boardrider: Have a Nice :cbm: day
Moloch: Another week, another two releases... yep, rular.
Fuzz: You don't want to know. :)
Moloch: Six NTSC releases in three months ... what's in the water?!
boardrider: I turned 35 on July 22nd!
Fuzz: There there..
The NTSC Scene Archive project is an attempt to collect and catalogue every NTSC legal scene release: demos, tools, diskmagazines, noterfiles, unreleased parts, or anything else that was released by North American groups or solo sceners. As existing disk media deteriorates or is simply destroyed through accident or disinterest, the scene history dies as well. We've had for some time now the necessary tools to make large scale transfer of significant collections of old disk media (5.25" and 3.5" floppy as well as old CMD-style hard drives). But until now there hasn't been a concerted, organized and advertised push to do this.
While a number of people have dedicated their time and effort to uploading releases to several FTP sites (e.g. arnold, funet.fi, and Scene Emporium) dating back to 1992 and even earlier, the idea of an online, web-based NTSC Scene Archive was first attempted in 1996. Serious effort was made in the design of such a system, a prototype was created, and a large amount of data entry was accomplished. Ultimately however this first effort did not proceed past these initial stages, and was set aside in 1997.
Now, in 2005, a team including the same person who initially drove the first archive effort, the former administrator of Scene Emporium (the top FTP site for the NTSC scene), and Driven Online are restarting the project, picking up where it was left in 1997. With the help of any interested sceners who may be willing and able to provide their collections and/or time to the effort, the vision of a comprehensive NTSC archive will be brought to life.
Specifically, the end result of this effort will be a freely available (via http/ftp), freely distributed (in downloadable form) archive of releases in standard c64 emulator disk formats as well as the data describing the releases and the groups/sceners who were responsible for them. You heard right - all the releases and data that are provided to us by sceners will be made available back to the scene in total. Then, apart from the online version, we expect that people will be able to develop desktop apps to search local copies of the archive, or perhaps do other interesting things with the information. Also note that we are looking for the releases in as original form as we can find - to preserve even the filenames and disk directory structures that their authors originally released them with.
What we need to make this shine is help in two areas. First, we need sceners who have kept large collections intact to share those with the archive, by transferring those disks/files to modern media and then transmitting them to the archive. Packrats, runners, sysops and leeches, if you kept a large collection and are willing to help, please contact us! For persons with large collections, we can make available a private FTP account to which you can transmit files. For persons who do not have large collections but can help fill in gaps with single releases, or who may have rare releases that were not spread widely outside of local-scene areas, we can work with you to help get your contributions into the archive - again, please contact us with details!
Second, we could use a few volunteers who are willing to help review the incoming collection materials, verify they are working, possibly convert old c64-specific archival formats (e.g. lynx, zipdisk) into emulator-standard formats (e.gg d64), and extract basic information such as release dates, credits, etc. Even if you are only able to work on a couple releases a week, every bit that you do will make the end goal that much closer.
The current contents and 'working area' of the archive project will be left open to the public, viewable online. We have recent mirrors of three of the larger existing collections of NTSC material, and there is a great deal of duplication between them, but we have made them available to help potential collection/release submitters check and make sure they are not wasting their time uploading releases that are already online (except in cases where you can replace a release that we only have in the old single file ".prg" form with one in a format that retains the original filename/disk directory).
Aside from helping preserve scene history, we will keep track of all persons who provide collections/releases to the archive or who lend their help in the verification/data collection stage. You will be prominently mentioned on a subpage of the online archive and you will be included inside any distributed format that is made available for download.