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From: Draxamus
Subj: I Was Just Thinking.....
Date: June, 2005

 I got into the whole bittorrent thing a little later than everyone
 else.  I kept asking people how it worked, but no one's answer seemed
 to satisfy me.  So one day I decided to read up on it myself, and once
 I understood it, I loved the concept--the whole idea of sharing files
 not through just one central system, but through any number of
 trackers.  The very nature of bittorrent prevents it from being shut
 down.  Corporate entities and government agencies can go after and
 shut down some trackers, but they can't shut them all down; and if
 they do, more will pop up to take their place.

 I'm convinced that one of the best implementation of bittorrent is the
 forum/tracker model.  In this model, a forum is set up as the main
 means for one to get the word out about a newly torrented file, via a
 new thread.  And if say someone wants to hop on an older torrent, but
 finds that there aren't any seeds, he could bump the thread and ask
 for some people to seed.  This implementation works best when the
 community isn't too large, and when the files shared are of a specific

 I myself belong to such a forum.  I cannot go into much detail about
 the exact nature of this forum, because it is private--it is secret.
 There are special conditions that one must meet to join, and special
 procedures that one must follow to register.  Members cannot bring in
 outsiders, and are not even supposed to speak to people about the
 forum.  These measures are to ensure that the forum is not infiltrated
 and shut down.  It is also to ensure that there remains a strong,
 dedicated community.  But still, there are bastards even in the most
 elite of communities.  What stops one of these bastards from blowing
 the forum's cover?  They don't want to lose their files.  If the
 tracker goes down, then they no longer have a place to download all of
 their desired files.

 I didn't have a computer in the 80s, and wasn't around in the time of
 the BBS.  Although I do enjoy reading about the history of that era,
 it was not my era.  I don't know personally what "BBSing" was like,
 but I can imagine that it was somewhat similar to the world of
 bittorrent.  With bittorrent there is an encouragement to contribute,
 to create your own torrents, or to seed those files that you download.
 What makes bittorrent nice is that even those who only want to
 download their files and run are still forced to upload.  Still, there
 are leeches.  There are those who download every file they can, and
 hop off after each download is completed.  Then there are people who
 do give back, who makes their own torrents and seed files for the rest
 of us.  I've created and seeded my share of torrents for the people of
 the private forum I mentioned earlier.  I feel a great sense of
 accomplishment in doing this.  I've spent hours looking for the
 perfect file to torrent, and many more seeding it for people.  I love
 to watch my computer slowly upload the files to those first peers.
 I'll leave my connection up for days, watching as my file gets dozens
 of seeds, and then eventually loses steam.  I don't know if the
 feeling was the same back in the 80s, but for some reason it makes me
 think that maybe people got a similar feeling from maintaining a BBS,
 or from uploading and downloading files from one, or doing anything
 else involved with one.

 But, the time of the BBS was not my time.  My time was and is the time
 of HTTP and the web, instant messaging, filesharing, bittorrent, and
 the like.  There is a lot of history to be told spanning from the
 1990s to the present.  There are sites that gather much of the raw
 information up, such as archive.org, and google, but it is a lot of
 information to sift through.  Are there any sites that give a sense of
 what these times were like?  Sites that have accounts from people who
 lived and are living through them, and chronicle the various important
 trends, and events surrounding this age?  Will there be?  Err anyway,
 I just had the urge to ramble on about this.

 Oh yeah, if I ever get 50 bucks I'll look into getting your BBS
 documentary.  Either that, or I'll find a torrent of it!


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