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==                          AmiNet Hits 10,000!                          ==
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Today, October 14th 1994, three years after its inception, Aminet has hit a
total number of 10,000 online files.  Again, I would like to step on the
soapbox and talk what happended in the meantime, how Aminet looks today,
and what is still in the making.  And of course I'd like to thank the
countless people who helped to make Aminet what it is today.


THE HISTORY
-----------

As I expected, there's not nearly as many stories to tell about the the
second 5000 files that found their way onto Aminet as there were about the
first 5000.  Considering how violent the early days of Aminet were, this is
certainly a progress.

Yes, there were some notable events.  There was a first go at integrating
the boing archive into Aminet (thanks once again to the many, many
volunteers who helped).  Also, the manufacturer of the Aminet CD ROM's has
changed - for the better, I hope.  We've also introduced some new services,
like gopher and WWW servers, new mirrors, and 50 BBSes carrying Aminet. 
But far more important is that Aminet now has become established standard.

Aminet now grown to a point where almost everyone on the Internet has a
working Aminet mirror nearby, which removes the need to use international
Internet lines.  There are 20 official Aminet mirrors now, plus another
dozen inofficial or partial ones.  Aminet can also be accessed from about
60 BBSes around the world, as well as on CD-ROM and diskettes.  Amiga
magazines have started quoting Aminet as the source of the freely
distributable software they review.

It looks like a dream has come true.  Back when I started doing the 50
Megabyte archive that was to become Aminet, I had a look at how the
distribution of freely distributable software worked.  It was quite messy.
There were many possible channels (different FTP sites, independent BBSes,
and lots of diskette PD series) where a software author could place his
releases, but none of them came even close to reaching everyone.  And none
of those channels came anywhere close to carrying all the Amiga software
released.

Wouldn't it be much nicer if there existed a large pool where simply *all*
Amiga software is released and stored?  It was a complete utopia when
Aminet was founded.  It starts to become reality now.  Much like the Fish
disks in the early days, Aminet has now become the place to check for new
software.  We had the luck (lots of luck, considering how much could have
gone wrong) to see a good thing succeed so totally that I don't expect any
of my future ideas will ever come close.

Internet is a strange place to be.  Aminet is being run by a team of 60
administrators who, for the most part, have never seen each other or even
talked to each other.  Aminet is moderated by a Swiss who never got closer
than 1000 miles to the computer he does his work on.  The uploads are
contributed by people who, for the most part, are never going to know who
they wrote them for.

We may not know each other.  But the users of the Amiga are, more than the
users of any other computer in the world, and on the Internet more than
anywhere else, a community.  And I am happy to have provided one bond that
keeps that community together.

THE PRESENT
-----------

Monthly downloads in thousands (at wuarchive).  The recent decline shows a
shift to the mirrors, since wuarchive is full almost all of the time.  
Newer data not available.

  1993                                         1994
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Nov Dec  Jan Feb Mar Apr May
  --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---  --- --- --- --- ---
   48  25  36  45  49  33 204 280 264 233 229  214 212 210 210 167

Monthly uploads (files):

  1993                                     1994
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep ...  Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep 
  --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---      --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
  235 396 609 389 431 287 333 419 502      642 709 814 660 588 568 648 

Subdir size in megabytes: (total: 1713 M)
Growth factor since the 5000 files posting:

  biz comm demo dev docs disk game gfx misc mods mus pix text util
  --- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- --- --- ---- ----
   53   81  154  93   21   10  128 262   77  265  33 136   59   98 
  2.0  2.1  2.2 2.2    -  3.6  2.0 2.5  2.1  2.0 1.1 2.0  1.3  2.2

Number of files at some mirrors:

  Mirror               Files
  ------               -----
  ftp.wustl.edu        10000
  ftp.netnet.net       10000
  ftp.doc.ic.ac.uk     10000
  ftp.uni-paderborn.de 10000 (soon)
  ftp.cdrom.com        9230
  ftp.uni-erlangen.de  7281
  ftp.eunet.ch         5410
  ftp.etsu.edu         5100
  ftp.uni-stuttgart.de 4584
  ftp.uni-siegen.de    1501
  ftp.uni-kl.de        1488
  ftp.math.ethz.ch     1058

THE FUTURE
----------

There really isn't very much left that I can promise for the future.  What
I promised last time is reality now.  A few improvements are still ahead,
though:

So far Aminet is very hard to use for people with mail only access to
Internet.  I plan to make their lives easier with a distributed specialized
mail server for Aminet, and a mail-upload facility.

Also planned is an Aminet CD access tool that combines the browsing and
searching capabilities of the current software without using Amigaguide for
viewing.  Don't expect it very soon, though.

But the last real step ahead I'm trying to get implemented is called
annotations.  This will allow everyone to stick a short comment to the
.readme file of somebody else's upload, thus turning Aminet into a two-way
communication medium.  That way, you will for example be able to point out
that a program does not run under AGA , or give a program a rating (which
will be collected, averaged and published).  The whole thing is quite
complicated to get going, though, so give me some time....

And of course, if there is any additional service you would like to see in
Aminet, just tell me.  I'm running out of ideas :)

CREDITS
-------
There are countless people who keep Aminet going.  I'd like to thank them
all, but especially:

The uploaders     for writing freely distributable software and taking the 
                  pain write readmes and to upload them

Matthias Scheler  who helps a lot with the daily administration and
                  moderation at wuarchive

The volunteers    who helped with integrating the boing software collection
                  into Aminet

The mirror adms   for maintaining that large number of mirrors which made
                  the success of Aminet possible

Fred Fish         for helping combine his software collection with Aminet

Martin Schulze    for his great job with beta testing the Aminet CD and
                  for forwarding diskette contributions to Aminet

Stefan Ossowski   for producing the Aminet CD at a very low price

Chris Myers       for maintaining wuarchive.wustl.edu

Karl Frederick    for maintaining the Aminet mailing lists

I hope you liked the service so far, and if you have any comments, wishes
or ideas, please to contact me.  Let's hope we'll be able to see a 15,000
file posting about one year from now.