that they need to post some descent articles. Since their reopening, I haven't seen a truly good article yet... the "Welcome to the circus" had some interesting points, but was way to bias, and wasn't objective at all. But if that's the way they want to run their site be my guest, just don't ask me to have any part of it. I used to comment there, but in the latest time their subject has been so damn dull, that I didn't even care. I don't really have a relationship with the ToT webmasters at all. I'm sure they're all nice people, when not throwing dirt around ;)
TAG is a really really really good idea, carried out in a terrible way. Don't get me wrong, I like TAG - but they've started on a task that they can never complete. Their reviews is usually very well written, and of great detail - but unfortunately due to the great amount of reviews horribly outdated. Just read the review they did on DFL. Truly amusing I tell you, though sad for TAG. I've had some nice chats with LuNaTiC, a nice guy... but I do sometimes feel that he opens his mouth too much. He has a way of thinking that he's God's gift to the scene, something that has been proven wrong time after time after time... I don't know the other webmasters, though I've chatted with Bunny which is very nice!

The Saint: Your time spent in the scene as up to yet, if there is something/someone you would like to see return to the scene, that has departed?

Tee: Hmm... I truly miss PsOmA - the first guy to ever really support TGARL when in it's early stages - and his kickass ring Ring of Ages. I also miss The Keep, which I thought was as high quality as HOTU. Another thing I miss is the time when I was an aw-downloader, I don't download much abandonware anymore... I eventually got bored, but I miss the old search for those golden oldies.

The Saint: Now you have more staff, how often can we expect TGARL and Da News to be updated?

Tee: TGARL is going to be updated whenever something new happens to the rings.... Da News should at least have a few articles a week....

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

January 2002 - LuNaTiC

LuNaTiC/LuN then afterwards known by his own name of Asher had started out with his download website AbandonRom Paradise. The likes of Dafastlane (DFL) started to gain popularity (and notoriety for the disputes in 'Da News' section) in the scene; LuNaTiC started his own community website called The Abandoned Galaxy (TAG) the aim had been to deliver a one-stop shop for the community and it had produced the initial Abandonware Awards and editorials which where opinions on the community and also had guest editors. This would serve as a rival to DFL, however from memory it had not been as interactive (the ability to leave comments) LuNaTiC had immersed himself into the community and had become a beacon of information as he knew all walks from the scene, which helped to serve him well for the popularity of TAG.

The Saint Hi LuNaTiC since the opening of The Abandoned Galaxy, quite a few things have happended over there - such as the awards and the whole Anon editorial situation a while back, can we see anything else that might be as talked about as those two things in the near future of TAG?

LuNaTiC Well, i guess we'll just have to wait and see ;) Basically, i dont go looking for controversy (which some have claimed) but i wont hide away from something if needs be. So if something in the future annoys me enough, sure, ill write up an editorial on it, but if not, things could just stay peaceful :)

The Saint What are your goals for The Abandoned Galaxy?

LuNaTiC When i first started, i wanted to use things like The Abandonware Awards to help unify the scene a little. Since then, my goals have changed slightly. Now im more interested in providing the best possible resource to webmasters & abandonware enthusiasts that i possibly can. With the site reviews, game reviews, everything else and several upcoming features, i hope to provide all that any abandonware person could ever need, except the downloads of course.

The Saint If there's something about TAG you could change, what would it be and why?

LuNaTiC Hmm...thats not an easy one. I'm quite happy with the site right now, and the way its heading. If i could change anything it would be the download site reviews, which have taken longer than expected to do, but we are getting on to those now, so its not such a big issue. Other than that, i cant really think of anything i would change.

The Saint The Abandoned Galaxy awards, a few people are saying these awards where 'Fixed' what is your view on this?

LuNaTiC Well, i know they werent, so it doesnt really bother me a whole lot, to be honest. Anyone who wants to accuse me of fixing the awards is free to, but they will be doing it without any basis whatsoever for their accusations. Besides which, The Awards are just a bit of fun, and fixing them wouldnt really serve a purpose anyway. On another note, many of the sites i wanted to win didnt. Surely if id fixed them i would have changed this?

The Saint What are your views on the current state of the scene? Is there anything/anyone that's really getting on your nerves?

