ut-files.com may be closing
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Author:  Skillz [ Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

Haven't seen you in a minute. Logging into both right now.

Author:  Skillz [ Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

Just got $9.31.

Total reached so far: $81.08
Total to go: $104.92

Author:  Hook [ Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

The only service that could single handily kill UT is when Epic decides to turn off the Master Server. Even then I don't think it would die out completely.

Just an FYI...
There are people with solutions to this - one is 333Networks Master Server.
If Epic turns theirs off, the UT community will respond with theirs.
We will also need to keep new players informed of these kind of options.

Author:  Skillz [ Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

Hook wrote:
The only service that could single handily kill UT is when Epic decides to turn off the Master Server. Even then I don't think it would die out completely.

Just an FYI...
There are people with solutions to this - one is 333Networks Master Server.
If Epic turns theirs off, the UT community will respond with theirs.
We will also need to keep new players informed of these kind of options.

I'm aware of that place. Hence the last sentence of what you quoted. ;)

Also just got another donation from a member. $105.41 from them.

Total reached so far: $186.49
Total to go: -$0.49

So the month of September is paid up in full now with $0.49 towards October. Good job guys, thanks to all who has helped so far.

Author:  Dr.Flay [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

Phew! Well-done and merci
...for now.
Obviously this is a victory in the battle to stay online, but there are more to come.
To my shame I have not contributed with anything more than a call-to-arms in the forums I've posted in.
I don't have an account I can do transactions with (vary limiting but very secure). I intend to organise payments via the games bar my mate runs, so I can contribute whenever I can.

:blah: I apologise for the length of what you are about to start reading!
This incident reminds me how important this treasure-trove is.
The way it is constructed and run is sustainable long-term, as the requirements are kept to a minimum.
This site also always feels more workman like to use than FileFront or AtomicGamer etc. which either take an age to browse or an age to wait for a DL slot etc.
These sites become too unwieldy and expensive to run. This is why we lost FilePlanet and every-ones hard work with it.
FileFront will be next.
People will move on to new projects and games, so from the day they abandon their projects (finished or not) it is in the hands of the hosts (and the gods).

The more I got into editing with UEd, the more I realised the significance of this site. People use the gamer upload sites more for maps an mods, so when a developer, mapper, models, tutorial, or textures site disappears, we lose valuable resources and tools (that may or may not be made in another form). There are a few very unique and sometimes bizarre tools we have for the UEd series.
Where do we look when we want something? where do we send some poor lost soul looking for "that thing they need"?
Either here at SKILLS archive, or over at Medor's Château of delights :bowdown:
Medor again is another unspoken Unreal hero. They both do this for the love of the game. For the love of Unreal, and the community.

This site is all about the community, not the individual or the company.

Without the individual, this site can go on.
The keeper can hand the keys to another, such as was bestowed upon Skills when he took on the mantle of "Archive Keeper" of the holy archives of Unreal :bowdown:

Without the Company, the site can go on.
The volume of user-made content by far outweighs the official content, and due to the kindness of Epic to always give away the tool-set (and even a free stand-alone) and with projects like the UT-SDK and the recent Unreal 227 update, mean that users of all levels of PC's can keep churning out or refining and fixing content for many years to come (with or without Epic).
:bowdown: The fact that stuff is still being made with UEd 2 is a testament to how useful it still is (though the updates over the past years do help :D )
Is there still an active Quake3 Arena modding community?

Without the community this site would be empty, and have no place in the world. End of story :doh:

If it ever gets taken over as a commercial interest UT-FILES will turn to "hell-in-a-handbag" (trying hard to be polite here), as it would start storing files for other games and grow too big and die.
A few already think that this site has too many Unreal games, but I disagree totally. There is a lot of back-and-forth between Unreal ports and projects. Hell you can even get Deus Ex stuff here! :bigthumb:
UEd is as much a hub in the middle of all this, as UT-FILES and Medor's site.

This site has to stay "by the Unreal community, for the Unreal community".
Anonymous sponsors only....Big wealthy anonymous sponsors are even better :naughty: , but lets face it there is only the one that benefits from keeping these sites alive.
I may sound over-the-top, but I have compared this site to the "library of Alexandria" for Unreal developers, and I don't say it lightly, but I never ever want it to be literally like them as they were lost.

