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Thread: Austech - 20 years of annoying people and politically incorrect behaviour

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    Default Austech - 20 years of annoying people and politically incorrect behaviour

    2017 is the year Austech turns 20. It was 1997 when I created the first incarnation after not being able to find an answer to something I wanted to do. What month and day unfortunately is lost to time. Its hard to believe was I still in my 20's (just 29).......I am now 50.

    Going a bit on memory here, but I think it was early 1997 when I bought my first computer. A mate of a mate was in to them and he was upgrading his computer and had his old one up for sale. He had showed me a few games and things on it, and I was quickly hooked. Its specs were pretty good….it was a Pentium 100, but I can’t remember the ram and hard drive size. I am pretty sure it had an internal 56k modem, so I was quickly on the net as well. I think I might have paid around $600 for it.

    One thing I quickly found was that PC games were horridly expensive. Another mate introduced me to a bloke he knew who had just taken out an $8000 loan for a new computer. And he had some new mind blowing technology……a CD Burner, the ability to copy a CD. A mate had paid a fortune for a new PC game (I think $100) and this guy said he would copy it for me for $5….if I supplied the blank CD. It was early days, and I think I had to pay $20 just for one blank disc! But I was till $80 better off……a big saving.

    I ended up buying my own burner, (again from memory) it was a SCSI burner and not an IDE as I think IDE would have had limitations on my PC. And burning coasters was not a cheap hobby believe me!
    By this time I had moved from PC games to PlayStation…the PlayStation was king. And Sony quickly woke up to the fact that people were modifying their consoles and burning games. So out came the games that you could copy, but they wouldn’t play. Which gets expensive given the cost of coasters.

    At the time I was hanging out at a forum looking for answers (I have forgotten the name……anyone around from way back then that can remember?) and back then if you asked a question on a forum you copped a barrage of abuse in response. It was the Wild West days of the internet back then.
    After getting a mouthful for asking how to patch a game, I decided to start my own forum on a cheap and easy system called Ezboard. I made a post on the other forum (which you could spam as much as you like as forums didn’t have spam control then) and more than a few people turned up at my Ezboard forum. From memory the name changed from PlayStation copy forum, to Australian PlayStation forum and possibly other names before outgrowing that platform (site URL’s were about a kilometre long).

    I met an American guy who had some hosting, and launched cdcopyworld.net (our first paid for domain name), firstly on UBB (Ultimate Bulletin Board - pre cursor to Vbulletin) then on Vbulletin. Originally forums were written in Perl, before Vbulletin launched the game changing format of PHP and MYSQL for forums which we still use today.

    4 December 2000


    In the early 2000’s, the forum was administered by myself, Ozchips and Insane. In 2002, despite the membership telling me I would destroy the site by doing it, I changed the name of the site from cdcopyworld.net to austech.info. Previous to this time, I listened to what the membership said…..why I don’t know as every membership decision backfired. I think I just had enough of letting far too many people have input. And so Austech.info appeared.

    It was also at this time that Insane, who enjoyed web design, built an intro to the site that ran for about 10 minutes J As everyone was on 56k dial up, it was a bit painful.
    After ditching that, we went for a “portal type” main page as you can see below:


    By December 2004, we had reverted back to a forum main page only


    By 2006, we were quite busy, having absorbed the Pay TV enthusiast crowd and hosting was becoming a major problem due to the site using lots of bandwidth. Hosting in Australia back then, as now, was extremely expensive and also governed by a complete lack of free speech.
    June 15 2006


    By 2007 we were seriously busy as shown by the July 13 2007 image shown below. We had been forced on to dedicated hosting, which was very expensive.


    In 2008, our biggest disaster happened while being hosted by Leaseweb in the Netherlands. We were forced to retreat from the US to a Dutch server due to a very hostile combination of Foxtel, Irdeto and NDS who constantly bombarded me with legal threats. Our database was getting huge, and as I all I had was 56k internet I made an arrangement with a third party to back up the site for me. Our server suffered a malfunction – it was running Raid 0 across 2 SCSI drives and if a hard drive failed, that was the end of your data. And that’s what did happen…….and my third party did not back up. I immediately contacted Leaseweb and had the 2 SCSI discs shipped here via FedEx and off to a Data Recovery centre as they were confident of recovering the database.
    Sometimes I wonder if other forces were at play…….after the Data Centre received the drives they rang me as the drives didn’t match…… it seemed that a Leaseweb employee had thrown our drive out, and replaced it with another. So I was sent 2 hard drives that didn’t match meaning that recovery was impossible.
    But we soldiered on….from scratch and thanks to a dedicated membership we continued.

    Today, 20 years on it’s hard to remember all the highs and lows. Somehow managing to not get prosecuted while pushing my luck a lot…to me is a highlight J Seeing regular forum members pass away has been a lowlight. There have been many, many times when I have almost pulled the pin and closed the doors. Around 2000, I was subjected to some pretty bad stuff which included threats to kill me and threats to blow up my house. It wasn’t the first time someone had threatened to kill me, but it was the first time that I considered the threat to be serious. Of course simply being in charge of a forum is enough to guarantee that you will have haters. I have lost count of the amount of times that someone has reported me to someone over comments I have made on the forum. Having a woman ring up my wife and claim she had been having an affair with me for 3 years was another lowlight….another example of the idiotic behaviour some people will go to because they have been banned for misbehaviour.
    But there has been more good times than bad of course, and I still see users on the forum that have been around since the early 2000’s. How Austech manages to go in the future is realistically in the hands of its members. Since the arrival of social media, I would say about 75% of forums have shut their doors. Even huge forums such as Whirlpool have taken a huge slump in traffic and posts. At a guess, I would say we are probably one of the oldest (if not oldest) Australian forum that is still operating (we are a year older that Whirlpool).

