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This FAQ appears here courtesy of Michael who gave TUOL the permission to use it as 'their' FAQ. It was replaced by the current one in 2002, and it appears here for historical purposes only. The views reflected herein aren't necessarily the AN's current ones, and the tips and links given are likely to be outdated.

the official abandonware faq version 1.21 - 27/12/99

about the faq

this is for all of you out there who are visiting the roa and tuol who either don't know or want clarification on what exactly abandonware is. i wasn't around from the begginning and i have, as a result, had to refer to the abandonware ring's faq for some of the dates before i came onto the scene. also, if you see endless plugging of area 51 abandonware, forgive me; it's my site and i want it to get as many hits (*hint* *hint*) as possible.

any comments, additions or corrections, 'mail me. the first edition of this faq came out on the 29th of august, 1999.

comments on 27/12/99 @ 19:20

a medium sized update. i added more to the history section and basically fixed up some other stuff. have a good new year :)

- Michael


- abandonware - what the hell is it?
     - it's legal then?
     - you think it should be legal though?
     - what is oldwarez?
     - does anything ever stop being abandonware?
     - abandonware has a history, right?
     - girls and abandonware
     - where can i get more information about a specific old game?

- other illegal stuff to do on the 'net
     - warez
     - mp3s
     - emulation

- the rings
     - the official abandonware ring
     - the ring of ages
     - the ultimate oldgames linkpage
     - what's the point in all these rings?

- mailing lists, ratings pages, etc.
     - abandonews
     - the abandonware general ad exchange      - abandonware mailing list
     - the official abandonware ratings page
     - the top quality abandonware sites
     - newsgroups
     - irc

- right, i fancy doing an abandonware page, but i need help. any suggestions?
     - where should i host the page(s)?
     - now that my page's hosted, what about my games?
     - great! i'm ready to go! anything else i need?

abandonware - what the hell is it?

abandonware is what we use to describe certain types of software. this can be anything, from old spreadsheets, old graphics programs to old games, but (there's always a but) they must fall within a few guidelines:
     - they can't be less than 5 years old (some say 3, but i say 5)
     - they mustn't be being sold in shops anymore

this means that if you have a game, say space invaders, and it's no longer being sold, you could open up a site and stick it up and you've got an abandonware site.

it's legal then?

er..... no, it's not. many reckon it should be, and some of the thicker webmasters even claim it is, legal. but there's no two ways about it, downloading abandonware is illegal, as it putting it up on a site.

the reason for this is quite simple: copyright. it's illegal to distribute something that you don't hold the copyright to. the copyright expires 50 years after the author dies, or, if it was done by a company, 75 years after the initial copyright date. if you're caught copying a piece of software that you don't own, the old bill can come down on you. i think it's a fine, but i amn't sure (if you know for sure, both uk and us, 'mail me). the spa (software piracy association) was set up to combat the problem of people like me copying and distributing software we don't own.

you think it should be legal though?

yeah, i do. many other webmasters'd agree with me when i say this. it's like an old book, if no one is publishing it anymore (and therefore not making any profit from it) why the hell shouldn't i be allowed to copy and distribute it? if you charge for it, that's different, but if (like abandonware) you don't, i don't see the problem. actually, to be honest, i make a loss well, my dad does) from me doing abandonware. we have to pay for local calls here in the uk, so when i upload htings, it costs my dad cash.

what is oldwarez?

so, you're heard of the infamous oldwarez then. oldwarez is exactly what it's name implietheolder warez. it's really (to be cynical) an attempt by warez people to try and pass off warez in a similar manner ot abandonware, in the hope that the penalty will be more leneint. oldwarez is softeware which is more than a year old and not necessarily out-of-print.

does anything ever stop being abandonware?

yes, ocassionally it does. this happens when the publisher finally wakes up and thinks "wait a sec! such-and-such could be re-released and i could make money off it!" and when it re-appears in the shops *POOF* it's no longer abandonware.

abandonware has a history, right?

