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archive:history:draxamus

From: Draxamus Subj: I Was Just Thinking….. Date: June, 2005

I got into the whole bittorrent thing a little later than everyone else. I kept asking people how it worked, but no one's answer seemed to satisfy me. So one day I decided to read up on it myself, and once I understood it, I loved the concept–the whole idea of sharing files not through just one central system, but through any number of trackers. The very nature of bittorrent prevents it from being shut down. Corporate entities and government agencies can go after and shut down some trackers, but they can't shut them all down; and if they do, more will pop up to take their place.

I'm convinced that one of the best implementation of bittorrent is the forum/tracker model. In this model, a forum is set up as the main means for one to get the word out about a newly torrented file, via a new thread. And if say someone wants to hop on an older torrent, but finds that there aren't any seeds, he could bump the thread and ask for some people to seed. This implementation works best when the community isn't too large, and when the files shared are of a specific nature.

I myself belong to such a forum. I cannot go into much detail about the exact nature of this forum, because it is private–it is secret. There are special conditions that one must meet to join, and special procedures that one must follow to register. Members cannot bring in outsiders, and are not even supposed to speak to people about the forum. These measures are to ensure that the forum is not infiltrated and shut down. It is also to ensure that there remains a strong, dedicated community. But still, there are bastards even in the most elite of communities. What stops one of these bastards from blowing the forum's cover? They don't want to lose their files. If the tracker goes down, then they no longer have a place to download all of their desired files.

I didn't have a computer in the 80s, and wasn't around in the time of the BBS. Although I do enjoy reading about the history of that era, it was not my era. I don't know personally what "BBSing" was like, but I can imagine that it was somewhat similar to the world of bittorrent. With bittorrent there is an encouragement to contribute, to create your own torrents, or to seed those files that you download. What makes bittorrent nice is that even those who only want to download their files and run are still forced to upload. Still, there are leeches. There are those who download every file they can, and hop off after each download is completed. Then there are people who do give back, who makes their own torrents and seed files for the rest of us. I've created and seeded my share of torrents for the people of the private forum I mentioned earlier. I feel a great sense of accomplishment in doing this. I've spent hours looking for the perfect file to torrent, and many more seeding it for people. I love to watch my computer slowly upload the files to those first peers. I'll leave my connection up for days, watching as my file gets dozens of seeds, and then eventually loses steam. I don't know if the feeling was the same back in the 80s, but for some reason it makes me think that maybe people got a similar feeling from maintaining a BBS, or from uploading and downloading files from one, or doing anything else involved with one.

But, the time of the BBS was not my time. My time was and is the time of HTTP and the web, instant messaging, filesharing, bittorrent, and the like. There is a lot of history to be told spanning from the 1990s to the present. There are sites that gather much of the raw information up, such as archive.org, and google, but it is a lot of information to sift through. Are there any sites that give a sense of what these times were like? Sites that have accounts from people who lived and are living through them, and chronicle the various important trends, and events surrounding this age? Will there be? Err anyway, I just had the urge to ramble on about this.

Oh yeah, if I ever get 50 bucks I'll look into getting your BBS documentary. Either that, or I'll find a torrent of it!

/data/webs/external/dokuwiki/data/pages/archive/history/draxamus.txt · Last modified: 2005/06/28 02:21 by 127.0.0.1

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