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The Icon Bar: News and features: Happy Birthday from Acorn Arcade!
 

Happy Birthday from Acorn Arcade!

Posted by Acorn Arcade team on 00:00, 29/1/2008 | , , , ,
 

But whose birthday is it?
 
It's ours, of course!

Ten years ago today, Acorn Arcade officially opened to the public, as this handily-archived newsgroup posting shows. With Alasdair Bailey and Graham Crockford at the helm the site soon increased in popularity enough to warrant moving to its own domain name, acornarcade.com, and eventually to its own dedicated server, owned by our benevolent dictator Rich Goodwin. A few years later Acorn Arcade gave birth to The Icon Bar, which then in an ironic turn of events absorbed the content of Acorn Arcade in late 2006, in order to give both sites a much-needed overhaul.
 
But what does all this mean?



We am de best!
Well, despite the fall of Acorn, changing home, giving birth, and then getting eaten by our child, the award-winning Acorn Arcade is still here, and we hope that we'll be able provide you with news, reviews, downloads, help and support for at least another 10 years, even if we're not posting as many articles as we used to.
 
And speaking of articles, we've got a little surprise for you. When migrating Acorn Arcade's content into The Icon Bar's new article system we found a couple of folders on the server that looked like they hadn't been touched in years. And inside those folders we found some relics from times past - Acorn Arcade news archives stretching back to April 1998, and previews of MicroDigital's Mico and Acorn's ill-fated Phoebe machines. Since we were on a tight launch schedule for the new-look Icon Bar, the decision was made to hold these old articles back. After all, no-one except us knew about them. Predictably, we promptly forgot about the forgotten folders, until the topic of our 10th anniversary popped up in the staff forum. Luckily we were able to take a break from our rigorous schedule of procrastinating podcast 6 in order to import the articles in time for today.
 
Also, with a little help from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, we've managed to get a couple of screen shots of previous designs of the site, which you may find interesting. Or not.
Wooden design Metal design

Forgotten news archives

1998Pre-JulyJulyAugustSeptemberNovemberDecember
1999JanuaryFebruaryMarchMayJuneJuly-November

Forgotten previews

Alasdair's Phoebe preview
Foggy's Mico preview
ChopX Preview
King and Country preview
Super Snail 2 preview
Toy Chronicles preview
Wubble preview

Other forgotten articles

ART thingy - Who are these strange people?
ART attack
ChiBER - RISC OS in a PC box
What's happening on csag?
Doom and Heretic Updates
Heretic upgrades
1998 Midlands show report
NetStation gaming update
PushyII for the PlayStation


 
  Happy Birthday from Acorn Arcade!
  tribbles (15:49 30/1/2008)
  Chris (20:23 30/1/2008)
    filecore (09:46 1/2/2008)
  alasdair (09:43 20/2/2008)
    alpha (13:48 20/2/2008)
      Dave (03:50 26/2/2008)
        filecore (10:22 26/2/2008)
          Phlamethrower (10:55 26/2/2008)
          SimonC (00:52 15/3/2008)
    trevj (11:51 21/6/2011)
      filecore (15:46 21/6/2011)
        apacketofsweets (03:43 28/7/2011)
 
Jason Tribbeck Message #106268, posted by tribbles at 15:49, 30/1/2008
tribbles
Captain Helix

Posts: 929
Ooh - reminds me: must remember to renew the domain (expires end Feb).....

Happy Birthday!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Chris Message #106277, posted by Chris at 20:23, 30/1/2008, in reply to message #106268
Member
Posts: 283
Wow. That Phoebe preview is really quite depressing. If only...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #106281, posted by filecore at 09:46, 1/2/2008, in reply to message #106277

Posts: 3867
It could have been. But that's painful to read, with reference to today's specs - and oh god, does that motherboard look dated. Is that a daughterboard with the PCI slots hanging upside-down?

Ah, for what could have been... oh, and if anybody still wants a 5x86 card, I still have one and some other bits and pieces) that I'm willing to sell: http://www.filecore.net/forsale
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Alasdair Bailey Message #106484, posted by alasdair at 09:43, 20/2/2008, in reply to message #106268
Member
Posts: 17
Ooh - reminds me: must remember to renew the domain (expires end Feb).....

Happy Birthday!
Thanks for the mention guys - I realised it was AA's 10th birthday this year whilst driving to work this morning but it looks like I missed the day by a couple of weeks, sorry about that!

Graham and I hand coded that first page - graham was the graphics guy. I think we were pretty quick off the blocks on having a guestbook / forum type thing. All this web 2.0 hype makes me chuckle, we were web 2.0 in about 1998 big smile

I spotted a copy of Ankh for the PC in a Game store a couple of weeks back, looks like Jan Klose and his guys finally achieved that sometime last year. I recall Exodus was a great Elite-style trading game.