LuNaTiC The community (i dont like the word scene) as a whole is going quite well. Abandonware is just as large and more well known than ever before. However, many people know my views on certain sites and people, and i dont feel that they have the community's best interests at heart. But then again, they probably feel that they do, so i cant forsee that going anywhere. Overall, i feel the community is growing, and will continue to grow, however certain influences are slowing down that growth.

The Saint If you could sum up in just one word to describe TAG, what would it be?

LuNaTiC Alive

The Saint If you could sum up in just one word to describe the state of the Abandonware scene, what would it be?

LuNaTiC Expanding

The Saint What are your views on other the community sites, such as DFL and ToT?

LuNaTiC As an idea, they are great. In practice, they seem to flow up and down like the tide. In general, ToT has improved a lot since its relaunch, although it still seems to be seeking controversy from time to time. Overall though, i think its quite a valuable resource to the community. DFL is an interesting case. It showed a lot of promise when it first launched, but since then has failed to deliver. TGARL has always had problems with out of date and/or just plain incorrect information, although that has improved of late. Da News has not impressed me at all in its short life. Its news stories seem to really lack anything interesting or out of the ordinary generally, although they do have the occassional good topic.

The Saint Your time spent in the scene as up to yet, if there is something/someone you would like to see return to the scene, that has been long gone, what/who would it be, and why?

LuNaTiC I would love to see a return from blargy & his site TACT, as ive always had huge respect for him, and TACT in its day helped me a lot with the download site i was running at the time. But there are plenty of others that would be valuable if they returned to the scene, like Turnip, HaZZeL or Hawk (who still idles on IRC, but has more or less abandoned the web scene)

The Saint What are your predications for the Abandonware scene of 2002, is it going to be a quite boring one or do you think this year will somehow be better than 2001?

LuNaTiC Well, in 2002 i can see some significant changes, but overall i think the community will remain fairly static. I think a few big names are likely to leave, and we will probably see the return of one or two people. Other than that though, i think it'll be business as usual.

The Saint Just as a question that I've been wanting to ask about TAG, how often do you publish editorials? And when will the next Abandonware awards be out?

LuNaTiC We publish editorials as often as they are written essentially. Usually it works out at about 1 a fortnight, but there isnt anything concrete. Note that the editorials space is open to the public, so if anyone feels like writing one, we'll be happy to put it up unedited as long as its not mindless bullshit. The next abandonware awards will be around the same time next year, although i am thinking of putting them on in december only, not running into january, as ill be away again same time next year.

Friday, 5 February 2021

January 2002 - TZ

TZ ran a webring called ACRing which he inherited after offering his services as Updater to the original owner Nick. Once TZ took to the helm of ACRing (after Nick decided to call it a day) he revamped the ring and gave it a new lease of life - by way of professional designs (there had been a design cold-war between TZ and NeoPickaze at the time) and reviews for member sites. TZ kept out of the 'community' forums and chats, which seemed to be the only reason it didn't reach the heights that it had the potential to reach - marketing and PR played a big part in boosting the popularity of Rings / Community websites and TZ did not feel the need to get involved. His only critque could be that he changed the designs far too often and you felt like you were visiting a different website each time (however, with his design skills - who could blame him?) a thoroughly nice chap who liked just getting on with his own project. We had discussed merging ACRing and EchoRing together at one point, but for some reason or another it never went ahead.

The Saint: Hi there TZ, since you have taken over ACRing - you have been steering the website into a great direction. How has it been running ACRing? Did you actually expect this kind of experience from running a webring? Would you say it's been very diffrent from running your old website?

(TZ) Well, running ACRing for the past 4 months has been difficult at times when there are no joins and little updates for large periods of time, but thats what comes with running a small web ring like ACRing. Yeah, i expected it, when Nick handed the site over, he told me it wasn't going too well, only 13 sites at the time with 10 of them dead, so i was expecting alot of trouble at first. It's quite different, mainly because i have to update every single day unlike with my abandonware site where i only had to update whenever i felt like it. I am running ACRing very differently to Abandoned Classics, things like the design have to be much more professional.

The Saint: The scene consists of a lot of webrings, currently there are 10 - including the 3 oldwarez rings. If I were a webmaster and I was seeking to join a ring and I asked you 'Why should I join Acring, whats so unique about this ring compared to all the others?' what would be your reply?

(TZ) Well unlike the 2 biggest rings, ACRing reviews all sites in depth and alot of detail without giving preferential treatment to large popular sites. We also offer the games list for all members which list all games on your site and would easily increase a members hit count. We also sometimes offer services like helping out webmasters with site problems which we have done quite a few times in the past.

