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 PostPost subject: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:29 pm 
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Since the collection isn't mirrored on IA or anywhere else, what happens if it shuts down? do exclusive betas get lost or something, or will you mirror it to the IA if you ever shut down?


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:42 am 
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Technically, that might not necessarily be the case. According to the rules, you can't mirror the FTP, but multiple users might have gained access to mirror the whole thing together as a group. However, if the site does end up shutting down, then I suppose it could undergo circulation. The only problem here is finding the people who did end up mirroring the archive.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:57 am 
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That's just nonsense, no one has managed to mirror the archive and only very small partial bits can be found on other sites and in peoples collections. And whatever exists out there as a collection is most likely heavily outdated either way.

As what happens with BA, no one knows, just as you don't know what happens to archive.org, wikipedia or whatever other site if it gets shut down. Someone having a copy of it all is by no means a guarantee that it will be "saved", since with that logic we would have never lost a single beta to history as there would have always been at least two people having a copy, one with the master copy and one with a "mirror". And yet so many old betas has been lost to time. So much was lost when BA didn't have a proper centralized FTP, and back then many people had access to the builds, but refuse to share now due to various reasons.

We have disaster plans in place in case BA shuts down.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:34 am 
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BA will never shut down just like Google. Also, it is impossible for anyone except for mrpijey to mirror the FTP so there won't be any mirrors of it. BTW, the most important betas and abandonwares are on other sites as well and I bet they all copied from the FTP.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:19 am 
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Well it's easy to calculate how long it would theoretically take for a specific amount of people to mirror the entire archive (considering the 50GB daily limit), if its size remained unchanged since the day they started mirroring.

But because the archive keeps growing and will continue to do so, and because additional restrictions can be applied to prevent hammering, it is indeed practically impossible.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:09 am 
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If you max out your quota every day you'll have approximately downloaded 18.250TB per year, if you max it out every day it will take you about 5,5 years to get it all. Assuming that you can maintain 50GB/day and we won't notice your excessive leeching and shut you down (which we will). It will shorten down with multiple users but we keep track of the download usage. And I assume these people won't be interesting in all of our archive but only select bits, but that's no mirror then so go figure... And all these figures are based on as Overdoze pointed out, the archive size remained fixed and constant. Who knows how large the archive is in 5 years...

Either way, the whole archive or partial it will take a very long time, even if you coordinated it with a lot of people, and to succeed you would need to prevent us from noticing it.

So to all freeloaders moaning that everything should be unlimited and free for all without restrictions: Get a dose of reality. Things cost money. Hosting, hardware and software costs money and a lot of effort. You pay us to maintain a mirror and we will. You pay us for unlimited bandwidth, proper server storage with backup and redundancy and we will lift the limitations. These limitations are in place for a very good reason, and not to prevent you from getting a copy of the files you want. And the alternative would be to have no FTP at all and everyone loses. It's as easy as that. Speaking of costs, I just ordered $4000 worth of new harddrive storage. It's not cheap ;).

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Let's move on and keep preserving these precious pieces of bits and bytes! ;)

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:53 pm 
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"So much was lost when BA didn't have a proper centralized FTP" ... What kinds of things were lost? Just curious. Are we talking about minor things like point releases or demos?

Are the key overall items all being uploaded to archive.org? People really should do that. Thanks to everybody!


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:43 pm 
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No we don't have a list, but when FTPs goes offline without it being kept on the central FTP things get lost. And no, mirroring to archive.org or whereever isn't allowed. Some may be on archive.org, but it's not a place to store BA releases on.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:29 pm 
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If the site itself shuts down- whatever, no big deal, as mrpijey has the golden key to the FTP and its contents.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:58 pm 
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The site will never shut down. If anything happens to either one of us there are arrangements to ensure that it continues to run. There may be interruptions, but it won't disappear forever.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:40 pm 
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The concern is still valid though. Law enforcement is known to be very thorough when they shut a site down: the admins are forced to turn over all copies of the data (local, remote, cloud backups, etc.) and even turn over other admins who might have a copy...

I don't think that will happen though (BA is not a very valuable target, with all the 15+ year old software etc.), but I can understand that people are concerned that such a case might happen...

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:59 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
And yet so many old betas has been lost to time. So much was lost when BA didn't have a proper centralized FTP, and back then many people had access to the builds, but refuse to share now due to various reasons.