Is anyone still in contact with Graham Crockford or Tim Fountain? I know Tim was around for a bit but Graham disappeared into the ether a good while back now.

Good to see you (virtually!) Jason, how is Rich getting on these days?

For my part, I'm now living in Perthshire not far from Dundee (Lemmings and the original Grand Theft Auto were written in this fair city, how could I resist?).

I'm still very much involved with the internet, heading up the partner programme for the guys at http://www.maxymiser.com. We have some great technology that allows sales-driven websites to discover the content that is most likely to generate conversions then show that content to more future visitors. Multivariate testing is the technical term.

I think we should have a bit of a "where are they now thread", former contributors to the site please add your mini biogs below!

Keep in touch guys + connect on LinkedIn if you're on there - Alasdair Bailey

[Edited by alasdair at 09:52, 20/2/2008]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Tim Fountain Message #106485, posted by alpha at 13:48, 20/2/2008, in reply to message #106484
Forum bod
Posts: 569
Oh the nostalgia!

Nice to see the old screenshots, I could have sworn there was another design we had at one point, although I can't find it on the wayback machine.

I'm still about and checking the forums quite regularly, but it's a long time since I did anything RISC OS related.

Work-wise I've been working as a PHP developer for a company based in North Wales for a while now, doing mainly CMS/e-commerce stuff.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Dave Sloan Message #106530, posted by Dave at 03:50, 26/2/2008, in reply to message #106485
Member
Posts: 58
Christ on a stick, it's been a long time. I just checked back here on a whim, and here it still is...

I still love the old wooden design - I think it was an absolute classic. Tim's right, I think there was a blue design at one point (fairly early on in the time-line).

All those years of Iron Dignity never coming out, TEK being so damned late, and phoebe dying before birth. Still there was always fun to be had in the free games sections - some of them like Marsquake, Abuse and Phaethon were little gems. We also had a nice set of Elite and Starfighter pages at one stage, run as sub-domains.

As to me, I'm currently in Pennsylvania working on my PhD in physics. Computers wise, I'm well on the dark side with PCs now, and seem to play a lot of TF2 for some reason. Anyone seen Graham or Jon around?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #106536, posted by filecore at 10:22, 26/2/2008, in reply to message #106530

Posts: 3867
We also had a nice set of Elite and Starfighter pages at one stage, run as sub-domains.
I believe they're still there. Certainly, Simon Challands is still running elite.acornarcade.com and I'm doing ironlord.acornarcade.com, and I'm sure there are plenty of others still.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jeffrey Lee Message #106537, posted by Phlamethrower at 10:55, 26/2/2008, in reply to message #106536
PhlamethrowerHot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot stuff

Posts: 15055
The link is hidden a way a bit on the front page, but you can see a list of the hosted sites here.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Simon Challands Message #106761, posted by SimonC at 00:52, 15/3/2008, in reply to message #106536
Elite
Right on, Commander!

Posts: 398
I believe they're still there. Certainly, Simon Challands is still running elite.acornarcade.com and I'm doing ironlord.acornarcade.com, and I'm sure there are plenty of others still.
Sort of still running it... The fact that I've only just seen this speaks volumes about how often I check these days, and a last update of July 04 doesn't sound like a great deal of running is getting done (mind you, there's not a lot left to say, although I suppose I must check the links some time). I suppose, all things considered, taking the AA banner off and replacing it with a TIB one might be appropriate, too.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Trevor Johnson Message #118096, posted by trevj at 11:51, 21/6/2011, in reply to message #106484
Member
Posts: 660
[...] connect on LinkedIn if you're on there [...]
It's worth noting that TIB seems to now be picked up by the LinkedIn BeagleBoard.org news feed!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Togneri Message #118097, posted by filecore at 15:46, 21/6/2011, in reply to message #118096

Posts: 3867
I should probably get around to finishing my Haunted House site at some point, or at least uploading the basics - the problem is that I wanted to do a visual walkthrough, and the screenshotting process is taking friggin' forever. Anyone fancy helping out? smile
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Sion Message #118403, posted by apacketofsweets at 03:43, 28/7/2011, in reply to message #118097
apacketofsweets
RISC OS, too cool for Javascript.

Posts: 110
The problem is that I wanted to do a visual walkthroug, and the screenshotting process is taking friggin' forever. Anyone fancy helping out?
Depending on whether I can find my copy of Haunted House, I'm more than happy to help.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: Happy Birthday from Acorn Arcade!