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I'm Making a Win9x Website - need feedback...


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I'm planning to make a simple website that hosts Win9x and DOS downloads only.

I made an old thread called the "updated mini list of sotware" and everything there is full of broken links... and honestly, there's no point in depending on some other website to host Win9x specific files. So I can't really "update" that thread in any meaningful way, although I'd like to! So instead, I'm hoping to use my old Geocities webpage and put a ton of Win9x programs on it. I have lots!! That way, I don't have to search google again for non-existing links. I'm Done with that. So I'm going to ask permission here to some people, if I can put a copy of their program(s) on my webpage.

Furthermore, I have 520 MB worth of archived freeware (original install files) on my hard disk and on CD backup, and I'd like to post it online... along with my short description.

So with that said, I have a few questions:

(1) Do the creators of Retrozilla, Retrozilla Community Edition, Firefox Community Edition, Netscape 9 NSS Update, and the other browsers care if I host their programs on my website? I will also make a link to your official page, and back to MSFN forum.

(2) If so, do they mind if I rename the file so it's DOS format, aka 8 characters? The program I'm using to build the website only supports DOS filename format, sorry! My bad, I know, but I can't help it at this point. Therefore, I need to shorten something like "RetroZillasuite_tls12_20200021.7z" to say, "retro9x.zip"

That's another thing, I'd like to convert the packages (without modifying inside anything of course) to zip format as well.

And, of course, I'd appreciate any feedback on further programs to add to the list. What I have posted so far, is just a start. I'm open to adding whatever anybody suggests. As long as it's within limits (freeware ONLY, nothing too big).... which brings me to my last issue.... geocites and their bandwidth limitations!?!?

I can't upload any programs at the moment, but when I'm ready to it should be easy. I can't do it on dial-up obviously, so it'll have to wait for a little while when I can borrow a fast computer.

Anyway, I have a FREE membership at Geocities, and I don't plan on upgrading anytime. So I'm wondering if somebody can check the Geocities Free Account limits, and tell me if they think it's feasible for hosting half a gig of downloads! Anyways..... if it actually works, I think it'll be pretty cool. Then I can add to my website and never have to deal with stupid broken links again.

Here's my website (under construction)


Here's the Geocities description page saying what the limits are....

Lastly, any and all feedback is welcome.

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This looks legit right out of the 90s, though without the GIF spam lol! :D

I think you should make an author column for your software links though, just to be kind, as well as maybe "external links" in some sort of dropdown list that takes you directly just like you used to see back then :p

Edited by MintChocAero
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On 10/4/2020 at 10:31 AM, ZortMcGort11 said:

The program I'm using to build the website only supports DOS filename format, sorry!

Interesting! What program is this? A DOS program, that lets you manage a complete HTML site?

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Oh I was using AOL Press 2.0.... which ain't bad, except it's a Windows 3.1 program. It has a very intuitive interface, but it doesn't support long file names. I gave up and started using FrontPage Express 2.0 instead, which IS a windows 9x program.

Much better now :-)
It saved me a lot of time not having to rename stuff !!!

@Mintchocaero, I intend to splash some annoying GIFs all over it... I just haven't gotten around to it yet :-)

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1 hour ago, ZortMcGort11 said:

@Mintchocaero, I intend to splash some annoying GIFs all over it... I just haven't gotten around to it yet :-)

In case, you can get inspiration from the original, you need blinky GIFs AND moving text:



Edited by jaclaz
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Thanks, Jaclaz! That website was a true inspiration :-) It takes me down memory lane.

It has all the requirements of a 90's website:

-Flashy star animated gifs (usually used as a background, thus making the website crash, un-scrollable, and generally hang the computer

-"New" animated gifs.... I'm definitely going to incorporate those "new" flashing gifs on my webpage! Heck yeah! Anytime I post a new update, it's gonna have one of those NEW! gifs next to it :-)

- the mailbox gif for email (everybody had that back then)

- "Best viewed in Internet explorer" as if there was any other browser back then?!?!? I don't think I ever came across a page that really made a difference what browser you used... a terrible page was a terrible page, didn't matter what browser you used.

- the site counter, telling you how many visitors have dropped by.... like it was some sort of contest.... hey, look at me, 5 people viewed my website!!

-Under Construction.... every 90s website was always under construction, I guess people just lay to say that. And have some neat looking gif or banner or something:-)

-the horrible frames that are disproportionate.... check! Vintage 90s right there.

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  • 2 months later...

Ironically I prefer this to most news websites and that should say a lot lol. (Also why does a site trying to emulate 90s Geocities stereotypes use a valid HTTPS certificate?)

What about the dropdown links that used to then pop up in a new window, which most browsers will block. There's one on the bottom of xeogaming.org, a mostly dormant forum from 2005 running a modified AcmlmBoard 1.92.

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Just a 404 Page not found here, query down for editing. Last time i checked some links were active but not functional. Not sure why the author decided to create links this way, guessing a work in progress with too little precious free time.

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The site is hosted with Geocities.ws, I went and looked at there Terms of Service and if YOU are not the owner of any files they will delete your site. Looks like this happened here.

"We do not allow any type of programs, software, or MP3 files on our server unless you are the full owner and have all rights to the file. Copyrighted files not belonging to users posting those files may be deleted without notice!"

This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I know of a hosting service that offers very cheap dedicated servers ($25 a month) and I'll message them and see if they are ok with this type of thing being hosted. A benefit of this is ftp accounts could be made for users to upload (donate) old software as long as it is freeware and doesn't run the risk of getting the service deleted.

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Thanks for the information @jim2029, just providing a frugal alternative, all the best. To me $25/month isn't cheap, especially since it's a perpetual payment. FTP would be very accessible to old Win9x users. To be ultra-frugal just start a member project thread here instead and post links to your software. Then just maintain the post and links. If the software is no longer available update the link to Wayback Machine's. If still not available, upload software for free using something like http://tinyupload[dot]com. HTTP so easily accessible, free, hosted 'forever', 50 MB per file. Of course if this forum or TinyUpload disappears.. but so could any web service. Donating $25/month to MSFN may be more useful than just hosting a single site. Also when searching around there is actually an incredible amount of software still available, even old DOS stuff.

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