yeah, it does. and i'll give you it. please note, that most of the dates prior to about 3/4s of the way through '98 are taken from the ar faq. i've been informed that the ar's faq has incorrect information, and therefore my faq has incorrect information; anyone who knows what happened circa 97-late 98, please 'mail me! ok, here goes:

the whole thing is said to have started back in february '97 (about 8 months before i got my current computer and about 9 before i went online for the first time) when peter ringering and ben (from israel) started the oldie computer site and the classic gaming archive respectively. in march peter set up the abandonware ring central which was, basically, the fore-father of the current rings.

that july, the abandonware users mailing list (great name, i know ;) ) was started. at this point the ar was getting around 300 hits a day.

late '97
the spa and isda (i have no idea what that is) went mental and shut down loads of sites, inculding the ring. at this point Net Assassin (soon to be Swizzle Stick) took over and resurrected the ring, as peter was to scared of possible legal repercussions.

'98 - the defining year
the ring began to gain popularity, rocketing to almost a 1,000 hits a day. during a period when Net Assassin was away for a week, a new ring (the ring of ages, this one) was started up. a content war ensued, each trying to out do the other.

into this already chaotic situation, the spa attempted to close everything down again, but it didn't work. the roa and ar merged and this was the birth of what is the current ar.

the top 30 was set up, and due to fears of it destroying the scene, Net Assassin made an agreement with the owner of the top 30 and it went ahead with full support of the ar. (*enter me after this*)

home of the underdogs, a site dedicated to under appreciated classics was launced on the 1st of october. area 51 abandonware was set up in october and i spent a while doing it. i was a member of the ar and blissfully unaware of what had come before now, when, completely out of the blue on november the 15th, i recieved a mail from PsOmA and ^Nemesis^ offering me a place in the roa. here's the actual 'mail:

Dear Abandonware Ring Member.

Hi. Over the past few months, you may have noticed some changes to the 
abandonware ring. Namely, how fucked up it has become. You may also 
notice that they once used the name RoA. This stood for the Ring Of 
Ages, and was a far superior ring, put into extinction by a merger 
between the rings. 

The good news is, RoA is back to provide you with superior service, with 
a friendly smile :). One of the webmasters may be familiar to you. PsOmA 
 Owner of previous RoA and co-owner of the Abandonware Ring. 

We are e-mailing you to ask you if you would like to join (Or rejoin in 
some cases) this once, and soon to be yet again, glorious ring. You wont 
be forced into, or pestered as you were when you were a member of the 
old ring. Remember, just because you are a member of RoA, does not mean 
you cant still be a member of the old ring. What this means is more 
exposure for your site.

To visit the ring, go to

If you would like to join, then add one of the buttons on the webmasters 
page, with a link to our site, then email us back here at with your site name, address, number of games and 
apps, and we will add you, the VERY NEXT DAY!


	PsOmA, Nemisis and Ceiltsei  RoA Webmasters.

Get Your Private, Free Email at

i joined, blissfully unaware of the concequences of the roa's re-opening, only being interested in getting hits. this re-opening led to a second content war, with several amusing "Net Assassin" banners appearing. not wanting to stir up trouble, i didn't bother with them.

'99 - end of the millenium, end of the scene?
the roa fell apart during march, mainly with PsOmA's leaving. several other people took over and tried to run the ring; ^Nemesis^ was first, but due to a few people saying that it wouldn't be as good without PsOmA, he quit. then onto EvilRyu, who, from what i saw, was a bit of a nutter, so he was thankfully short-lived. all the while i pondered starting it up again, under my leadership, but, decided against it. during this time, Area 51 Abandonware built up quite a reputation, with compliments coming from Underdogs and superultra.

i began to feel restless, the scene (to me at least) was suffering badly under the sole ringship of the ar. i kept my head down and concentrated on my site. then, about april time, things began to go really wrong. all my accounts at xoom got deleted, taking almost my entire online games collection down with it, and, to add to it, i had my standard grade exams coming up soon, so i couldn't do much about it. it was around the 11th of may that i got my first 'mail from panos (his site is, who will come to play a big part later on. he wondered if i would link to him on my links page, and so i did.

