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DOS Games Archive Site Update July 5 2014

 
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Jorrit
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:29 am     Post subject: DOS Games Archive Site Update July 5 2014 Reply with quote

Today I added the following games to DOS Games Archive. Enjoy!

- Blackthorne (shareware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/blackthorne/
- Descent II (shareware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/descent-ii/
- Monuments of Mars (full version): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/monuments-of-mars/
- Mortal Kombat 2 (playable demo): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/mortal-kombat-2/
- Mortal Kombat 3 (playable demo): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/mortal-kombat-3/
- Strife (shareware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/strife/
- Robbo (full version): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/robbo/
- Kosmonaut (freeware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/kosmonaut/
- Soldiers of Fortune / The Chaos Engine (shareware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/soldiers-of-fortune/
- Acid Tetris (freeware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/acid-tetris/
- Alien Breed: Tower Assault (shareware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/alien-breed-tower-assault/
- Alien Rampage (shareware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/alien-rampage/
- Alone in the Dark 2 (shareware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/alone-in-the-dark-2/
- Ant Run (shareware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/ant-run/
- Cash Invaders (freeware): http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/cash-invaders/
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:42 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed that after a certain update the site started using some external downloader programme instead of direct download links. I wonder why?
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emmzee
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:48 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.somotoinc.com/publishers/ Wink
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:20 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Suspected something like that, and TBH I don't like the idea of external downloader programmes. I guess it's understandable if the software that is downloaded this way needs to be tightly integrated with the OS, but everything else should work just fine with a direct download.

And what of Linux users for example? Will they be able to download the files if this is a Windows programme?
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:05 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with a distrust of downloaders for security/virus/irritation "new browser home page/search/toolbar!" reasons and the "what about mac and linux" arguments.

I assume the ads go toward keeping the site up and even renumerating the generous admin, which is certainly a noble reason for it. I try to donate to the sites I use.

But the downloader does stop me from using the site until I can arrange a "secure download VM" that I can use to protect myself from reinstalling my machine *again*. I just don't have a computer I would run a downloader on from any site. Bad experiences in the past say it just isn't worth it. I certainly don't want to be ungrateful to Jorrit and anyone else involved in the site, though! I understand their decision on an economics basis and wish them well.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:53 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my VM setup (VirtualBox from oracle, and win7 from microsoft alreay setup - nice of them. Something about IE Testing)

To my surprise, the downloader didn't show ads or offer me any offers as the wepage indicated. Seems strange, so either the relationship isn't setup yet/right, or something else is going on. Honestly, that's a bit creepy - they really wanted to run code on my machine, what were they up to, with no explanation given? Like strangers offering candy, "just do this one thing for me" - kind of a red flag! Ah well, that's why it was a VM, and now reset, just in case.

Can you clear up the mystery, Jorrit? But thank you for some games I hadn't seen before, I'm looking forward to playing them. Hopefully you get credit for someone running the downloader if that's what you need. I assume it really isn't a bad thing, and certainly not malicious. Just been burned before.
Happy
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Wally
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:57 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorrit is still alive? Why I never! Shit-Eating Grin
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:04 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, I think it should be noted that the downloader doesn't seem to work for me at all - I click on the "Start download of..." link but nothing happens.

Opera + AdBlock.

As for the general considerations regarding downloaders, yeah, I do have security considerations as well, and try to avoid them. Also many sites seem to generate enough income just from ads.
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Jorrit
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:23 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your replies. I will provide more information on the Somoto downloader in a few hours.

MrFlibble, thanks for your comment. I just opened Opera and installed AdBlock to test the download link. In both cases (with and without AdBlock) it works for me in Opera. As I'm a Mac user I use Opera for Mac. I will try it on Windows later. Which version of Opera do you use?
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:30 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

The latest one I suppose.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:31 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, in case it helps, I first tried a VM with IE8 on XP, but the browser kept crashing on the site - I could see a few pages and then crash, try again, same behavior. I figured that was too old a platform so switched to Chrome/Win7 and didn't have further trouble with download.
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Jorrit
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:37 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I added the Somoto installer some months ago is to keep the website up and running. The last few years the income of the website (mostly from advertising banners) didn't improve, although the site is still very popular. During the last big site update I added game videos which we host ourselves. In most cases these video files are much bigger than the actual game file which users download in order to play the game. Just like all zip files on the site we host these video files on our own servers. I think itís important to be independent to be sure all links work at all times; we don't link to zip files on other websites and donít use services like YouTube to embed videos for example.

The bandwidth usage is much higher now than a couple of years ago. The additional income the Somoto installer generates is meant to pay the bandwidth and other hosting bills, to make future updates possible and hopefully to get some spare money in the end. Of course I donít want to harm the siteís reputation in any way. Afterall we have been working on this site since 1998 and we want to maintain the quality as good as possible.

Thanks to the income from the Somoto installer we were able to develop a new adminstration system which will go live in a few days. Using this system we can add games much easier and quicker than before. I have created the biggest part of the new admin myself, including the jQuery code and HTML/CSS. Our programmer did the PHP side of the uploads for example. With the additional income we were able to pay the programmer so we can add new games for all visitors to enjoy. Last weekend I added 15 games; in the coming weeks you can expect many more new games which can all be download for free of course.