Shouldn't that be incentive to have alternate mirrors though? Backups are only so useful in the hands of one or two people, you never know when your house might burn down or you get mowed down by a bus.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:33 pm 
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That is true that something could happen and all the data could be lost, but I'm sure that there are backup versions of the archive. Besides, mirroring requires more servers that you need to buy and the site is looking for cost efficient solutions. To me, mirroring cost more money and those servers aren't always going to be secured as some idiot might report misuse to the company hosting the servers or the servers might get damaged.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:48 pm 
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Will BA ever shut down? NO, what could make BA shut down if the admins want to keep it running? So mirroring the archive does nothing except for wasting money.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:17 pm 
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ComputerHunter wrote:
Will BA ever shut down? NO, what could make BA shut down if the admins want to keep it running? So mirroring the archive does nothing except for wasting money.

Did a magic 8 ball tell you that? Literally anything could happen, both to the site and to the administrators, that's why there are contingency plans and that's why this thread exists in the first place.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:07 pm 
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Pure chance event... But it is unlikely that anything would happen to the site or admins... It cost lots of money too mirror a huge archive.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:56 am 
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Hosting one server archive can cost quite a bit. Mirroring that takes even more, like I mentioned earlier. But I have assurance that the admins are doing plenty to keep the site open and words can't even start expressing how much goes into the site from all of the contributions to the donations.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:33 am 
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I still don't get why BA will shut down. It is impossible for a huge site like BA with admins putting efforts into running it to shut down.

AlphaBeta you're wrong, read what Andy wrote.
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The site will never shut down. If anything happens to either one of us there are arrangements to ensure that it continues to run. There may be interruptions, but it won't disappear forever.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:54 am 
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It's not impossible as Andy or I can pull the plug at any time (and we've been close to in the past) if we want to drop BA and start collecting stamps or soda caps instead.... but it's very unlikely we will. We're run it for 10+ years now and have no plans stopping. And even if that would happen for any reason I am quite sure it would reappear in some new form or fashion as the importance of software preservation increases and more and more people gain interest in exploring the digital past.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:11 am 
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Even if you and Andy decide to shut it down, surely you will still keep all the files, right? On some private servers or give it out to trusted people.


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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:01 pm 
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Yes, that's the idea. We want the collection and the community to move on and if we shut it down or get shut down then it will be given to someone who can continue with it

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:17 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
if we [....] get shut down then it will be given to someone who can continue with it


From what I understand (IANAL) this is usually not possible, since when law enforcement goes after a site owner, he will be forced to "hand over" all copies or face additional legal trouble for obscuring law enforcement, usually leading to a longer sentence.

Someone I know (remotely) had this happen to him, and he had to hand over all copies, online and offline, of his data (some gigabytes of mp3s) without being able to share it with someone else first. He got around with a hefty fine and a probation, but from what I understood, if he had retained a copy or given it to some 3rd party, it would definitely have resulted in jail time for him.

I am happy that the admins are so determined to go on and that shutting BA down would be the last thing they would do, yet I'm still a bit scared to see it go dark at some point (especially since BA is certainly being monitored rather closely by now, after that incident some months ago with the leaked source code). I guess in the end it just comes down to hoping for the best :)

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:22 pm 
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At the very worst the archive would disappear. The site itself otherwise would be fine and breaks no laws. Considering the vast majority of the archive exists somewhere on the web it wouldn't be hard for someone to bring most of it together again.

We know that various companies know we exist and what we do, and they let us keep doing it for whatever reason. Be it because they don't care or because its an alternative archive to their own. We just don't know. If we were requested to remove data directly by those companies, we would comply.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:44 pm 
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Well, bringing it together from various places online would be quite a difficult task. We still have not managed to gather the stuff BA used to have on the user FTPs in the beginning, so it's not so easy. And I would say a rather small portion of the FTP exists elsewhere as most people grabs the builds of their fav beta and that's it, most don't download the vast amount of original abandonware, compilation sets etc we have.

But there's no point arguing about a bunch of "what if" scenarios as none of us knows what would really happen until it happens. Until then we're online, we keep moving ahead, expanding the archive and attract more members and do what we can to make sure we gather as much data, information and skills as possible. Don't worry about BA. What if BA disappears? What if Internet dies? What if all electricity gets knocked out? What if the sun goes out? Who knows... We do what we can to keep BA running and make sure that the collection remains available, one way or another.

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 PostPost subject: Re: If BA shuts down, what happens to the collection?        Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:17 pm 
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If all of the Hard Disks for the archive get corrupted (Very unlikely), then it would be a good idea to mirror the FTP. But considering that that will most likely never happen, there is no point to mirroring the FTP unless you like wasting money and time.

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