on the 20th, i got another 'mail from panos, telling me he was getting a large amount of space for his site, and that if i wanted some, i could have it. all i needed to do was put the link higherup my page and ask Swizzle to ad him to the ar (he hadn't been responing to panos' 'mails). then, on the 21st of may, i officially closed Area 51 Abandonware (my final statement can still be seen here). i coasted around the scene for a while, mainly downloading things.

i was approached by ^Requiem^, an ally i had made during the Fuckyerself conflict on the roa's board. he was making a new site, the classic gaming guild (, and since my site had cloed, he wondered if i wanted to help him. i decided i did, so we went about setting it up. then, after i had done the final design for it, i resigned. i amn't exactly sure why, but i felt i needed to re-start area 51 abandonware.

i bummed around for a while, starting the layout for area 51 abandonware, and, after i heard about the tuol (the ultimate oldgames linkpage) i officially relaunched it. and then, to my surpirse, the roa re-appeared (i first heard about it on the 20th of august). i joined it promptly and after which i pondered getting taken off the tuol. i decided against this in the end, and i designed a total of 13 buttons for the roa in about a week.

the scene is more peaceful now than it was last time the roa re-launched, but there is a lot of tension mounting, especially on the ar's forum. i'm still waiting for the space from panos, but i'm willing to be patient :) free rides don't come along everyday ;)

i've witnessed a miracle. the roa is being hosted by surfsolutions, the guys who host the ar. it seems peace has finally descended upon the scene. the tuol and roa are cross-linked now, which is a first and there is talk of merging the roa and ar's boards. i don't like the idea myself.

the surf solutions hosting of the roa fell apart. Swizzle said a few things on the ar, PsOmA didn't like them, so he cut the connections. it looked like the scene was going to degenerate into fighting again, but it was avoided, thanks (ironically) to PsOmA and Swizzle's intervention.

more exciting stuff has happened too: some guy (i make the assumtion it was a guy anyway) hacked the ar's board and started impersonating Swizzle. this was resolved, only to find out that someone hacked the ar's redirector. this crisis did, however, bring the webmasters closer together, as they all rallied around to help the ar in it's hour of need, and told the hacker that they didn't agree with what s/he was doing and that this type of behaviour didn't help the roa or tuol at all.

also, some people have been attempting to hack home of the underdog's ftp. Underdogs is unsure as to why, but he closed the site in protest. it'll be reopening on 1st october (first anniversary of the site). the roa became the biggest abandonware ring on the 'net today (26/09/99)

firstly, there's been some really good news: the roa got it's own server, it's now up @ this led to the re-opening of the mighty roa forum (or should that be phorum? ;) )

negatively, though, there's been a huge number of instances of people linking to other people's files. this has caused outrage (rightly so) and Nemisis and Underdogs closed their sites for a while.

this link-stealing incident lead me to put up a thread in the roa's forum (and a fine forum it is too) called "Death" here it is to date (i've removed all ip stuff):

Death (modified 0 times) Michael

Am I the only one who feels it? Something is serisouly wrong with the scene I *know* it, it isn't the same. I don;t know how or why, but it isn't. Last time this happened, I bailed out, and I might be forced to do the same again. Any ideas what's wrong?


28-10-1999 04:19:29

RE:Death (modified 0 times) SwiftKick

I feel the same way. It's not the same. Could it be that is growing like a friggin' weed? Probably not. All this talk about link stealing and crappy sites is probably what's giving you that shallow feeling.

I think the scene is beginning to lose it's edge. Maybe the Abandonware Rating System will change that.

SwiftKick [The ARS is coming...]

28-10-1999 08:28:58

RE:Death (modified 0 times) PsOmA

Hmmmm, I think I know what you guys mean.

While the scene is as healthy as ever, with all the sites out there now, it no longer feels as closely knit. This is nothing against the other rings or anything, but I really liked it when it was just RoA and AR.

Naturally, with all these sites around, its great for keeping abandonware alive, but with all the controversy and the loss of #oldgames on IRC it's getting a bit crazy. Im sure its just a phase though, and we'll continue on bigger and better then ever. Just don't bail out on us Mike, the scene needs Area 51 =]

I think another issue is the gaming depot. Sure, its a great site and all, but it takes away the quaintness and mystique of the abandonware scene. Anyway, abandonware is great, I still love it, and Ill go on supporting it till the end.