As an Amiga user of many years (now under emulation) I still use the Aminet. This was setup in the early days of PD libraries. It stayed free and maintained by the Amiga community has stayed alive since 1992 !
This also is another massive and Holy shrine to user content and developer tools, and has sustained another creative and talented community for 20 years.
They do however have a redundancy factor of many private and University hosts.
The hosts and unsung "Archive Keepers" have changed over the years, but the format has never changed.
It is run like the free CDDB service most of the digital world uses.
There is one master server and a mirror in many countries. Therefore just like the internet itself "bomb-proof".
It is even a useful resource for us using UEd, for example;
the huge collection of mod/tracker music http://aminet.net/tree?path=mods
the huge collection of textures http://aminet.net/search?query=textures

If a real library with books is "switched off", the knowledge is not lost. Books don't disappear but digital media does, and most of us have lost personal or important data at some point. Sh*t happens™
In a possible (and horrible) future we could be left with only a few rare copies of Hourence's books, and fragments in the WebArchive. Authors themselves also lose or misplace projects and move on to the next project.

The Future
I suggest that this site be the master archive, which can acts as the portal, for several other geographically separate mirrors.
Uploads are to the master archive and the mirror archivists just synchronise automatically or whenever they wish.
:bowdown: Medor, Kelly and a few others recognise the significance of this archive and are already helping to make sure it never disappears, but even though bandwidth is not an issue for Skills, I think more live mirrors running from private and University mirrors is what we should look at.
Aminet operate an incredibly strict policy on how to upload, and the distribution from that point on. This makes it easy to use, and hard to f*ck-over an author who stores their work there.
The front-page is standard for all the mirrors, as they are all FTP only 1 common portal is needed to get the user the closest, fastest download (including any redirects also mirrored).

The Unreal engine is not going away, and we will have even more need of this site as the years roll on.
The content from every new UEd and UDK will keep coming, and getting bigger, and we need to think forward. Where will it live?
Individual developer sites do not stay up after they move on, and we "can't keep our eggs in one basket" either.
With more slaves mirroring the master, via the one interface/portal we basically have "UnrealCDN".
If the main site went down, Skills could email and authorise the best backup to go http-live and carry-on.
The one way system between the master and slaves means whoever is in charge, stays in charge.
Anyone who has the storage, and has the ability to mirror an FTP site (static IP etc.) can contribute. Anyone who may have the capacity but not the bandwidth can route the URL via the CoralCDN (the more people using Coral, the lower the load).

It is genuinely an educational resource, and as such I think warrants being mirrored on University servers. There are 2 Universities with online tutorials I have found, that use UEd as a teaching tool. They would be good candidates and hardly likely to refuse.
There will be more than that I have not seen, as Colleges and Universities seem to value UEd as a tool to prepare students for working in the multimedia world, and is becoming more common. The UDK will probably be a big factor in the years to come.
As more and more people start editing with UEd as their first real learning tool, the amount of crazy experimental user content is going to be freakin' UNREAL™

Epic give us great games we love, cheer, bitch and moan about, and then we "improve" it with our own brand of lunacy.
When it UT came out, who'd have thought that flying around on redeemers would would happen, let-alone be so popular? Soon we'll all even be able to have a Food Fight™.
We make Unreal what we want it to be. In the creative forums we blow each-others minds regularly with "I didn't think that was possible!". In some ways it wouldn't even bother me (well a bit...OK a lot) if Epic said "We're never making another Unreal" :noes: as within a short period of time, a legion of enraged UT fans could play Halo, or C.O.D. and whine and bitch ...or band together and use the new engine to create the UT they always wanted anyway :fawk:
Don't we all look forward to the community packs as much as the game anyway?
UT could even be a fankit framework and we make our own, and community pack 1 is UT.