The Saint: Is there anything you are unhappy about, with it?

(TZ) Yeah, quite alot of things, i would have really liked to do a Flash version of the site, flash is alot of fun but is very time consuming sometimes and noone but me thought it was a good idea. I would also like to do the site in PHP, it would make things faster, easier to update, the games list would be alot better being searchable and everything. I am unable to do it in PHP just yet because i dont have a reliable host to host it on for a few months.

The Saint: What are your goals for ACRing, what do you hope to accomplish with this webring?

(TZ) To become the biggest and most respected ring, i am almost on my way there, currently there is only 1 critic against ACRing. I'd like to have the most members, the most hits etc...

The Saint: How long are you hoping to be running Acring? Has it ever crossed your mind, that you should recruit a crew to help you out with your projects?

(TZ) I'm hoping to be running it as long as i have the time and as long as i am interested. It has crossed my mind, but the problem is that i'm too bossy, too controlling, and i like things to be done my way, i didn;t like the way nick was running ACRing, thats one of the reasons i took over!

The Saint:​ What are your views on the current state of the scene? Is there anything that's really getting on your nerves?

(TZ) Well there is quite alot of bitchiness in the scene, and quite alot of favouritism given to bigger more popular sites from the big rings which i dont like very much. One thing thats getting on my nerves is webmasters from larger sites and big rings pushing the little lesser known webbies like me around.

The Saint: If you could sum up in just one word to describe ACRing, what would it be?

(TZ) Spanktacular

The Saint: If you could sum up in just one word to describe the state of the Abandonware scene, what would it be?

(TZ) Screwy

The Saint: Would you say that are any webrings which have gave Acring inspiration?

(TZ) TUOL gave me some inspiration, not alot though, very little actually, No others because before acring, no rings had reviews + screenshots at all. I did get some ideas for parts of ACRing from other sites though

The Saint: And finally, will you be sticking with the design you have currently, for a while?

(TZ) hehe yeah, i dont think i'll be changing it, its fine the way it is, it could do with a bit of improving, a bit more customisation for each section. Noone really has complained about this design, and ppl always complain that i change it too much so i'm not changing it.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

January 2002 - J-Who

J-Who owned the biggest Abandonware search-engine at the time: AbandonGames (AG) one of, if not the biggest forums (AbandonGames Forum) and the biggest Abandonware toplist: Best of Old Games (BOGS) it felt like he owned and formed his own corner of the Abandonware Scene. There has been an incident where moderators in the forum rebelled against J-Who (cannot recall exactly what) and it's briefly touched upon.

The Saint: Hi J-who, since the redesign of AbandonGames and the proposed redesign of BOGS, how have things been keeping up?
J-who: It hasn't been keeping up as much as I wanted it to be. Since I started going back to school, and I'm working full time, I have little to no motivation to get anything done.

The Saint: AbandonGames is a great search engine, is there anything you would change about it?
J-who: The lack of Content. Sure it may have tones of games, but hardly any of them have reviews or screenshots.

The Saint:Have you ever contemplated the fact you should recruit a team to help out at AG, surely with just two of you working at AG, things can seem a little hard with all the links that need to be added?
J-who:I have asked a few people to help, but most are too busy with their own projects, and real life. I don't trust a whole lot of people online either. I would rather be the only staff member, if something does go wrong, I know why/how it went wrong. Look at the forum, with so many admins, things are getting changed all the time, but I won't notice for awhile

The Saint:What are your current feelings towards the whole AG forum situation that went happended just a few days ago?
J-who:Mostly disapponinted in Jante. I don't understand why he would do something like this. A couple of days ago he was asking me to help out with AR by creating a script for them. This is another reason why I don't trust people online, they'll pretend to be your friend till they have what they want, then who cares about you.

