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Why should the downloads be restricted?
https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6838
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Author:  Danfun360 [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:03 am ]
Post subject:  Why should the downloads be restricted?

This place is great! (for the ppl who can make contributing posts). But why don't you have any respect for the people to young or to mentally ill to be able to make contributing posts? Its not the downloads themselves that should be restricted, its the beta comments. Every beta collector has to start somewhere. and thats what the community is for right? not in this case, where the "community" discourages public servers to try to cough up stuff that some might not be able to come up with. Say a 7 year old wanted to be a beta collector. He is to young to come up with contributing posts or go to fourms. So thanks to your restrictions, hes pooped. How would i restrict it? Well nobody will have to much freedoms but nobody will have to much restriction.

1. All downloads are unrestricted.
2. Advanced membership is no longer required for downloads, but it IS required to make comments on the betas themselves that are posted here. (to prevent spam) It is also required to ADD new betas into the ftp.
3. basic membership allows access to all of the fourms it has access to now.
4. everybody is happy

So do you think this not as restrictive system will work?

Author:  J.Byrne [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

I do feel for those that are unable to make their 10 contributing posts, for whatever reason, but the main reason downloads are restricted is to prevent a mass wave of people hogging the servers Bandwidth and hammering the server.
The two servers currently on BA are provided by Andrew Whyman and Thomas Hounsell, both of whom pay for the servers out of their own pocket.

Author:  ddrmaxromance [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

There is a reason for restriction. However, quoting Heath Ledger as The Joker, "The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules!" I believe that is what you are going for. However, Andy is providing a service free of charge, which is the ability to express open opinions regarding collaborative projects, such as the beta scene, and its history. Because he is allowing this service for free, he requests a list of "guidelines" or "rules" to be followed so you can achieve the best from his website and servers. For, the reason of contributing posts is so we can learn more about you, rather than downloading everything off his server, Tom's server, and other servers of members, rather than contributing nothing at all.

No one is anonymous here at BetaArchive. Whether you are 13, 39, 7, or 100 years old, everyone loves researching information they are interested in learning more about. However, some do have associated problems in contributing such posts, whether it be through age, disability, or restrictions. Even if you were young, you can possible state how Windows Vista is changing your life in the classroom [and learning what I had to deal with back in the floppy disk days of MS-DOS], or state the innovations of owning an touch screen iPod at such a young age, when I had only a portable cassette player. :P

So in conclusion, there has to be rules and no COMPLETE freedom. I believe 10 posts isn't hard to achieve, as long as you don't say "COOL" to every topic available. For example, you can post 10 posts in this topic and earn your contributing posts simply by responding to everyone who responds to you! It may sound like a lot, but in all honesty, 10 will be a breeze. Pretty soon, achieving 100, or even 1000 will becoming a breeze. That just goes to show you how involved the collaborative community really is. You are a part of social networking experiment, it's up to you whether you want to be social or simply a network to others. :)

Author:  happy dude [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 3:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

If your all for paying the ~$1000+ server bill a year, then sure, make the downloads unrestricted!

Author:  Rob Jansen [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

There have been several topics about it.

And why the restrictions are here (including the other answers) are to keep the leechers out.
If everybody got access the first time, they will never post and only download and then this site will be down in less then a day.

Also this community is not only to download but to talk about it and asking questions.

I think Andy or mrpijey should comment on this topic.

Author:  pkubaj [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

I suppose there is also other reason behind it. BA is much advertised, but MS surely knows about that site. And they let us exist, because it's not famous. If it became famous, much people would register here, start downloading, and MS lawyers would have more work :) The fewer people has access to BA resorces, the better it is for the whole vortal.

Author:  Rob Jansen [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

The leave us alone because of the restrictions.

Author:  Shane [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

Without the restrictions, the server would soon be shut down. No offence intended, but if you have the ability to make a post complaining about the restrictions, the ability to install and test a beta, and the ability to start a poll, then you have the ability to contribute to the forum. 10 posts is not a lot, I have known several forums that set the requirements far higher than that.

When people provide you with a service for free, it is their entitlement to restrict it as they wish and see fit, bandwidth bills for servers have to be payed by someone, and having everyone who registers able to get on the server would not only kill the downloading experience for everyone it would make it much more visible to Microsoft and the other companies whose software is on the server.

Author:  J.Byrne [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

And think of all the unneeded attention it would bring to the forum. Just look at all the attention Joejoe got with their various Longhorn projects, and the way Tom's public server over at Joejoe was hammered when it was online and moaned about when it went offline.

