Last year, via jwz, I watched the video "Archive Team: A distributed Preservation of Service Attack" from Defcon 19. I learned about the Archive Team and the work of Jason Scott.

More recently I learned about the Shareware CD Archive. In the fledgling days of the Internet, shareware (and cover-mount) CD-ROMs were a popular way for files to be distributed. They therefore archive an interesting age in the history of modern Internet culture.

Inspired by the above, I dug out some of my old shareware Doom CDs, ripped them, scanned their covers (where I had them) and uploaded them to Here they are:

They are all part of the growing Doom Level CD Collection. In most cases, the CDs are a super set of files that exist in the /idgames archive. I'm fairly sure there is some stuff on these CDs that never made out of BBSes or the AOL and CompuServe walled gardens onto the wider Internet, with the exception of these shovelware collections. A follow-on project would be to cross-reference their indexes with the /idgames archive and upload whats missing (that can be done so, legally.)

Finally, I also had a single, solitary PC ZONE covermount CD that I held on to because it was a Quake (and Duke Nukem 3D) add-on special:

From an archive-perspective, Quake has not fared as well as Doom did. The Internet was young when Doom was popular, the World Wide Web was not the all-encompassing thing it has become and by accident rather than design nearly all Doom add-ons ended up being uploaded to a single FTP server: The Walnut Creek CDROM FTP Server, to a sub-folder /idgames.

This single archive was mirrored wide and has lived on past the death of Walnut Creek. Today, it is small enough for casual enthusiasts to mirror, and has been kept alive by volunteer admins. The most popular front-end is now

The WWW had grown up by the time Quake came along. There is an /idgames2, but it was never as popular as /idgames was for Doom. The Quake modding community was centered around a series of commercial websites such as Planet Quake, later part of the Gamespy network. Sadly the vast majority of web pages on the old Planet Quake site and similar sites have died completely from bit-rot. Large chunks of the history of the Quake community are therefore lost to a sort-of technological dark age.


comment 1
See Some Quake maps are probably missing, but it's an amazing archive.
Comment by David Banks