All that stuff, finished, experimental, conceptual or even just mental, is a legacy for future developers.
We the community have to make sure it is a living legacy.
We have to plan ahead, keeping it simple, growing organically and stay easy to implement.
333networks also have the right idea, and are planning ahead. They have a suitable framework that would work for the other Unreal games in the future, if/when Epic close the servers.
Again the support of the community would be needed more than ever.

For the moment we just need more people to make small donations. The more people, the smaller the individual requirement. There must be more than 180 people per month who use Unreal games, or this site, prepared to pay $1 every now and then, and theoretically more of them every time there is a new Unreal game.
A subscription download site will cost you a lot more per month.
Idea: If everyone puts a reminder in their sig in all their forum profiles, ;) it will immediately populate every post they ever made!

...OK I'm done with standing on the soap-box for now :blah:
Skills, I hope the Universe smiles on you, and your dream-job comes along soon.

Author:  <GF>-REX!! [ Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

Dr.Flay, that was beautiful.

Author:  Hook [ Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

<GF>-REX!! wrote:
Dr.Flay, that was beautiful.

I'll DITTO that one!
The guy is amazing sometimes eh?

Author:  Skillz [ Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

Very good points. The only thing I ask that if anyone intends to mirror any of the content on ut-files.com, that you please spread the downloads over a couple months or more so that it doesn't hit the bandwidth too hard.

Having more than one mirror is good.

Author:  Skillz [ Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

Got a $20 donation to go towards the October bill.

Author:  Dr.Flay [ Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ut-files.com may be closing

:blah: *EDIT* Sorry, I did it again, :doh: but this one is "less soap-box" and more educational for those interested.

Hehe, thanks for the nice words. X
I get a bit fired-up about subjects close to my heart. I was close to tears at points writing all that :wtc:

As a P.D. archivist since back in the Amiga years (and even a Librarian till I left school), and as someone who is a little OCD I cannot tolerate losing stuff, so actually my post was based on my selfish desire not to lose the precious.
Yeees my preciousess most preciousssss!

.... :ugh: *Snap*
Err yeah.
And from that realm of the heroic adventurer. What does every adventure book, film or game teach us?

If you want to keep the precious safe for our grandchildren to come and find, you must secrete it in the far flung corners of the Kingdom.
You Skills, are the ring that binds them ;)

...so we need to make and control the UnrealCDN before Epic ever does! :noes:
For example; Modern games are going cloud-based or distributed. If "we the community" CoCp the UnrealCDN, it will always be what we want it to be, and it can organically grow from where we are at now.
If Epic created an UnrealCDN™, do you think Unreal, Deus Ex, UT99 or MonsterHunt will be in that picture? :meh:
This site will have to gradually grow (like it or loathe it) as long as there is a new "U" engine, so there are always new visitors who will value it's up-to-date relevance in their modern world.
As old users stop coming, new blood has to be enticed to visit.

There is such a thing as totally free, but it has limitations, that give you new options!
The Aminet grew from a simple old-school PD library into a distributed and bomb-proof pool of resources. The single most useful distribution point on the planet for all gamers, musicians, developers and Amiga magazines.
As it grew it needed a fast, large, free host.
Because all data is stored under the common licensing terms, that under no circumstance can this work be stored or re-distributed via any method that requires payment. It leaves them without the option of using commercial servers.
They are so strict on the licence, that they cannot have a music label page on Last.fm, as Last.fm takes subscriptions.
Even though you would still (without paying) be able to listen to all of it without a subscription.

UT-FILES can maintain that level of control and licence. None of the work here is commercial, or trial-ware, etc. or can ever be.
This is also the requirement for hosting on educational servers. That's why the Aminet servers are all private or at Universities. They are not allowed to be hosted anywhere else!
Due to the free and educational nature of vast amounts of the contents, many Universities are willing to host complete mirrors. This also gives the keeper of the holy archives, the option to also be the keeper of the keys for those mirrors.
Synchronisation then automatically handled from home-base.

ut-files.com staying as the host page, and just as it is now, it can offer (or auto-select) the visitor a closer geographic location (I'm sure the Australian UT fans would like that :D )
New free mirrors can be added under the bonnet/hood, as and when approved and added by Skills.
The only permanent hosting then being this site, which is already a framework/overlay for the FTP site which can be wherever it needs to be.
Any of you who download Linux distros have already used this system (and think how epic some of those repositories are).
Linux is the ultimate in community content. We have the option to use the same high-speed servers they use.