RE:Death (modified 0 times) thettgguy

The problems with any internet scene, in my opinion, begin when spammers are able to take hold. In the case of abandonware, these sites are the ones with the stolen links, the porn banners, and the domination over the topsites.

But what's so wrong about topsites, anyway?

I'll tell you: lack of trust. There may have been, at one point, ONE good topsites. It failed to protect it's users from passing the magic words "topsites" and "top 50 warez" to all of their friends. These friends passed it on, although they knew nothing of the "original" and trustable site, and thousands started finding these mysterious sites and assuming they had value. These spammers are feeding off of public ignorance surrounding a certain set of words and killing the warez scene and many others. It is my intention to soon remove myself from ALL forms of voting topsites and start what I hope will be a boycott of topsites by all legit abandonware sites. I dare you to do the same.

The current ring system seems to be safe (there are no "fake" rings around that I know of, probably becuase it's so much work.), but something as innocent as a rating system could soon be exploited by spammers. I'm not saying that "the Abandonware Rating System" will become a tool for spammers, but when dozens of sites start appearing sporting titles like "The #1 abandonware rating system" and "The official abandonware Rating System" and, likely (as a result of combined title steals) "The Abandonware Rating System of Ages" or "The Ultimate Oldwarez Rating System". When sites like these appear with cgi-updated listings of crappy spamming-sites beside fake rating, giving preference to members who give the most hits, covered with a fake five star rating which says "quality" above the column where it really offers "traffic", I don't want to be the one to say "I told you so". Because, if for no other reason, than that it will hurt me as much as anyone else.

Protect yourself, protect us all.

28-10-1999 13:00:11

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Turnip

I agree in part, I was not lucky enough to stumble across abandonware as soon as I would have liked and from reading diffrent stories and information on the Good old days it seems like it was more of a group of people with the same intrest in the games of yester-year, it now looks like abandonware has become bigger, this is both good and bad, the bigger something becomes the more attention it draws to itself and it is only naturaul that something like abandonware which is lets face it just as illegal as warez will draw some of the bad qualitys that are plauging the warez scene, it is my hope that these sites will be weeded out with time, the rings are the major source of traffic for these sites and without the support of the rings they stand no chance, that is if we exclude the top 20/30/50/100 which in my opinion are just pointless anyway.

29-10-1999 03:32:36

RE:Death (modified 0 times) SwiftKick


Trust me, if anyone, ANYONE starts stealing and abusing my idea, I'll hunt them down like the assholes they are and expose them. You don't have to worry about the Abandonware Rating system falling into the warez crapper.

BTW, If you didn't see the discussions about the ARS a while back, wait for the site to be launched. All of your questions will be answered.

***October 31.*** ***October 31.*** ***October 31.***

SwiftKick [The ARS is coming Oct 31!]

29-10-1999 06:09:45

RE:Death (modified 0 times) thettgguy

Glad to hear it.

29-10-1999 11:30:34

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Michael

The Top 30 USED to be good, it's got buggered recently though. And the ARS is bordering on something dodgy (acronym wise). How about hte Abandonware Rating System Extra? ;) But I'm not sure what it'll take to pull the scene back up.


30-10-1999 03:46:42

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Underdogs

What it will take to put this scene back on its foot is the comeback of webmasters of yore who truly CARE about these oldies as opposed to just uploading a long list of games that have no content whatsoever.

Anyone remember Trixter? Superultra? Digital Nostalgia? Textadv? We need more knowledgeable oldies lovers (and game collectors extraordinaire)... abandonware sites may be growing in number, but they are certainly diminishing in quality.


31-10-1999 12:58:33

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Matt

I agree with Underdogs. I am only 17 yrs old, but I spent my entire childhood playing games such as CIV, Ultima I-IV, and the all-time classics like Commander Keen. I LOVE these old games, and the only reason I have my site up, is to share them with others. (And because I needed a topic for my Info Tech course :) ). I've been surfing around quite a bit lately, and the first thing I see on most pages is a sponsor. I know sites like the ROA need one, because of the massive amount of traffic and demand, but a small amatuer site does not. It appears people are just moving into AW to get clicks on their sponsors, and make themselves a bit of money. That pisses me off.

