Holy crepe! Has it been that long? Where do I even begin?
The early days
It's nearly 10 years since this endeavour started back in late 2004 - then as a personal webpage thing. Back then it was very simplistic, and any backend we had was either non-existent or poorly coded. Probably both. We've moved servers from housing them privately, to student villages and even through other businesses. I'm taking a trip down memory lane here, looking back at the years. This brings me back to...
The very, very, very first beginnings of The DOS Spirit
Come to think of it, the very first server was my own Green Chieftec cabinet housing some sort of AMD Duron leftover CPU and Windows Server OS of sorts. It was horrible, had IIS and got hacked from every orifice imaginable. Quite a learning process at that. Traffic was limited at best, but throwing us out there on Abandonware rings and Kosta Kraut's (of Abandonia fame) Abandonspot led to an increase in traffic.
Looking at the changelogs
Thanks to the now defunct DaFastLane, there exists some detailed history from days gone by. Taken from our history of The DOS Spirit article, here's a run down of major events in The DOS Spirit's history:
Early August 2012
The DOS Spirit was completely overhauled and redesigned from the ground up. Databases remodelled and a framework, CakePHP, was introduced. A new, fairly lighter, design was applied. User actions are now greater than before.
Update 2nd April 2007
The DOS Spirit now features 72 reviews, most in Norwegian with the humble offering of english for selected ones as well. A new crew member has also entered trial status.
Update 14th October 2006
In terms of the upcoming winter, a winter theme has been applied. Hurray, snow!
Update 24th Sept 2006
Server upgraded and back again after a major hardware failure. Our server now sports improved data security and fallbacks to prevent this in the future.
Update 11th Sept 2006
Some minor spelling errors in the description fixed. TDS is also slowly starting with gameplay footage of the titles we review.
Update 31th July 2006
The DOS Spirit's new and shiny forum is back online, after our phpBB board got spammed and hacked to death. It can be found, as always, on http://forum.dosspirit.net (will open in new window)
Update 18th July 2006
The DOS Spirit Version 5 is out.
Update 29th May 2006
The site is now refering DNS lookups correctly, and things are working optimal again. This for information purposes only.
Update 27th May 2006
The DOS Spirit is now back online again, after weeks of painless upgrade problems with our ADSL2+ connection. Hopefully it'll all be running more smoothly once we start arguing with the ISP tech-guys.
A bit of luck
The site was actually about to be shut down early 2009 as a result of our provider whom provided hosting for free, was shutting down. Thankfully, The DOS Spirit was noticed as valuable source for old games in Norwegian by Multigamer A/S who offered to host all our data for free. If it hadn't been for them, The DOS Spirit may very well not exist in the form you're seeing now. So, a personal thanks to those at Lyse Tele who vouched for us - thanks!
We would also never have existed if it hadn't been for all of the various reviewers that have helped through the years. Some have come and gone, others joined in briefly until real life caught up with them. Whatever the cause, we're grateful for all the help and rest assured your work to the project is safely kept here!
Re-imaginging the past
Going forward I set a list of checkpoints for what would make the site a more useful, functional and above all else; more maintainable old game site. Starting in 2012, I re-modelled the database and data relations as the previous ones were, as said before, non-existent. This time I wanted to use a framework for the code as seeing how writing everything yourself is not neccessarily the best way to go about things - you're bound to miss some issues that may cost you dearly down the road. Since we had used PHP before, and the hosting servers were running the same, it only made sense to continue using it. The choice landed on CakePHP.
After roughly 6 months of coding and hundreds of commits later, The DOS Spirit as I and you know it now, was up bright and early in August 2012. Since then it's been a case of adjustments, framework upgrades and sorting out quirks that get reported or found out in some way.
What does the future hold?
As the sun sets on 10 years of old gaming crazyness, it's unavoidable to start realizing that this project's been taking alot of time. Even more so than I even imagined when starting out. As this year pans out it also marks the 10th time we're running our annual Christmas Calendar - one game (and review) from 1st to 25th of December. A thing I started back in 2004. It's a fitting conclusion to a long run, and this year's line-up will be a firework show to remember. On the same note, we'll also be slowing down adding new games. We're not stopping though, relax. Too many games left to cover!
Even though The DOS Spirit's been a massive time investment, when doing something you love, I feel it's time well spent. We've never been about quantity and initially we focused only on games that had a meaning for us as kids. As more and more games have been covered, we're moving into other consoles we did not use as much. Heck, the very name "The DOS Spirit", originally implied only DOS games. Though, I believe "The DOS Spirit" is more than just one platform, it's the spirit of an era - history that must never be forgotten.
Thanks for sticking with us for 10 years. And here's hoping for another 10!