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Old 09 August 2006, 16:12   #65
Reticulator of Splines
girv's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 920
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Here's my 2E-2.

Back in the day, I was never into the Amiga "scene". I didn't know any crackers or have contacts in any groups. There were just a bunch of us at school / university that had Amigas through to about 1994.

I used to kind of obsessive-compulsively collect Amiga games no matter if I wanted to play them or not. I / we got the games from local rental shops, postal games rental clubs and, when we got to university and had fast access to this new "inter-net" thing, from ftp and fsp sitez. My mate was the mad downloader who would spend all day poking around the sites for new warez and download them to the uni servers. Then I would copy the archives to 1.44Mb floppies for transfer to bootable Amiga floppies via the swanky high-tech HD floppy drive hanging off my A1200. When we got hold of an actual original, I would sometimes crack it and spread it to our little group.

Did I play these games? Rarely. I wasn't that interested in the games, it was just about having them and they were easy to get. Very few of them ever got more than a quick "does it boot?" check before going into storage. The main entertainment for me came from cracking the originals, but occasionally a game would hold my attention and in these cases I felt duty bound to buy it. Games like Lemmings, Frontier and Alien Breed 3D for example. I also bought any "serious" software I used.

I ended up with about 1,500 disks of games. I dumped them about six years ago when I moved house, it was crazy to keep them, crazy to have them in the first place. The vast majority of them probably hadn't seen a floppy drive since 1994.

Do I feel bad about the cracking or the copying? A little, I guess. I don't think I did much harm as there was no way I was going to buy these games in the first place. If I couldn't have got them so easily I wouldn't have had them. The only harm to the Amiga software industry I would have done would have been from cracking the originals for our little group of 5 or 6 - there would be a slight possibility that that stopped one or two of us from buying one or two of those particular games. Total lost sales: approximatley 4; bill me.

Did piracy kill the Amiga? No. The death of Commodore and the subsequent prolonged and ill-fated takeover farces starved the platform of updated hardware for far too long and the users drifted away to shinier things. But for me it wasn't about the shiny but rather the ability to poke under it, so I stayed.

And I'm still here
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