31-10-1999 14:37:01

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Michael

I've spoken to both superultra and Trixter - both of them are really, really cool guys. Underdogs is right, we *need* more like them (he is, himself, one of them). I do my site for no apparent reason - I just do it because, despite being 15, I don't like ot think that these games'll be lost. My biggest problem, however, is that I find it damn near impossible to get into anything where the graphics are bad.

And as for sponsors, I could quite easily re-gurgitate several arguements as to why I need them (e.g. having to pay for phone calls), but I don't - I avoid them. (with all due respect) many Americans DON'T need sponsors, they get free local calls ffs, and they host it on free space, so where is the need for sponsors?


31-10-1999 21:08:09

RE:Death (modified 0 times) blargy

Well, all i'm gonna say is it's Halloween and i'm ready for the ARS ;). Oh yeah, i'll never have the abandonware community on AR. I mean i want it to be a community not um... what it'd end up being if i put it on th AR... I quiver at the thought...

31-10-1999 23:51:31

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Elwood

Thanx - psoma - nice thoughts you have...

Just remember one thing - TUOL was up one month before you decided the AR was evil again - we've been straight on that one, I don't know what kind of fairness this is s'posed to be - the RoA has a longer history, but THIS time we are longer up than you - not to mention the first time when noone could be sure if you wouldn't go back to the AR.

Well - I never said anything against the RoA, complained much about the AR - though there is MUCH to improve at TUOL (I know that and I feel sorry for it), I don't think it's such a nice thing to say "I really liked it when it was just RoA and AR" - if you feel like that, why did you stop the RoA back then? TUOL would never have started if there would have been an alternative to the AR!

03-11-1999 10:45:00

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Michael

I'll tell you why we said that - because, in all honesty, the TUOL lacks the character that the RoA has. Admitted, it's a good ring, but (without trying to cause offense) it doesn't measure up to much. And PsOmA has this thing called a real life, it's a bastard, I know (mine's doing the same just now) but it's the way it is.

Long Live the Fighters of the RoA!


04-11-1999 04:07:40

RE:Death (modified 0 times) PsOmA

Sorry Elwood, you may have got the wrong idea about what I meant.

I simply meant the scene in general back then, not because it was just RoA and AR. THe TuoL is a top ring, with more info than RoA and more class the the AR. When I said, "nothing against the other rings" I meant its got nothing to do with the rings, its just that my last recollection of Abandonware being great was when it was only AR and RoA, and I can never remember what year (or planet) I was on at the time.

Im sorry if I offended you there, but none was intended.

Oh, and to Matt, I understand your point. As you know, RoA was adamently against banners until we were forced to put it on our own domain and server, and this costs money. Naturally, its peoples rights to have them up, but shit sites with sponsors are really a discredit to the people running them. I will be setting up my own abandonware page during the summer break! I will have reviews, info and screenshots of all games, and hope to have a site which is even half as good as Box of Trix and the Underdogs.

Thanks for your comments everyone, this has become a very interesting thread.


04-11-1999 12:17:13

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Plix

I see what you mean. I agree with PsOmA though. The RoA has been the "rebel" ring all along. What I mean is: The AR was the first ring, the "establishment" if you will, it had the toughest rules and Swizzle could be a real ass at times. Then the RoA came and changed all that. Since then many other rings popped up that were plain shit. I'm not saying TuoL is, hell I'm a member, but it is amassed among other crap-rings. Along the lines of sponsers and banners: RoA and The AR have *1* and only *1* sponser. The don't flood you and they put up only on per page (RoA has 1, period). Those are for honest to goodness servers and domain names, not some kid who thinks he can make a few bucks.

P.S.--> It's the new focus of all us RoA forum junkies: Does anyone know how to get in contact with Trixter?