Author:  hounsell [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

Danfun360 wrote:
1. All downloads are unrestricted.
2. Advanced membership is no longer required for downloads, but it IS required to make comments on the betas themselves that are posted here. (to prevent spam) It is also required to ADD new betas into the ftp.
3. basic membership allows access to all of the fourms it has access to now.
4. everybody is happy


1. I'd close my server with immediate effect, due to the fact that it would be endlessly raped by noobs looking to get their beta fix.
2. When you find a beta that isn't already on our FTPs, I'm sure people will be queueing up to let you use their FTP. Until then, good luck. We have some 400Gb at least of betas on Andy's BA server.

4. No one is happy because there are no longer any FTPs worth using, there may be C&Ds from MS, and the entire beta community will be driven even further underground, making it inaccessible to people, who like yourself, only seek to leach.

I will spend about £414 on my server this upcoming year. Andy, though partially funded by donations, will spend £564. Others will spend a similar amount. Therefore, consider that to maintain this site in it's current form requires over £1000 a year, not including the time spent by Andy developing it, and the moderators moderating it, which even if was paid a the UK minimum wage, would increase costs beyond all recognition. We're not rich people with time to kill either. I'm a 16 year old student, attending College 4 days a week, from what the government considers to be from one of the poorer backgrounds in this country. Sometimes, getting the server paid for isn't the easiest of jobs, and requires an element of luck sometimes too. Pouring this sort of investment into providing a free service, with potential legal risk to ourselves, entitles us to at least choose. I really think asking you to make 10 non-retarded posts is really quite generous. Andy's generally pretty nice about what counts as a contributing post, he's not expecting you to make 10 ground-breaking revelations, just make a post which is helpful and ontopic.

As someone mentioned as well, Microsoft know full-well about this place. They have now for about a year and a half at least. Therefore, going with the intention not to provoke things isn't such a bad idea. Further to that, Me, Andy and those with other dedicated servers also host websites off these servers. At least on my server, these take priority over providing an FTP to leachers. Jake's Windows 7 server over at Joejoe is constantly hammered, and when a new leak comes out and he de-restricts it, the server becomes unusable. The bandwidth being consumed shoots up to 92MBit/s. The CPU and RAM usage shoot up to unsustainable levels too, and his PHP and MySQL were timing out almost constantly. Abyss (web Server) had been brought to it's knees and could barely serve the error pages. If my server even came close to that, I'd cut the FTP without a second thought. I'm sure many others would too. A public large-scale server is simply infeasible.

For the record, that post won't do you much favours trying to gain access.

Author:  Rioter [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

Why change it? If there was minimal or no restrictions, then it would be a free-for-all, and ten days later BA is shutdown. If the site was guarded with barbed electric wire, secured in a thermite-proof safe and a padlock with a broken key, then this site would just not work. (I know I might be going a bit extreme here, don't nag about it)

Really, the restrictions in place at the moment are sufficient, and works fine. There is currently no beneficial reason as such to change how to get access as far as I can see.

Author:  zamadatix [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

if i where to change it i would make it harder to get in... say 50 posts...

Author:  Andy [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

Hounsell hit it in one really but I'll just add my view.

Danfun360 wrote:
1. All downloads are unrestricted.
2. Advanced membership is no longer required for downloads, but it IS required to make comments on the betas themselves that are posted here. (to prevent spam) It is also required to ADD new betas into the ftp.
3. basic membership allows access to all of the fourms it has access to now.
4. everybody is happy

So do you think this not as restrictive system will work?


1. This will never happen. Several reasons why:
- Cost
- Bandwidth Usage
- Fly-by-night users

We have to count in everything about the site. It costs a lot of money to run. As Hounsell stated, over £500 a year. I pay this out of my own pocket unless people kindly donate towards the cost. Most of the time donations only hit <50% for the monthly cost.

Bandwidth usage is also a factor. If everyone was allowed to use it without "gaining" their access there would be none left over for legit people to use.

Fly-by-night users will increase. They will come and get what they want, then disappear, never contributing to the site, meaning eventually the site will have just its regular share of members and never new ones to share new things with.

2. Advanced Membership is also to do with the above, but more-so fly by night members.

3. Allowing access to all the areas of the forum without the member even trying doesn't encourage them to post. People see VIP and they want access, so they post or they donate, both of which help the site.

4. Everybody is happy the way it is now. I could make it increasingly harder to get access by putting the number of posts needed up, but I didn't. Be thankful for that.

Author:  Shane [ Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

Personally I post because I like the site. Although I have access to the server, I have only downloaded the HL2 beta off of it so far, but in all honesty you will always get a freeloader wanting their something for nothing. I used to do downloads myself on InfoByte (back when it was still called Beta-Place), and thanks to leechers taking some of my hosted links (unfortunately we had to put up HTTP downloads as we didn't have enough for a dedi), and thanks to some idiot leeching our links, AND giving access to another site where they where in plane view, before we know what had happened we shot through 300 GB of bandwidth in 2 days, and our links came to the attention of Microsoft, and since then we have not been able to offer downloads.

