Everything is temporary, even the uni(/multi)verse. 😉
This article is about how files are temporary even though the people who uploaded the files probably thought they’re not.
Example 1: Flash. It’s being used everywhere, so I don’t think anybody thought it would get replaced by anything. Bunnyhero Labs is a good example (especially since the person in charge of the site has moved on to other projects that he has made a different site for). I’ve seen many old sites with Java apps too, like Microprizes (in the links section). Firefox, Chrome, Safari and other browsers are phasing Flash out (like, today (Jan 1, 2017, for those from the future 😉 ), Firefox made Flash ask to activate by default). Newgrounds uses Flash. Many game sites (like jayisgames and didigames) use Flash. (And as of March 12, 2017, Firefox phased Java out fully. 😦 Thank God for older versions! 😉 ).
Example 2: Screenmates. I download some when I was younger. One of them was a wind-up bird screenmate and another was a rockhopper penguin’s head in a window that would follow your cursor across the screen. Now, I don’t have them anymore and they’re not on the internet (no matter how hard I try to find them, all the links are broken (or behind viruses/adware)). This is usually because either the servers go down (sometimes they’re even from Geocities! 😉 ) or the owner of the site abandons it and possibly deletes most of the files. Sometimes the person forgets about the site and thus doesn’t pay for hosting the site (or doesn’t have money to do so), thus it goes down.
Example 3: Revamps. Sometimes, people revamp(ire 😛 ) their site. Most of the time, this is a horrible mistake because they usually remove access to the old files in one way or another (even if the files are still on the server). They could also move servers/webhosts. A site called rubaduck.com (about rubber ducks) went down, claiming to be ‘redecorating’. The next time I went there, the domain was for sale. 😉 Another site, coolnerds.com, (contained XP tricks and tutorials along with other stuff) went down and the webmaster made a different site, called alansimpson.me. It didn’t have any of the previous one’s content. (Unlike the next one after the next one. 😉 ). Download.com used to be a good site, believe it or not. Then it was taken over by C|Net… 😉 But, a good way to revamp can be found here (Action Cat, a site used to make e-cards). Yes, the site owner revamped it, but the older version of the site can still be found on the site itself; just a link away! Hooray! 😀 (The link is ‘Legacy Index’, at the top right corner.)
Example 4: Videos. Videos can also be taken down, as people who upload copyrighted Youtube Poops can attest. 😉 For the following shows, I could find full episodes a long time ago but not now:
- Tiny Toon Adventures (I can only find episodes 1-8)
- Martha Speaks (eg. The Martha Show; as of March 12, 2017, an account is uploading episodes of it each week, but only up to Season 1 😦 )
- Baby Looney Tunes
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
The following shows I can find, but either incomplete or in bad quality:
(and yes I understand why there are frames over videos, to prevent copyright strike [flystrike], but)
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- The Magic Adventures of Mumfie (on dailymotion and toonova but the titles are wrong, like it says Episode 11 when it’s really Episode 13)
- Magic School Bus (in most videos, the Producer Says segment is gone)
- The Land Before Time films (although I watch them at watchcartoononline or similar so 😉 also the TV series is fully on YouTube, phew!)
Example 5: Websites. Uh oh, oh no… 😦
The worst examples are… I discovered that the Cartoon Studio is gone… (From PBS’s site)… A long time ago Shedd Aquarium’s fun, amazing games (Build-a-Fish, Amazing Reef Movie Maker, Squish the Fish, Mysteries of Apo Island, etc.) went away… and Bug Creator from the green [not blue] CGI Katie Caterpillar’s movie’s official site went away (actually the whole site went away)… only one of Shedd’s games and the Bug Creator could be found on Internet Archive; the Build-a-Fish link is a PBS link which must be archived ASAP! The Busytown Mysteries game (featuring activities like collecting shells, butterflies and leaves and talking to friends) went away recently… Lizardworks (a site with cool screensavers that I loved and had on my computer, my favorite was the lizard popping everywhere 🙂 ) went away…
Example 6: Games.
See my Piracy article for that.
Solution to the problems:
For files: Simply host the files in multiple places (don’t put your eggs in one basket). That would solve everything mentioned above. Also, be very careful with revamping. If you have enough server space, keep the original site up while you work on the revamp (and preferably also after the revamp is finished).
Places to host files: (from most important to least but still pretty important)
Your own site: Most important because you’ll have the responsibility to take care of your own files, e.g. if everybody links to one place that is not their own, when that site goes down, all their links are dead. Don’t rely too much on one site to host the files (even your own!). If you’re short on bandwidth (or cannot host them on your own site because you use free WordPress, like me)…
Many other sites: Your affiliates, your places you link to, even other sites of your own can host the files if needed.
File hosting services: Many file hosting services are free or cheap. I recommend Mega, Dropbox, and Google Drive (for documents) right now (they have a LOT of free space). I use Mega.
Internet Archive: If you’re hosting old games for example, you’re probably better off uploading the files to the Internet Archive; but that doesn’t mean you can’t host the files on both sites and others! 🙂
Don’t forget to back ’em up using your backup system so you can re-upload the files if needed! (You should be backing up anyway, so this might be redundant 😉 ).
For videos: Use any non-animated, non-distracting frame (ideally of a small width) if necessary. You can also use obscure video names along with regular ones, even though people might not find them unless they know what to search for (eg. for Magic Adventures of Mumfie, MMOMS1E1; a real example is the new episodes of the Mr. Bean animated series on Dailymotion, although now they’re on Youtube 😀 ). Oh and don’t use misleading titles! (That move is no good even if it’s to prevent copyright strikes! It simply makes the best episodes harder to find! 😉 Mumfie is an example again. Do I see a trend? 😉 )
For pages: You shouldn’t delete any page on your site (unless it’s a mistake, then put it back up soon). EVER. (If it’s found in Internet Archive, or another archiving site, then link to the archive of the page instead.) Maybe if there’s an actual reason, when you remove the page, put a different page stating why, and give a replacement for it (even if it’s on another site! 😉 ). Also, customize your 404 page, with a link to the main page, a search box and your e-mail address.
Well, see ya! 🙂 😀
P.S. (Postscript) About screenmates, Laura’s Celebrations (visit it through the links page on my site) has a bunch of them, which I downloaded. But, I also downloaded a bunch of other screenmates from other places, and will put them into a zip file on my MEGA account. Watch the main page (and probably this space?)… 😉
Dec 10, 2017: Changed the P.S. from talking about the ’90s to screenmates.
June 5, 2018: Edited this page, and forgot to make a zip file. 😛
Oct 8, 2018: Edited this page, and forgot again to make a zip file! OoO Removed Dragon Tales since I think I can find all the episodes, but it might be re-added… Fixed some typos that I can’t believe slipped through (like nessecary to necessary)…
Nov 6, 2018: Edited this page a lot, and forgot to create the zip file! O_O Again!