05-11-1999 12:09:07

RE:Death (modified 0 times) Underdogs

Trixter can be reached from his 2 current projects, and -- you will find his contact information there. Be warned, however,that he is (understandably) a VERY busy man, so unless you have very good questions to ask, don't expect him to respond (and even then, expect a 2-3 week lag )


05-11-1999 23:08:54

so as you can see, abandonware is begginning to slip into a sorry state. and another problem is being confronted - topsites. the top 30 (as i said above) lost it along time back. and now, The TTG Guy has set up a campaign against them. it's up here and it's called top zero (the roa hosts it). as my little bit of support for this campaign (area 51 didn't join the top anything the second time round anyway) i've removed all references to the top site listings from the faq.

for those interested in me and my site, i've done several things recently. one, i added my story to the page (available @; secondly, i've removed myself from the tuol, i amn't sure exactly why, but it felt like the right thing to do. this, i think, makes area 51 the first abandonware site to publish it's own fiction :)

it's been an eventful last month and a bit. first off, the issue of porn-banners on abandonware sites was addressed. the tuol was the first to ban sites with porn banners, soon followed by the roa. the ar meanwhile, took a the stnace of "hey, it's freedom of speech!" but Swizzle quickly (and efficiently) shot himself in the foot; he deleted the critical posts about the issue andh is handling of it made by Underdogs and superultra. the ar made a compromise, and all sites with porn content are now labeled with an "m". oh, yay, what a hero of freedom of speech. oh no, i think i've burst an artery cheering so much. then i was forced to take a few days off the scene (personal reasons, my life was a mess and i didn't have the drive to be involved anymore. upon my return a few days later, i found that the roa itself down again. here's Tom (PsOmA - but i've called him Tom for a good few months now)'s final words as roa webmaster:

Its over, again. I have lost the love and compassion required to run the Ring of Ages again, and rather than seeing it defaced like it was a year ago, I have decided not to hand it over to anyone. Im sorry to everyone who supported the roa over the past 3 months, and even the past 2 years, but the hipocracy and uncertainty of the Abandonware scene is just too much for me.

The Phorum will still remain up, as I know it is a popular meeting place, as will the Pheatsols Network. I will continue to host sites without the support of sponsorship or any other financial source. The money Ive saved over the last month should cover a less accessed domain for a few month no probs so dont worry all hosted sites, you wont die off. This page will now become the official Pheature Solutions homepage and will sell new and abandoned computer hardware and software.

I know a lot of people will be upset and angry but please, the decision to shut down has been a heart wrenching one for me. For a while now, roa has been my life, but it is time to move on. Im now working full time, and felt that I would be doing an injustice to visitors if I updated roa once a month like the ar (parting blow =]).

Ive left below a few sites which have proven to be sites of quality over my travels in the abandonware realm. These sites, or their webmasters truly encompass the true spirit of abandonware.

Again, I hope everyone can understand my position, and I hope to see you around the scene sometime in the future. In the meantime, you can visit the awesome "The Ultimate Oldwarez Linkpage" for all your abandonware needs.

Oh, and to all those who have wondered who I really am, my name is Tom Walker, and Im an 18 year old student from Pascoe Vale, Victoria, Australia. Final message is to rbtr8r : You were right mate, I couldnt keep it up.

Cya ppl.

this came as a heavy blow to the scene, which was already questioning it's own validity and it's state. my editorial sendout on the subject is available here (taken from area 51 abandonware's mailing list). in the aftermath of this, i was sacked form the team of the keep. this was due to some inflammatory remarks made over the roa and tuol.

all was not lost, however, and Tom returned to the scene again several days later, with a new project: the ring of ages: gold class. this was a logical evolution of the ring of ages in a scene questioning it's own quality; all member sites have to meet strict standards before they are allowed to join, and must be completely abandonware orientated.

the abandonware rating system went up, and then had the fortune to gain me as a reviewer. problems of understaffing have led to a *huge* backlog of work though.

on the tuol front, the ring experienced severe problems from deletion from free hosts, as it's traffic increased due to the closure of the ring of ages. they became lucky and bagged some server space on tox games' server. the tuol also managed to bag the multi-talented, charming, handsome, witty webmaster of area 51 abandonware to update their boardwalk, as Elwood was short on time to do it.

