• Rewind To: May 14, 2004 > The end of an era
  • Rewind To: May 14, 2004 > The end of an era
    Written by battye
    Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:16 am

    Memories will be forgotten. That is why it is so important that the history of one of file sharings most influential communities is recorded. On June 1, 2002, Winmxcommunity.com was set up by Stepan Mazurov, or as he was known to his users; Vulpes.

    Winmxcommunity was setup as an online support site for the increasingly popular WinMX file sharing program. The programs success was reflected in the forum, with 750 users registering and 3000 articles being posted in the first 6 months alone. The community was thriving, and the moderating team consisted of just three people. Vulpes himself, with evisnepxe and adrian15.

    As the userbase grew, the site expanded. The forum theme was modified from the generic subSilver to include new custom made images, a new logo and more content. A WinMX hash directory was created to allow users to find files, most likely the first of its kind. More moderators were added in due course. jmstacey2000 and Freezmizer were notable additions.

    Incidentally, jmstacey2000 was later banned. Legend has it, he was responsible for a famous post consisting of:

    kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa kazaa...

    Kazaa. A word that was taboo in the world of WinMX. Was that why he was banned? I don't know. It was before my time. I registered on Winmxcommunity.com in October 2003, several days before Grinch did infact.

    After about 15 months on the world wide web, Winmxcommunity had accumulated nearly 30000 posts. Over 3000 members. It was one of the true success stories of the internet at the time, but failed to get to recognition it deserved. Not because of a lack of community interest in the website, but rather a dwindling interest in WinMX itself.

    The majority of the users weren't content with WinMX 3.31. The software had not been developed in over a year, and rumours were widespread of its demise. People were leaving WinMX for newer programs.

    To this day, I am sure many people will remember the battle between Winmxcommunity and SlyckTom, the man who was supposedly in contact with Frontcode Technologies president Kevin Hearn. While the wider community believed SlyckTom was not totally honest with the community about his relationship with Hearn, it did get mentioned that forum member "dogmeat" had seen evidence that communication did take place. We can only assume that it did.

    To Vulpes credit, he did what he could as an administrator to ensure his forum continued to experience success, despite WinMX's falling popularity. He added features which, at the time, were simply revolutionary. A complete control panel for your profile, birthdays being displayed on the index, coloured usernames. What we take for granted now in forum software, he was one of the first to implement in 2003.

    WinMX's popularity still declined, and Vulpes made the decision to broaden his horizons. He entered the world of BitTorrent.

    In March 2004, Vulpes made the decision to leave sentiment behind. The forum was transferred from Winmxcommunity.com to Filebreech.com, and it was clear that WinMX was being left behind in order to facilitate BitTorrent. Moreso when Vulpes chose to open a tracker.

    CricketMX.com by this point was gaining considerable popularity, and our tracker, run by Grinch, was outdoing the Filebreech tracker. Vulpes was clearly rattled by this. It is now apparant, that the post he made on our forums, "Joining the forces and doing whats best for BitTorrent.", was a desperate attempt to eliminate the competition.

    Grinch, in charge of the tracker, turned Vulpes down. Later, Vulpes attempted to lure him to Filebreech through the offer of a moderating position. This was also turned down.

    On May 14, 2004, disaster struck. Vulpes was, apparantly, attempting to fix something in the phpbb_posts table in his MySQL database. Instead of editing the desired information, he mistakenly deleted the table. The backup that he had created only minutes before was corrupted. This was effectively the end of Filebreech. But without doubt, it was the end of an era.

    Restoration attempts did occur. The most recent backup was from January 2004 though, leaving many thousands of posts and countless user accounts lost beyond recovery. Vulpes and fellow administrator Sir Tuho even tried starting from scratch using a new forum software, "Fudforum". Despite its terrible navigation and aesthetically appaling design, "FudForum" managed to survive several months, albeit if it was without any great success.

    The final controversy the site had to deal with, came on January 10, 2005. The server packed it in, and caused Filebreech.com to redirect to a website of pornographic nature, believed to be one of Vulpes other projects. Needless to say, many of the users who were still remaining, were shocked by Filebreech's "change in direction".

    Vulpes last dealings with Filebreech and Winmxcommunity occured with a former user, named Omnist. He purchased the websites and domains from Vulpes in early 2005, for a price said to be around $700. While he made noble attempts to restore the site to its former glory, these never came to fruition.

    In mid-2005, Filebreech.com was laid to rest, this time, never to return.
  • Article search