The Somoto installer works on Windows only. For example Mac and Linux users still get direct links to the game zip files. At this moment Somoto is working on a Mac version, but as far as I know itís not available yet and itís not sure whether we can use the Mac version as the Mac installer expects an executable file instead of a zipped game.

Windows users see the following description on every download page of DOS Games Archive:

Quote:
About the download program
When you download a game from this website, you receive a download program first. Using this small Windows application, created by Somoto, you can download the game ZIP file from DOS Games Archive.
The download program offers additional third party applications which you may like to install on your computer. It's not needed to install these additional applications; you can decline the offers and proceed to the game download right away. Of course the download program and third party applications are completely free of viruses, spam and malware.

We think itís very important to let users know what they get when they download a game. Itís a Windows application which presents 1 or more free offers before downloading the game zip file from our server. It depends on the advertiser what kind of software gets presented, but those programs are always free of spam, malware and viruses. This is really important to us; we donít want to harm the computers of our visitors in any way. Also, if you are not interested in the offers, you can decline them and the game will be downloaded straightaway, just like it used to be. When the download is finished, you get the zip file on your desktop and can extract it from there and run the game in DOSBox.

More and more download sites use this kind of download programs/installers. When installing free software like Adobe Reader, Flash or Java, itís quite common to get a question whether you would like to install additional programs. Also, a lot of people use ad blockers in their browsers nowadays, so the revenue from traditional internet advertising is dropping. We think this is a reasonable way to offer free content, also because you can decline the offers and just get the game you are interested in.

The download link works with just a few lines of JavaScript and should not cause errors in any Windows browser. Please let me know which browser (and version) you use and on which page of the website you experience the problem. Then I will take a look and try to solve it as soon as possible. We have tested the site in multiple browsers and we didnít experience problems. Thank you in advance! Also please let me know if you have any questions.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:36 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorrit wrote:
We think itís very important to let users know what they get when they download a game. Itís a Windows application which presents 1 or more free offers before downloading the game zip file from our server. It depends on the advertiser what kind of software gets presented, but those programs are always free of spam, malware and viruses. This is really important to us; we donít want to harm the computers of our visitors in any way. Also, if you are not interested in the offers, you can decline them and the game will be downloaded straightaway, just like it used to be.

I understand how this system works but personally I belong to that group of users who will be immediately put off by the very fact that the site is trying to persuade them to download and install something that they did not intend to get when trying to download the game.

I don't like the idea that in order to download something, a user will have to view an offer of something else and then probably press a button to decline that offer. I know that this is becoming standard practice these days (e.g. when you download updates of Adobe Flash it will try to sneak an install of Google Chrome - once I forgot to check off that option, and because I already have Chrome installed the Adobe Flash update process stopped before completion as apparently the sneak install system did not expect the target machine to already have an installed version of Chrome). But it still feels like spam to me, because I've always assumed that if an Internet users chooses to download a certain file, only that file, and that file alone should be downloaded to the user's machine, without any sneak installs or the necessity to decline some unwanted offers.

Of course I welcome the changes to the site you're talking about, and also I have no idea how many users feel the same about the downloader system (here's an opinion though that I can relate to). Hopefully my post doesn't sound too harsh because I do respect all the efforts you put into creating, maintaining and improving the website over all these years.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:10 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for putting in the time to explain, Jorrit! It's a hard question, how to appropriately monetize something "free" that certainly costs you money.

I don't know why the Somoto downloaders didn't offer me any options, but you can use exactly the setup I did if you want to install VirtualBox and follow the VirtualBox on Windows link from this MS page: https://www.modern.ie/en-us/virtualization-tools
IE 8 on XP, and IE 10 on Win7.

If it was an option, I'd rather have the offers on the web page and captcha and etc., than have some third party running code on my box. It's just another virus vector, and it's introducing a potential of at least two more people in the trust relationship between me and "you\the web page" - Somoto, and who knows what they'll decide to do in 6 months to increase revenue, and whatever sneaky bastard manages to introduce a virus to the executable either at Somoto before you get it, or on your site. It's not like virus checkers every work 100%. I feel pretty safe downloading data that will never execute directly on my windows machine (the first DosBox virus will really stink), but I'm cautious even about demos, and 3rd party code? Ick. Burned many times. But that's where I learned the VM trick, at least.


Edit and PS: I WILL NOT use the CNet/Download.com/Drivers.com installers. They were my bad past experiences, so if that's the only way to get something, I go without. End of discussion, no second chances. Somoto isn't on my "never" list yet, but they are one misstep away. Wink
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:47 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quadko wrote:
If it was an option, I'd rather have the offers on the web page and captcha and etc.

Seconded. Non-intrusive ads on the download page are okay, and it's up to the user to decide whether to follow those links or not.
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wardrich
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:37 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not use YouTube to host gameplay videos?
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:13 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

wardrich wrote:
Why not use YouTube to host gameplay videos?

Yes, I also wondered why you put such emphasis on not hosting videos externally. They must take up more webspace than the game files themselves.
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