The Saint: What are your goals for AG, what do you hope to accomplish with this search engine?
J-who:At first, I wanted to create the MobyGames of abandonware. I would still like to have that happen, but I have lost a fair amount of interest in doing anything online related. It seems to be more of a programming experence for me, if it wasn't for AG, I would never have learned PHP/MYsql

The Saint:What are your views on the current state of the scene? Is there anything that's really getting on your nerves?
J-who:Not too much, but then again I haven't really been paying much attention to the scene. The only thing that really gets to me is that IDSA, but I won't go there

The Saint: If you could sum up in just one word to describe AG, what would it be?
J-who:AG is to big to be described with one word :)

The Saint:If you could sum up in just one word to describe the state of the Abandonware scene, what would it be?
J-who:Boring

The Saint:What are your views on other search engines, such as Freeoldies and Abandon search and Warped rubber, if any?
J-who: Free Oldies is probably the best one out of those that you listed. I really liked Abandoned Gamez, it was only around for a week or so, till Elwood scared off the webmaster from the abandonware scene. Gangsters will always be my favorite though

The Saint: Your time in the scene has been about 2-3 years up to yet, if there is something/someone you would like to see return to the scene, that has been long gone, what would it be and why?
J-who:I've been in the scene Almost exactly 2 years, I joined last week of Dec 99, I cannot remember exactly what day though. I would really like to see Cascade Games come back, it was my favorite download site. Also AbandonwareHouse, it was a ring with the ability to go far, but the webmaster seemed to disaperar. Some people I would love to see again are Marrsy, Lavaphonix, SkinnyManbomb, G-master, GraveDigger, and last but not least St4n^6

Monday, 4 January 2021

January 2002 - Jante Interview

When NeoPickaze and myself set out to create EchoRing - the idea had initially been instead of a protest ring such as Anti-TUOL, to create an Abandonware ring that we can take TUOL on with. Other members of Anti-TUOL then went to start their own projects within Abandonware or their own rings. We didn't just want an Abandonware ring, we wanted to create a 'Network' to rival TUOL's Network of sites. Being young and naive, we were full of ambition and ideas - but typical of that age, lacked the motivation to put that into practice and maintain it. One of the ideas had been 'Abandon City' thinking back, this would of been more of a rival to DFL/TAG at the time. I had 'interviewed' a number of people in the Abandonware Community and never had chance to post them, until now.

Jante was an active and likeable member of the community who owned Wasted Oldies had been part of the Abandonware Ring crew; alongside Plix, Jason and Swizzle at the time. He had been the only person to update the ring (originally it had been the biggest and 'the establishment' but at this time, it had been the second biggest behind TUOL - apparently got more hits than TUOL did, partly down to its senority and you could argue it had a better design, which had been designed by Jason) in the same year after this interview, Jante made the switch from Abandonware Ring to Abandon Places; which better suited him.

The Saint: Hi Jante, since the re-launch of AR, quite a few things have happended over there - such as staff members have come and gone and so on. Will the AR forum be back up?
Jante: We are currently trying to find a better hosting plan, but when we move, we will probably re-open a forum. Other sections.. we will add a FAQ soon.

The Saint: So, who are the current AR crew members? And what happended to Janiaspig?
Jante: Me, Keplini, Jason, Plix, Swizzle is the ones that are crew there now. Janinaspig is kinda like a last resort, if some of us can't update. I havent talked to PsOmA in a long time, so I don't know if he still wants to help us out.

The Saint:What are your current feelings towards Abandongames.com, after what has happended on the forum?
Jante: I have no bad feelings towards AG, but the forum stinks. I made some great friends at the forum, but most of them have left it now.

The Saint:What would you say Abandonware Ring's goals are?
Jante: To help people not to forget the old classics.. It's all about keeping them alive. Other than that.. i dunno.

The Saint: What are your views on the current state of the scene? Is there anything/anyone that's really getting on your nerves?
Jante: The scene hasn't been moving in any direction lately.. It's been quiet for quite some time.. Well.. If there is one, his name is Warmonger.

The Saint: If you could sum up in just one word to describe AR, what would it be?
Jante: If you count an url as a word: http://www.abandonwarering.com/crew.php <- go read the shit above the crew info. ;)

The Saint:If you could sum up in just one word to describe the state of the Abandonware scene, what would it be?
Jante: quiet

The Saint:What are your views on other big webrings, such as TUOL and APlaces?
Jante: TUOL is just one big list of sites. Some gone, some not updated in a year.. AP is great, and with the new design, im starting to love it even more.

The Saint:​ Your time spent in the scene as up to yet, if there is something/someone/somepeople you would like to see return to the scene, that has been long gone, what/who would it be and why?
Jante: I want Cascade back! Why? Because it was great, and ask others about this, they would agree.

The Saint:Last but not least, do you wreckon we will see Swizzle back at the AR, soon?
Jante: Well.. Yes, maybe he'll start updating again now that we have fixed ourselves a update system..