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The end of Geocities


Aran
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Originally Posted By: Yahoo
Important Announcement

After careful consideration, Yahoo! has decided to close GeoCities later this year.

You can continue enjoying your GeoCities service until then — we just wanted you to let you know about the closure as soon as possible. We'll share more details this summer. For now, please visit the help center for more information.


(via Slashdot)

I believe there are many, many little dusty Blades fan sites that still remain on Geocities, and most of them have been abandoned. Isn't part of Saunders' Canal story still on Khoth's site? Then there's Motrax' - not SMoE's - graphics archive including some old midi tunes. The list goes on.

In the interest of preserving hard-to-find BoE scenarios and ancient graphics archives before they vanish altogether, I would suggest a Pied Piper-like effort to list these sites and back them up with wget. If possible, a central archive would be nice - I think scenarios and graphics are Blades derivatives that cannot be copyrighted, but I don't know about the design and page content.

Also, if you own an old Geocities site yourself, this is probably the point where you want to log back in and download its contents to your drive - and if you still use one, perhaps look at another free host (I'd suggest Freewebs, but I don't know if they still host uploaded HTML files like they did in 2004).

----------------------
Geocities sites that need archiving

I'll update the list in this post. Alphabetically by username for sites that can be archived using only the www.geocities.com/$user URL.

- bihrno
- blyceum
- em770
- frahhamn
- gaiuscatullus
- jonahzahndi
- skyle_jc
- solberg85
- talonsa
- terrorsmartyr
- tracihedlund
- zeviz1

Others, and additional pages not linked to from the root page (this will get a lot more complex than it seemed at first):
- Rosycat: http://www.geocities.com/dead_penned/blades.html
- Arancaytar: http://www.geocities.com/arancaytar/frameset.html
- Luz: http://es.geocities.com/falcata2/
- Olly: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arena/3134/
- HYZ: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Bunker/8684/, - Paul: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Chasm/1581/
- SNL: http://www.geocities.com/dallen22c/secretninjalair/
- Lazarus: http://www.geocities.com/lazarus989/myscenarios.html
- Zeviz GF Editor: http://www.geocities.com/zeviz1/geneforge_editor.html
- Zeviz Nethergate: http://www.geocities.com/zeviz1/nethergate/
- Zeviz Subterra: http://www.geocities.com/zeviz1/SubTerra/
- Caligula: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Cauldron/2000/boe.html (SEE ALSO gaiuscatullus - he's got his own account)
- Caligula: http://www.geocities.com/gaiuscatullus/spqr.html
- Caligula: http://www.geocities.com/gaiuscatullus/scenpro.html
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/action Runs off to look at her *comprehensive list* for more sites.

 

Olly's Exile Pages.

 

TMU.

 

Zeviz's A2 Guide

 

A Simple BoE Page - by Skyle

 

The Abyss by E-Master

 

Frahhams Grove

 

HYZ's BoE Page

 

The Lyceum Not the forums - Al's web pages

 

Paul's BoE Page

 

The Realm of Bain-Ihrno

 

Rosycat's BoE Pages

 

Secret Ninja Lair

 

Smuggler's Alliance

 

Solberg's Tower which is history we may or may not want to keep.

 

TrueSite for Blades and PixPro which I will be taking care of so no worries.

 

Lazarus' BoA Pages

 

Zeviz's Nethergate Guide

 

Zeviz's Geneforge Character Editor

 

The Crystal Mine

 

 

Caligula's BoE Page

 

The Asylum - by Jonah Zahndi

 

The Blazing Blade

 

 

Phew... That's a lot. I only listed sites that started with www.geocities.com so if anyone has a geocities with a different domain name I didn't pick it out.

 

@ Aran: Mortrax's Lair is on tripod.com. Are they an offshoot of geocities? And this is the only site I have for Khoth. Does he have another?

 

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Originally Posted By: lampshade
YES, though I think backing up the entire Lyceum would be a good idea:

http://www.geocities.com/blyceum/ (EDIT: Stealth-sniped by Jewels.)

I'd offer to host sites, but seeing that Aran's already offered... :-P

Still, if you need someone who knows how to use wget, let me know. People, PLEASE don't kill yourselves by manually downloading every file on a GeoCities site, unless you happen to be the owner. There are automated ways of doing this sort of thing.
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Originally Posted By: Dintiradan

Still, if you need someone who knows how to use wget, let me know. People, PLEASE don't kill yourselves by manually downloading every file on a GeoCities site, unless you happen to be the owner. There are automated ways of doing this sort of thing.