girls and abandonware

my previous theory (that of superior maturity) has had to be chucked out, as there are at least two active female abandonwareists: Stacy (at the keep) and Barbara aka mom_s, former assistant at the roa. another possible reason for the rarity of them is the fact that (and this is *not* me being sexist or any such nonsense, so no hate mail from feminists, etc. speaking of feminists, they're worse than chauvanists, and truly hypocritical, but that's a digression) boys play computer games and girls do, er, something else (a prize to anyone who can tell me what).

where can i get more information about a specific old game?

the best site for this is mobygames a huge index of games, their requirements, etc. maintained by Jim Leonard (a.k.a. Trixter - one of the founders of the scene). very ambitious and definitely pulled off well. worth a visit. in fact, no, i'll rephrase that, you *will* visit it!

other illegal stuff to do on the 'net

as you are no doubt aware, the internet is what is hailed as the "new wild west", therefore, law enforcers (e.g. the pigs) aren't sure how to handle it as well as they should. this makes the 'net wide open to doing lots and lots of naughty things, such as abandonware.


apart from being an annoyingly crap word, it's the term used to describe very recent software. this usually takes the form of games, but also it takes the form of apps. the sites usually have huge numbers of porn banners splashed everywhere. i actually got one of my current apps (xara 3d) from a warez site, so i can't slag them too badly, but i can be critical. basically, warez is the abandonware of current software, and, as a result, it's alot more illegal.


mp3s are mpeg layer 3 files. these are bloody excellent quality (cd quality or very near it) music files. very popular on the internet, due to their high compression level (approx. 1meg for a minute's sound). this makes the average song about 2.5 megs. i actually like mp3s (i ripped quite a few of my m8s albums and dumped them onto a cd, thus saving me huge amounts of money). try audiofind to find files by bands you like. if you're needing a player, try winamp, as it's universally considered the best one in the whole wide world. also, if you fancy ripping some (like me) try cdex, as i find it more than adequate.


emulation is the running of software for other formats on your pc. the most common formats emulated are usually nes, snes (my personal favourite), genesis/megadrive, master system and gameboy. this scene was pretty untroubled for ages, until the controversial release of ultrahle (the n64 emulator) when everyone's eyes were firmly on the scene again (especially nintendo's) and ultrahle suddenly (and, of course, unexplainably) went offline.

the rings
the official abandonware ring -

the longest established ring (it's the descendant of the original ring, and it hasn't been down - for more than a day or two - as long as i've known about it. it has many sites, and is, of all the rings, the strictest; it has more rules than the other two put together, and some think that this makes it a ring of higher quality (though i think that they're talking shite). personally, i think it makes it too restrictive, but it's personal choice i suppose. to join, you have to have one of their banners on your page, something that is a pretty standard practise. the webmaster (Swizzle) has the tenndency to be quite hypocritical (recently, he started banging on about freedom of speech regarding porn banners, whilst he gleefully deleted the Swizzle-critical posts by Underdogs and superultra.

the ultimate oldgames linkpage -

the current holder of the crown of "main rebel ring", it was set up for the first time only recently. i quite like this one, and it was it's arrival that prompted the relaunch of area 51 abandonware. i've done a few banners for this, too. it's distinctly similar to the roa, but i think it's a good thing. the tuol recently merged with abandoweb.

what's the point in all these rings?

if you look at it logically, there isn't; a more efficient way would be to pool resources, but that has the qualities of a compromise then: never satisfying anyone. and anyway, it's good to have competition, brings up the standard. if you're the sole ring (as the ar was for a while) you don't have the need to change or improve. the ar coasted for about 7 months doing nothing without tremendous pressure applied by visitors (such as myself).

mailing lists, ratings pages, etc.

abandonews -

a new project by me and Elwood, abandonews intends to keep the users of the scene informed on events in the scene, and give htem impartial, intelligent opinions on matters of concern. to subscribe, goto the main page.

