• archives.thebbs.org files gone

    From Nightfox to All on Thu Jun 9 19:53:27 2022
    Earlier, I was trying to download a file from archives.thebbs.org, and while their site is still up, and FTP site is still running, it seems their FTP site is empty. I was able to log into their FTP site (using a FTP program, since web browsers no longer support FTP), and I was able to log in (using "anonymous" for the username and an email address for the password), but when I do a ls, no files are listed. It seems their FTP site is empty.

    Does anyone know if there is a mirror or backup of archives.thebbs.org available?

    Nightfox
  • From jack phlash@46:1/145 to Nightfox on Fri Jun 10 07:51:06 2022
    on 09 Jun 2022, Nightfox said...

    Earlier, I was trying to download a file from archives.thebbs.org, and while their site is still up, and FTP site is still running, it seems their FTP site is empty. I was able to log into their FTP site (using a FTP program, since web browsers no longer support FTP), and I was able
    to log in (using "anonymous" for the username and an email address for
    the password), but when I do a ls, no files are listed. It seems their FTP site is empty.

    That's a huge bummer, though it's been clear that the site has been on autopilot for many years now, to the point where it could barely even function as archive at this point. I can't say I'm too shocked. :/

    Does anyone know if there is a mirror or backup of archives.thebbs.org available?

    I have one, but I don't currently have it up anywhere since I heard Mike was kind of touchy about people mirroring his site. There is another one (not mine, but I did contribute some of the files to it) on archive.org. It doesn't look not quite as complete, but is very close:

    https://archive.org/details/archives_thebbs_org

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  • From Nightfox to jack phlash on Fri Jun 10 11:20:44 2022
    Re: Re: archives.thebbs.org files gone
    By: jack phlash to Nightfox on Fri Jun 10 2022 07:51 am

    Earlier, I was trying to download a file from archives.thebbs.org,
    and while their site is still up, and FTP site is still running, it
    seems their FTP site is empty. I was able to log into their FTP
    site (using a FTP program, since web browsers no longer support
    FTP), and I was able to log in (using "anonymous" for the username
    and an email address for the password), but when I do a ls, no files
    are listed. It seems their FTP site is empty.

    That's a huge bummer, though it's been clear that the site has been on autopilot for many years now, to the point where it could barely even function as archive at this point. I can't say I'm too shocked. :/

    Digital Man (author of Synchronet) said he was able to download from archive.thebbs.org recently using Internet Explorer. I just tried that, and sure enough, it was able to download from their FTP site. It make me wonder what Internet Exporer is doing differently, because it appeared to me that the files on their FTP site were all gone..

    Nightfox
  • From jack phlash@46:1/145 to Nightfox on Fri Jun 10 14:23:28 2022
    on 10 Jun 2022, Nightfox said...

    Digital Man (author of Synchronet) said he was able to download from archive.thebbs.org recently using Internet Explorer. I just tried that, and sure enough, it was able to download from their FTP site. It make
    me wonder what Internet Exporer is doing differently, because it
    appeared to me that the files on their FTP site were all gone..

    Yeah, I thought that might have been one of the things that was happening to you but I figured it was easier to link you to that archive than go into that rabbit hole. :P

    I believe it's an ugly combination of what seems like some measures put into place to prevent mirroring (temporarily blocking IP that connect improperly and/or too often) as well what I assume is a now outdated HTTP agent string checking scheme (I had the most success with spoofing a very old Internet Explorer version.)

    Honestly, I'd love to know more about exactly what he's doing, as some of the behavior I've observed makes little sense to me despite the hours I poured into this and having some professional experience in this area myself. I never quite figured out the interplay between the HTTP agent and the FTP server or 100% nailed down a pattern for the IP bans but obviously I figure out *enough* to get around it. Even still, I only did a bit at a time out of respect for his server's resources just in case that was part of what he didn't want people mirroring it in the first place.

    What I *do* know is that as an end user it all feels practically unusable these days, and I seriously question the value of putting up a file archive if you won't let people, you know, download from it. :P Honestly, I never intended to mirror the site in the first place, but I got so annoyed with simply trying to use it casually to grab a few files that it kicked off this whole scheme of trying to figure it out and get around it.