The internet is rife with people who want something for nothing, but people sometimes just need to put their own greed aside and think about the consequences.

Website owners DO NOT OWE YOU ANYTHING, stop complaining about not being able to freeload and get your files elsewhere

Author:  Bender [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

Why should we open the server to everyone? Is it really that hard for you people to make 10 "contributing" posts?

Author:  Andrew [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

The BetaArchive FTP is a private server for BetaArchive members. It is not a public service. The 10 post requirement is used as a deterrent to stop people who are not BetaArchive members from joining up at BetaArchive being drawn in by news that there's something exciting on there, like moths to a flame. If you do get 10 contributing posts and are approved access to the FTP servers you are expected to stay at the forum for at least a short period as an active member afterwards.

As you currently have a total of 2 posts, you should possibly look elsewhere for what you're after, that or hang around enough to show that you are worth membership and subsequently gain access to the members' FTP.

Author:  ddew [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

I can't understand some people's obsession with leeching everything off the servers. For me it's more like a "in case i feel like it" situation where I know that there's a great collection of betas there should I ever feel like playing around. Having a local mirror of it is pointless for me, i don't really care about being in possesion of all betas ever made. I run old betas because I can learn from past mistakes and see first hand the reasoning for why finals are different. Having an "Advanced Member" trial period with a quota in place for the first few weeks/months might help though if leeching is a serious issue.

Author:  J.Byrne [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

ddew wrote:
Having an "Advanced Member" trial period with a quota in place for the first few weeks/months might help though if leeching is a serious issue.

I think we'd be better off rasing the required posts to 20 or 25, but more restrictions would mean much more work for Andy, mrpijey and the mods.

Author:  ddew [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

jabster wrote:
ddew wrote:
Having an "Advanced Member" trial period with a quota in place for the first few weeks/months might help though if leeching is a serious issue.

I think we'd be better off rasing the required posts to 20 or 25, but more restrictions would mean much more work for Andy, mrpijey and the mods.


Yeah, you can't really win with things like this. You can either have a free-for-all approach with leeching problems etc or you can have a tighter control with the added workload that implies. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. :)

Author:  J.Byrne [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

The irony is its only ever people without server access who start these types of threads, if he had access he wouldn't give a [censored].

Author:  hounsell [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

jabster wrote:
The irony is its only ever people without server access who start these types of threads, if he had access he wouldn't give a [censored].


Maybe something to note for others looking to start a thread like this - None of these people ever end up with server access anyway ;)

Author:  Shane [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

Note that the OP hasn't replied to this thread

Author:  Frozenport [ Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

EDIT: A moderator should sticky this thread in the jokes section of this forum

Here is a little story for you,

I ran a public http - With acess for everybody
Hosted files smaller then 1 gigbyte
No non-beta newer then 98 SE

Then word got out - which wasn't bad
I put up ads and handeled 100 gigs a month
This lasted for about 1 year

THEN

Somebody, started to advertize my site to the general populus
and posts like "Look what I found" - murdered my site; especially when I found them on chinease boards posting direct links to the stuff...

It used 400 gigs in a single day
and I was shutdown by my host

--Luckly my host shut me down instead of charging a fine...

-=-=-=-=-=

Public acess requires leeching off people who have more bandwidth
For large files (Like Vista install DVDs), the only possible candidate is the Torrent meathod -> which depends on demand -> If demand is large enough others will meet this demand -> And we don't want to get our hands dirty in those affairs... A wikipedia post about this cite being the source of leeks is dangerous enough

Author:  teriaki 511 [ Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

Honestly, the restrictions here are fine IMO (although upping the post count to say 20 doesn't sound unreasonable). Ive seen some crazy strategies though, one forum in particular had 4 user levels excluding moderator and Admin. First level anyone could join, but for 3 days, then you either take a test, or get kicked out. If you passed that, you only got minimal privileges. Each level had a harder test, and if you fail 5 times altogether, you're banned on the spot

Author:  darthtk118 [ Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why should the downloads be restricted?

In my humble opinion, you must be rather pathetic if you can't write 10 contributing posts. That's not meant to offend anyone, but seriously - it's not asking a lot, and I completely agree with Andy for putting that in place. As a matter of fact, and like others have said, I would raise the bar.

BA is an excellent place. I've been a registered member of this forum since January, and I've posted since because I like to contribute what I know and hear what others have to share. I am genuinely interested in this stuff, like the countless other members here, and that's why BA is the outstanding community it is today.

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