Even the owners don't want to kill themselves manually downloading every file but I think I have FTP access if I can just get the program running again. I'm more interested in an automatic link changer for my pages. There's gotta be something fancy for edits like that.
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Originally Posted By: Arancaytrus
In the interest of preserving hard-to-find BoE scenarios and ancient graphics archives before they vanish altogether, I would suggest a Pied Piper-like effort to list these sites and back them up with wget. If possible, a central archive would be nice - I think scenarios and graphics are Blades derivatives that cannot be copyrighted, but I don't know about the design and page content.
If any are forgotten, wouldn't they still be around on archive.org?

Even if that's the case, though, this is a good idea – archive.org isn't perfect.
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To aid the effort, I will make a small archiving script that can copy an entire user's visible (ie. link-connected) site. wget, the obvious choice, will need some specific options to deal with Geocities idiosycracies:

 

1.) All Geocities sites share the same domain, so wget will need to filter by sub-directory to avoid downloading all of Geocities via the six-links phenomenon.

 

2.) Geocities prohibits external hot-linking of images, so wget will need to send the correct Referrer URL when downloading each image.

 

3.) Geocities serves ad-frames, which we should try to avoid downloading.

 

I will probably use a shell-script calling wget (possibly with some PHP/Perl thrown in).

 

---------------

 

Meanwhile, I strongly urge everyone who owns a Geocities site to enter their file manager and download the stuff that isn't linked from the front page, perhaps in an unlisted directory. Likewise, it's best to email the other site owners and tell them the same.

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I copied Jewel's link list into a URL list in the first post, in preparation of the wget stuff. Here's some stuff I found out:

 

Luz makes our job easy - the "blazingblade.html" can be removed from the URL to see the entire directory listing, ensuring we get it all. Be on the lookout for this on other sites specifying a HTML file (Rosycat's doesn't work as she has a blank index.html). If you aren't actively using your site anymore, likewise consider renaming your "index.html" to something else for the same effect. Directory listings are always archived fully; on sites cloaked by index.html we must rely on internal links (which Zeviz and Caligula show to be awfully unreliable).

 

Note that some, like Luz's are on localized sub-domains (eg. es.geocities.com) and not available via www.

 

Also, TimesSquare seems to be a network of unlisted multiple sites, enterable only with a word and four-digit code for each. I have no idea why they wanted to make life difficult, but there we go.

 

Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
I'd offer to host sites, but seeing that Aran's already offered... :-P

 

I'm hosting you, right? tongue

 

...OH ARGH.

 

All this reminds me that TM asked me for webspace like months ago, and I completely forgot about following up. I'll do that immediately, so he can move his site.

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Originally Posted By: DreamHost
WebRing was a free service for people with related sites to automatically trade links, written by co-founder Sage (it’s not just me and Dallas around here!) back in 1994, while he was still in high school!


Now that's something I didn't know. The BoE webring is still around, though it's less of a ring and more of a list of dead links these days.

It's how I first found Saunders' canal story, I now recall.
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Just to be safe, I have grabbed a copy of the canal story and cleaned up the formatting a bit. It contains all the ten files (and 47 parts) there were on Edwin's site, and if it is okay with Saunders, I can upload a zip file somewhere.

 

Edit: Turns out that two more files, one part each, were added in 2004 which I'd missed.

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Originally Posted By: Arancaytrus
... on sites cloaked by index.html we must rely on internal links (which Zeviz and Caligula show to be awfully unreliable).
...

Which links on my pages are broken?

I had a couple backups originally, but that was several hard drives ago, so I am not sure if I still have files from my pages. So if you downloaded them, could you send me a copy.
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Originally Posted By: Arancaytrus
Links on your site aren't broken, per se. But you appear to have three different game sites which do not link to each other - requiring an archiver to enter each URL separately.

They should be linking to each other from the links section, so if your automatic downloader follows all links to things under the same account, it should pick them up. (And if they don't, I'll fix it when I find a new host.)

Thanks for mentioning dreamhost offer. Not sure if I want to pay for hosting of things related to games I haven't played in a while, but I guess I'll have 2 years to decide if I take the offer now.
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Hey Aran,

 

How complicated is it to make a program that looks at all the .html files in a specified group of folders and changes every instance of http://www.geocities.com/tracihedlund/ to http://www.truesite4blades.com/Home/ ?

 

Or is there a program you already use for stuff like this or am I better off just going into each file myself and using find and replace?

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(Preemptively snipes Aran.)

 

What you're looking for is sed (man page / Wikipedia). If you're a OS X user, it should already be on your machine. If you're a Windows user, you can download a port from here.

 

Offhand, I don't know how exactly to run sed to get what you want - I'd have to go home and experiment myself first. Others will be able to tell you right away.

 

At any rate, don't bother changing your files by hand, as you'll be able to do so in one fell swoop.

 

EDIT: To clarify, the problem is finding a way to run sed recursively. Also, I think Jewels would rather replace the files 'in place', rather than having a separate output file (though of course you could run something afterwards that recursively deletes the originals and renames the new files).