    Fun times.

    |08j |15A C K |08p |15H L A S H |08!

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  • From Nightfox to jack phlash on Fri Jun 10 14:57:04 2022
    Re: Re: archives.thebbs.org files gone
    By: jack phlash to Nightfox on Fri Jun 10 2022 02:23 pm

    What I *do* know is that as an end user it all feels practically unusable these days, and I seriously question the value of putting up a file archive if you won't let people, you know, download from it. :P Honestly,

    That's true. It seems like a bit much sometimes.

    I never intended to mirror the site in the first place, but I got so annoyed with simply trying to use it casually to grab a few files that it kicked off this whole scheme of trying to figure it out and get around it.

    I am a bit concerned about the site/files actually going away at some point though. It might be handy if the site was mirrored and/or uploaded to the Internet Archive or something.

    Nightfox
  • From jack phlash@46:1/145 to Nightfox on Fri Jun 10 20:04:43 2022
    on 10 Jun 2022, Nightfox said...

    I am a bit concerned about the site/files actually going away at some point though. It might be handy if the site was mirrored and/or
    uploaded to the Internet Archive or something.

    Absolutely. That was my other driver - the site has basically looked the same since I first started using years and years ago, and I'm fairly sure the user agent string issue is partially due to it not being kept up to date, so I have legitimate concerns about it going down and some of that stuff disappearing forever.

    I'm not sure if you took a look at that link I posted yet, but it was indeed a *mostly* complete mirror of the site that had been uploaded to the Internet Archive.

    |08j |15A C K |08p |15H L A S H |08!

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  • From Nightfox to jack phlash on Fri Jun 10 20:55:37 2022
    Re: Re: archives.thebbs.org files gone
    By: jack phlash to Nightfox on Fri Jun 10 2022 08:04 pm

    I'm not sure if you took a look at that link I posted yet, but it was indeed a *mostly* complete mirror of the site that had been uploaded to the Internet Archive.

    I just had a look. Interesting that that was posted there, and good to see.

    Nightfox
  • From jack phlash@46:1/145 to Nightfox on Sat Jun 11 17:39:26 2022
    on 10 Jun 2022, Nightfox said...

    I just had a look. Interesting that that was posted there, and good to see.

    Probably not coincidentally, someone just posted *another* version of the an archive of the site to archive.org, and this one seems to be more thorough, even containing a bunch of files that were in some hidden directories not on the site (and that I failed to include in my own archiving efforts.) I'd recommend checking this one out instead:

    https://archive.org/details/bbsarchives_2017

    Despite the one star review of the archive, I can assure you that from my efforts and a brief look through the contents, it does in fact appear to be legitimate.

    |08j |15A C K |08p |15H L A S H |08!

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  • From jack phlash@46:1/145 to jack phlash on Sat Jun 11 19:35:35 2022
    on 11 Jun 2022, jack phlash said...

    <...> and this one seems to be more thorough, even containing a bunch of jp> files that were in some hidden directories not on the site (and that I jp> failed to include in my own archiving efforts.)

    Well, after pouring through this new version there is one big issue - he's mangled a lot of filenames with special characters in them, most notably "-" which was use quite a lot in underground scene releases. Didn't take too long to fix, but still, not great...

    |08j |15A C K |08p |15H L A S H |08!

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  • From Nightfox to jack phlash on Sat Jun 11 22:48:54 2022
    Re: Re: archives.thebbs.org files gone
    By: jack phlash to Nightfox on Sat Jun 11 2022 05:39 pm

    Probably not coincidentally, someone just posted *another* version of the an archive of the site to archive.org, and this one seems to be more thorough, even containing a bunch of files that were in some hidden directories not on the site (and that I failed to include in my own archiving efforts.) I'd recommend checking this one out instead:

    https://archive.org/details/bbsarchives_2017

    Despite the one star review of the archive, I can assure you that from my efforts and a brief look through the contents, it does in fact appear to be legitimate.

    Wow, cool. Thanks for the link.

    Nightfox