abandonware general ad exchange -

a banner exchange set up by Tom and Plix to help publicise sites. could be very beneficial, as it would increase traffic no end if a small site were to be advertised on a big one, such as home of the underdogs.

abandonware mailing list -

to sign up 'mail Yotz (it's owner) @ after recent worries of it's demise, i got a 'mail this morning informing me tha the mail-outs would be every sunday from now on.

the abandonware rating system -

it rates abandonware sites, and doesn't do it by number of games alone (as area 51 abandonware'd take a whipping, as would many other small sites) but by design, friendliess of webmaster, etc. SwiftKick (it's owner) floated the idea on the roa's board and everyone liked it, except PsOmA, but he was soon won round too. now in the lucky position of having me as a reviewer.


there are two i've heard of, these are: and personally, i've never even bothered to look these up, so i can't tell you what they're like.


the main abandonware irc channel is #abandonware of EFNet. most of the admins should be there at varying points in the day, dependant on timezone and whether they pay for calls or not.

right, i fancy doing an abandonware page, but i need help. any suggestions?

yeah, don't host it on your isp's webspace. i made the same mistake at the begginning, and (luckily for me) zetnet, who are, to totally digress, the fucking men, didn't do anything about it. but i removed it from their space forthwith.

where should i host the page(s)?

there are several places to host pages. if you're lucky enough to have your very own server, host it there. if you're lucky enough to get hosting offered to you by someone, take it. if you're not as lucky as that, don't despair. not just now at least. you could try one of several free hosts. i personally reccomend:

- tripod
despite putting up some fucking annoying pop-up windows, tripod is a rather good hosting service. it's fast, reliable and, most of all, free. so if you can live with the constant popup windows, this is the host for you. the current quota is 6 megs i think.

- freeweb
a good host, which offers craploads of good services free, such as counters, chatrooms, etc. is really quite fast, but has adopted tripod tactics recently, inserting a pop-up into the code on every-bloody-one of your pages.

- citeweb
the whole thing is written in french, but it's a good, solid service they offer. 20 megs are yours free of cost and advertisements. if you have trouble understanding the signup forms and emails (as i did) try using babelfish to translate it.

now that my page's hosted, what about my games?

great! you're a good bit of the way there. next you need to get your games up. if you're lucky enough to have your own server (swine) host them there, if not, host them on space offered to you by a friend or, failing these, kill yourself ;) nah, only kidding. get space from a freebie host. most freebie hosts'll kill your account when they realise what is on it, it's only a matter of time, but there are ways of slowing the procedure. the most common trick is to rename your files from .zip to something like .bmp (i used to rename mine .a51 - because of area 51 abandonware's name)

- crosswinds
another good host, with unlimited space. the problem with these guys is there bastardous ftp server, i've never been able to get on. but the servers went through a major overhaul recently and are now faster than before.

- geocities
geocities, commonly known as geoshitties. 11 megs free, but they also check accounts and kill them fast. but they're ok apart from that. but if you're downloading anything from them, use getright, their server always stalls.

- freeuk
eh? i hear you cry. they're a free isp, not a games host! well, you are right, but you can use 'em as a games host. simply signup online (filling in the usual shite for details) and then signup and upload to there webspace. 25 megs for free. great. one problem though, you *need* to be online through their dial-up number, else you can't access the ftp. this makes this type of hosting useless to anyone outside the uk.

great! i'm ready to go! anything else i need?

nothing critical, although there is some good stuff you won't want to miss out on. these are: redirectors, boardrooms, guestbooks, etc.

- beseen
the providers of my favourite guestbooks and boardrooms. they're free, quite customisable, and the only thing they ask in return is that your board/book carry a banner ad at the top and bottom.

- extreme dm
this lot provides statistics of the hits on your site. includes: total hits, uniqute hits, geographical hits, etc. the list is long and the service is good. worth a look. you have to carry there graphic somewhere on your site though.

- listbot
this is where you can get a free mailing list from. great to use if you want to build a list to mail to when your site is updated. sadly, though, it's run by microsoft now.

- cjb
my personal favourites for redirection. they can reduce your url from to also, they don't put any banners up or anything.

this faq is (c) Michael 1999