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On Linux, and I guess OS X, you can go into directory that contains your files and run the following command:

sed 's#www.geocities.com/zeviz1/#newhost.com/zeviz/#g' -i *

 

More generally, the syntaxis is:

sed 's#String to replace#New string#g' -i Filename

 

EDIT: Crossposted with Niemand, but mine also includes -i flag that allows input and output files to be the same.

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What Zeviz and Niemand is suggesting would probably be quicker, but I don't think it'd be that hard to simply open all the files and go "Find - Replace All - Close - Fine - Replace All - Close - ..." ... would it?

 

 

Of course, I haven't a clue how many files you have, so maybe it would be less than ideal.

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Okay, here's a one liner solution that seems to work:

Code:
find path_to_input_directory -type f -name '*.html' -print0 | xargs -n 1 -t -0 sed -i '' "s|http://www.geocities.com/tracihedlund/|http://www.truesite4blades.com/Home/|g"

 

Enter this all on one line, replacing path_to_input_directory with the actually path to the directory, and it will pick out all files with an extension of 'html' and do the replacement in all of them.

 

You might want to do this on a copy of the data, or replace the

Code:
-i ''
with
Code:
-i 'bak'
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I have... *counts* 491 pages that need to be updated. So, yeah, shortcuts wanted.

 

I'm on Windows XP and looked at the sed port linked to but got a 403 error.

 

Found a different download for a GNUwin but the program won't run for me. It opens up that black dos box then closes it down again... *le sigh*

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Originally Posted By: Trottoisie
Originally Posted By: Trottoisie
GREP TO THE RESCUE!

batch grep, specifically.


Look for a Windows text editor with batch find and grep functionality. I'm sure one exists.



Notepad++. It has grep stuff (I believe), but you can also: Use the replace feature, fill it in, but make sure to select the thingy that says 'replace in all open files' or something like that. Works very well.
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Originally Posted By: Niemand
the basic command will like:
Code:
sed "s|http://www.geocities.com/tracihedlund/|http://www.truesite4blades.com/Home/|g" < path_to_input_file > path_to_output_file


I think with find and xargs we can make it recursively be applied to all files of a given type in a directory.


Huh, you can use sed for that? I do find-and-replace with "perl -pi -e 's/old/new/g'" pretty much exclusively.
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Sigh. Windows. I forgot about that. Given that to use my method, jewels would need to install sed, xargs, find, and bash (or at least some real unix shell), she's probably better off finding some GUI program to do it, and then throwing it away when she's done. (In my defense any properly configured computer comes with these sort of tools, and I had planned to exploit that. rolleyes )

 

At any rate it looks at a glance like Actual Search & Replace, Windows Grep, or Multiple Find and Replace would get the job done tolerably.

 

@Aran: You know the second command I posted is by far the more interesting; the one you quoted is basically the archetypal use of sed. tongue

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Originally Posted By: Arancaytrus
...okay, I know DreamHost called them web 2.0, but why do they have a design with less aesthetic value than a parked domain page? To build a "retro" atmosphere?

That's not their doing. They sold it to Yahoo! then someone bought it from them and 'retro-fied' it. They're just mocking the way their brainchild got pimped out.

Jewels, is there any way you could trim it down to a more manageable number? This is an excellent opportunity for spring cleaning. wink
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Originally Posted By: Paroxysm
Jewels, is there any way you could trim it down to a more manageable number? This is an excellent opportunity for spring cleaning. wink


No way, if anything I'll be expanding in the wake of being forced to do something with it. I haven't updated my home page in way too long. Unless I completely scrap the way I have the website set up and condense it like Kelandon's Archive, but I like how every scenario has it's own page... that's over 300 of them right there. Besides, trimming would require more work. All I have to do is get the pages run through a batch replace thingie and it'll be practically the same, only with a cooler name.

I checked on the graphics database, too. It's 2.50 more per month to use their mysql. If I were catering to a larger group of people I probably wouldn't hesitate, but with the few BoE designers we have left I think browsing will have to do.

And Huzzah!! The deed is done!

http://www.truesite4blades.com/Home/

is now the official url for TrueSite for Blades. Now... just to update that front page. *digs out dreamweaver*

---

Stupid 'convenient' automatic website making program...
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Originally Posted By: w-dueck
If I may offer the suggestion of moving to a Drupal CMS? Any decent webhost should have PHP and MySQL available, and the only really hard part would be moving all the content, but I'm sure someone could make a script for that...


Edit: Sorry, I was interpreting that as a suggestion for moving all affected Geocities sites, not for Jewels to move her site.
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http://www.geocities.com/pomo_stud/

 

Jeremy probably has it covered, but I add it to the list nonetheless.

 

edit: And you can probably take me off the list since the need for archiving has been taken care of.

 

According to Windows Grep, I have 57 pages left with geocities links that will expire. Over half of them are to TMU. Are there any progress reports for any of the archiving?

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