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/// Aminet hits 5000 files
Reprinted from Comp.Sys.Amiga.Announce
Today, September 24 1993, 20 months after its foundation, Aminet has hit
a total number of 5000 online files. I'll seize that opportunity to talk
about how Aminet became what it is today, give you a few statistics about
current usage and size, provide some outlooks and finally thank the many
people involved in the creation of Aminet.
What would you expect to become of a software archive that is run on a
borrowed 25 MHz 68030 computer at the end of the world (ie. Switzerland)
with only 50MB of harddisk space available for uploads? A giant flop, of
course. Well, this is how Aminet started. How can it be that it didn't
just die before anyone ever heard of it?
The secret is that it's not just any archive, but an Amiga archive. And
Amiga users are unlike the users of any other computer in the world. In fact
it is the user community that keeps the Amiga alive and kicking now that it
has lost the technological lead it once had. And it was the user community
that made that tiny little archive one of the biggest success stories on the
history of Internet.
When in January 92 I took over the small archive that the local students'
club (ICU) ran on a computer donated by Commodore Switzerland, I saw that
40 users logged in per day. I was impressed. Hey, that was happening
unnoticed while we were using that computer for mail, news and FTP. But
hell, 40 users a day are 280 per week, that's quite an audience, worth
taking some effort.
So I wrote the .readme collector, still the one thing that defines our
archive. It generated the RECENT and SHORT file every night. And amazingly
many uploaders took the extra work of writing the special .readme files
needed to generate those file lists. Slowly, the site started getting
popular. Then, in April, came the ab20 shutdown. People were desperate to
get a replacement, and many turned to amiga.physik. Too many in fact. We
had to install a user limit. And 50MB of disk space may have been appropriate
for a small unknown site in Switzerland, but for taking over all traffic
the job from the 250MB ab20 which had ruled Amiga FTP before?
This could have been the quick death of a promising archive since the
majority of users would have had to use another. But not on the Amiga.
I asked my friends on the #amiga channel of IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
whether they had the resources to run a mirror of our site. One of them had:
Peter Sjostrom. First of May 92 was the moment when amiga.physik became
Aminet, a collection if interconnected FTP sites. I wrote some mirroring
scripts that allowed very frequent updates and forwarded uploads made to
his site in Sweden, making the two sites nearly equivalent.
This helped with our bandwidth problem, but the hard disk space was still too
small; we had to throw away files all the time to make room for new ones. We
had no money for a bigger disk. But we had the user community. I placed a
message in the login text, and within a month we had enough cash for a 1.5G
harddisk Mike Schwartz cheaply bought for us in the USA. Half of that money
came from Walnut Creek Inc., the company that had made the ab20 CDROM. Quite
a courageous step back then, nobody knew what would become of Aminet.
Still, far more people wanted to log into amiga.physik than could, but more
and more people started mirroring our site, even if they only could afford to
keep the most recent 50MB online. That finally brought Aminet on the road to
success. More downloads created more uploads, which created more downloads
and so on. Breakthrough.
With the increased number of uploads, my workload got bigger and bigger, but
I got help from Chris Schneider when I needed it. Aminet started running
smoothly for quite a while. Then came the catastrophe: Because of the
significant traffic our site created alone, we were ordered by the university
to shut down the archive at amiga.physik in June 93. Fortunately, Chris
Myers from wuarchive offered me an account and enough disk space so I could
move the Aminet main site there. Isn't the Net a wonderful thing? Now we
can easily administer an archive 6000 miles away from our home country.
Just recently the A3000UX that used to be amiga.physik found a new home at
EUnet, where it is now available to general public again, but only as a
mirror this time.
This is what happened so far, it's the violent history of the first 5000
uploads. In a way I'm glad we can expect the next 5000 to be a lot less
amiga.physik 1992: 40
wuarchive today : 1866
Aminet today : 10000 (estimated)
Monthly downloads in thousands (wuarchive only):
May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
2 15 14 5 16 20 37 44 48 25 36 45 49 33 204 280
Bytes downloaded in August 93: 25G
Monthly uploads (files):
Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
98 188 181 137 235 396 609 389 431 287 333 419 502
Subdir size in megabytes: (total: 883M)
biz comm demo dev disk fish game gfx misc mods mus os20 os30 pix text util
--- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- --- ---- ----
26 38 154 42 3 54 63 103 36 128 30 10 3 66 44 44
Number of files at each mirror
There's a few things still coming up:
- Find servers. No need to log into some FTP site and download the
index file in order to find out where a specific file is. Some kind
- ADT 2.0. This is going to be a very easy-to-compile, easy-to-use
frontend to Aminet. O plan to strongly encourage its use once it
is finished. It will also include AmigaDOS, mail server and find
- Unification with the Fish series. Fred and I are currently talking
about merging our two series,
- More BBS accesses for users of the CD-ROM without net access who
would like to contribute.
There is a lot of people I have to thank, and I hope I don't forget anyone.
I'd like to thank
The uploaders for writing freely distributable software and taking the
pain write readmes and to upload them
The downloaders for restricting themselves from using the main site, which
helped a lot during the amiga.physik time
The mirror adms for taking most of the load from amiga.physik and keeping
Internet traffic local thereby.
The donors for donating about $900, saving Aminet from an early
Walnut Creek Inc for paying another $800, and making available the CD so
cheaply, and giving free CD's to uploaders.
Chris Schneider for doing much of the moderation work, writing the virus-
checking LhA and the search-server (coming soon).
Peter Sjostrom for running the very first mirror
Brian Wright for running the first US mirror
C= Switzerland for donating the A3000 that used to be amiga.physik
Mike Schwartz for buying the HD for us
Markus Wild for improving the amiga.physik ftpd
Chris Myers for offering to move amiga.physik to wuarchive
Martin Blatter for installing and administering amiga.physik
Our university for supplying internet access for the site
EUnet for giving amiga.physik a new home
I hope you liked the service so far, and if you have any comments, wishes or
ideas, feel free to contact me. Watch this space for the 10'000 file posting
an estimated one year from now!
Urban D. Mueller firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
"Tiresomely neat." (Douglas Adams about Switzerland)