The CoralCDN, and a deeper "why?"
When it comes to unofficial mirrors that people may look to do in the meantime, if you please do http transfers via the CoralCDN, we can also evaluate its use and performance for us. :bigthumb:
eg. If 5 people said "Hey, I've made a copy!" and Skills FTP logs show only normal activity for 1 site rip, then we know Coral itself has the total capacity. I know it has the throughput capacity, but am not sure about it's flush routine.

Coral itself is P2P so files can be in 1 or more locations at any point (oooh quantum files!). As long as the files keep getting asked for they will proliferate across the Coral servers.
Theoretically if this site went down for a while no one would actually notice, if they were all routed through Coral. The content stays live as long as people keep requesting it (including the portal site).
All UT game servers getting redirects via Coral, would also still get the common files that they require, during any server-outage for any reason at ut-files, or their chosen redirect.

Coral can handle thousands of connections, and the more people use it the more efficient it becomes.
CoralCDN shifts TBs of data every day back and forth from thousands of people running the "Electric Sheep" screensaver!
I learned about it in 2005 from a DJ/Producer who's site kept exceeding his bandwidth, until he used Coral.
Then I found out my fave screensaver also uses it
I use it regularly for slow sites, or Australian sites (many hops) etc., and all my links to this site.
Coral is itself an "educational resource" and as such is hosted on and via free services, so stays free to run and free for us to use.
Note it does not feature in Yahoo developer network's list of CDNs. They only list commercial ones, with theirs at the top :nono:

Coral is also run by some serious geeks. It is not "owned" by a company, so a company is not going to switch it off for not making money. That is not what it is for, it is for.. well other than "us", "the the world" it is not for anything other than lowering the data traffic out there and making life easier.
Which in my book is a Good-Thing™

No-one needs an account, or a plugin, or even know they are using it. It is just sitting there like an "elephant in the room" waiting to be used.
Using the links I gave in the earlier post, you can all start right now. You don't have to wait for anyone to implement anything!
just click them, or add .nyud.net in the address bar manually eg. http://www.ut-files.com.nyud.net
:blah: OK. done.

Skills, I don't know why you are so harsh on Kelly?
It is in his interest, as much as ours and yours to cooperate with you, and is one of the few people in a genuine position to help, with actual resource to do so (hell he only hangs-out in the UT forums to help, since giving-up modding and playing).
I know you 2 have a "past", but he is on his journey forward, away from UT.
Self-demoted, he is now just another war-weary Unreal Sargent, working back at the training camps helping to raise the standard of many a fledgling Unreal cadet.
There are not many of us old vanguard left, and I think turning your back on him is unnecessary.
Him being made M.I.A. here devalues this forum, as he is a knowledgeable contributor, tutor and decryptor of the arcane and powerful tools and knowledge deposited in these hallowed halls.
While he is still willing to pitch-in with the community, you (and everyone else) would be wise to make use of him, in whatever capacity he can.
He cannot have more power than you give him, and the material stored here is free anyway. The worst he can do is mirror it. He can't sell it, and has stopped modding for UT so won't even use it.
:love: I am an aging techno-hippy and wish to see peace amongst the land, so if you 2 can sort your differences I think the whole community would be grateful ;)
:bowdown: In the absence of official support both of you are senior officers, and we look up to you for guidance with your own fields of expertise.
A united front is advantageous for the coming years, which could be dark if we don't all pull together.
We are all "Team-Unreal" and what is in your best interest, is in our best interest, including Kelly, and I believe he knows it.
Maybe it's being a dad that makes me worry about you, him and us, this site, peace and the future :dunno:
Maybe I'm becoming a sentimental old fart, in my middle-age :dunno:
Maybe I should just take my nose out of where it isn't wanted :dunno:
but just maybe, just maybe, we can all learn to get-along, warts-and-all ?

Doc. XX

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