    Anyway, that’s about it from a historical point of view. Some of you may remember some other worthy events that should get a mention I am sure there are lots.
    It would also be good to see some old faces say hello. As I have done a PM to all members, I have no doubt we will get some, as well as some people abusing us for disturbing them
    But as always, it’s always a minority.

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    Jesus....and our Mass PM addon is half broken due to a recent PHP upgrade. I should have used the inbuilt one. This is why I don't have hair

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    I see zbee looking at the thread......long time no see.

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    I think I still have my Yamaha SCSI burner in a box somewhere.

    A big thank you mate, for all your efforts, perseverance and hair sacrifice over the years.

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    wow wow wow .. is that bloody long .. over the years we have lost some members but i remember when i first joined, i also was visited by foxtel, as i got tangled up with our mate Rolf.. the most important thing that never happened to me was not getting banned but fearless leader had to hit me(virtually) a few times..
    ive only been suspended once...but never banned...yet, but i am working on it...OMG after all these years...i am a paytv forum troll....erk
    ok i have, a phillips screwdriver, a sidchrome socket set, life time supply of condoms, lotsa old programers, an old nokia, season interface...even a pace 400....does this make me look better than DJmatt? oh i was also a "auspink" beta tester!...but apart from that i look great in suspenders

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    just to add .. i frggin turn 60 next year ...shit
    Last edited by Zbee; 05-10-17 at 05:05 PM.
    ive only been suspended once...but never banned...yet, but i am working on it...OMG after all these years...i am a paytv forum troll....erk
    ok i have, a phillips screwdriver, a sidchrome socket set, life time supply of condoms, lotsa old programers, an old nokia, season interface...even a pace 400....does this make me look better than DJmatt? oh i was also a "auspink" beta tester!...but apart from that i look great in suspenders

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zbee View Post
    wow wow wow .. is that bloody long .. over the years we have lost some members but i remember when i first joined, i also was visited by foxtel, as i got tangled up with our mate Rolf.. the most important thing that never happened to me was not getting banned but fearless leader had to hit me(virtually) a few times..
    Yes, time flies unfortunately.

    I think I read somewhere Rolf passed away ? I didnt know him, which probably surprises some people as in the full on Foxtel card days there were all sorts of rumors that I was running some sort of international cartel I was allegedly making hundreds of thousands of dollars

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    Hope all is well Bagman

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    yeah was a few years back .. i think enf told me.. i met a few who came up to Noosa at one stage when i lived there ..
    ive only been suspended once...but never banned...yet, but i am working on it...OMG after all these years...i am a paytv forum troll....erk
    ok i have, a phillips screwdriver, a sidchrome socket set, life time supply of condoms, lotsa old programers, an old nokia, season interface...even a pace 400....does this make me look better than DJmatt? oh i was also a "auspink" beta tester!...but apart from that i look great in suspenders

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    Ahh, The memories of disc trading dreamcast games and 'cam' quality VCD's.
    Hai!

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    What a milestone. Many have gone by the way side, but here we are!

    Congrats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dylankellner View Post
    Ahh, The memories of disc trading dreamcast games and 'cam' quality VCD's.
    Yeah, disc trading was a big thing as well...I forgot about everyone who wanted to sue me on that front as well.

    There was no better feeling than being the cool dude with the latest movie on VCD.... complete with audience coughing, heads in the way, shaky camera ....they were terrible

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    Bring back irdeto version 1 !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemRat View Post
    Bring back irdeto version 1 !!
    Life was easier with it, thats for sure !

    You have been around for quite a while mate...any idea when you joined ?

    For those that dont know, we dont know original join dates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zbee View Post
    yeah was a few years back .. i think enf told me.. i met a few who came up to Noosa at one stage when i lived there ..
    He sent me a rude email once when I referred to him as "Ralph Dumbbell" on the forum. Other than that, I only really read about him.

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    I better add in some of the email greetings coming in (I feel like an MC at a 60's wedding) :


    No, your ####tard “moderator” in Newcastle burnt me.
    I have better things to waste my bandwidth on.
    Please feel free to delete me.



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    time flies i first came here looking for help to set up a 4mtr dish many many years ago

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    Quote Originally Posted by admin View Post
    Hope all is well Bagman
    All is well here

    Was that the CloneCD software forum where you had the 'problems' ?

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    How the hell is everyone? And congrats on the 20th Anniversary 👍🍺

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    Re when I first joined I will have to think about that one I've been around for a lot longer than 2008 but rer-egister then after a crash or something. Was a lot of fun back then. I was also a member with special access rights on Thoic "The house of ill compute" with good old Lee Gibling who was working for NDS. I still have a dump of his mail file somewhere but most of its PGP encrypted.
    Last edited by SystemRat; 05-10-17 at 05:33 PM.

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