The Local Ditch Archives

A New Look

Once again, there’s a new look to the site – a little refresh that’ll hopefully make reading and navigating the front page a tad easier.

To the side are some quick headlines with recent news about some of gaming series covered here. The games can be found at the top, as usual. There’s a comments section now, which’ll add another way to interact with the site. That is, if my 6-month late responses to the Q&A section weren’t enough.

I’m sure there are a few bugs that need to be ironed out, so expect to see a little tweaking and refinement over the next while. I’m hoping to do a new “Features” section for the site where some of the legendary games of the past and near-past are covered. I’ve got a little bit written (from as much as a year ago, actually), but hopefully it’ll be up shortly.

No More Geocities

After all of the hubaloo about Tripd.co.uk going down, another major player in the free homepage market is coming to an end. Geocities, one of the first homepage providers has announced that they are no longer accepting sign-ups and will be shutting down by the endof the year.

Long time visitors (are there any?) will know that this site started off at Geocities, back in 1997. At the time, they had a different approach to to website categorization – that of neighborhoods. So, all of the sites about games would go in the TimesSquare/Arcade neighborhood. After that, everyone had a number (7891 for me), much like your homepage was an apartment on the block. You could browse sites by streets and addresses and check out your virtual “neighbors.”

Perhaps it wasn’t the most useful way to organize sites, but it was an interesting interpretation of how these homepages should be structured and really showed off some of the early unique approaches to the internet at the time.

Eventually, Geocities succumbed to an overload of ads and pop-up banners and was bought out by Yahoo!. The old neighborhood categorization was gone and instead replaced with the more standard geocities.com/username approach.

Most people, however, seem to know the place as a location for horrible web design with pages that say little more than “Welcome to my corner of the internet. Here is a list of my favorite links.” Maybe time hasn’t been so kind to the site, but I’ll have fond memories of the place, figuring out this whole html thing and looking at the random homepages of my geo-neighbors.

In other news, the I ’76 FAQ has been reordered and had some parts rewritten, just to explain things in a tad more detail and offer clearer solutions.

Updates:
Interstate ’76 FAQ – Reworded and reordered

The Move Is Over

´╗┐Lycos Europe is finally shutting down its Tripod.co.uk servers on February 15. If you’re still using the old address (members.lycos.co.uk/localditch/) to get to this website, then please update your bookmarks and links to http://www.localditch.com.

I’ve been working on a Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries Walkthrough/Strategy section, so expect that to pop up in a few weeks. There’s really a lot more to the game than I remember, but it’s a fun trek down memory lane.

Lastly, as usual, there are some small updates scattered around the site, mostly behind the scenes.

Fresh Paint

As usual, I’m back to updating things bit by bit. So we’ll start with the biggest news first: the Mechwarrior pages have been redesigned. As with the rest of the site, it’s gotten a fresh coat of paint that is strictly html 4.0 compliant and tweaked up a little bit. The navigation scheme should make it easier to find whatever your looking for as well. The content is mostly the same at this point, but you can bet that in the near future, there will be more up there.

Also, I’ve added preview movies of Interstate ’76, Nitro Pack, and Heavy Gear in their respective sections. All were pulled from other Activision game disks.

Updates:
Heavy Gear Downloads – New preview movie
Interstate ’76 Downloads – New preview movie
Nitro Pack Downloads – New preview movie
Mechwarrior – Entire site redesign

Tweaking

For the most part, there are just a few tweaks to the site here and there, but there are a couple of big updates.

Updates:
Interstate ’76 Tips – Lots of good info on car design has been added
Nitro Pack Downloads – The XP fix for the Nitro Pack can be downloaded here.

No More Foxy Bingo

It’s unbelievable, but it’s finally happened: The Local Ditch Gaming Emporium has moved to its own .com. If you haven’t noticed, the site is now at http://www.localditch.com.

Along the way, some of the older pages have been given a nice facelift, as well as having some structural work done in the background. Just about everything is compliant with xhtml 1.0 strict, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Even better news, though, is that almost all of the broken internal links have been fixed. So now, the only broken links you’ll run into are to pages that aren’t on The Local Ditch. And let’s be honest, who really cares about those pages anyway? (I kid.)

The news can be found here now, at the main page. This is something that I wanted to do so that hopefully people would actually see when the site has been updated (give yourself a pat on the back) and they wouldn’t have to get through several pages to do so.

To the right are links to the games, in order of popularity. It looks like Interstate ’76 is the current prom queen, so go check out the new site and let me know what you think.

As it turns out, the guestbook was broken, not that anyone would sign it anyway.

And best of all – no more popups. That’s right, say goodbye to Tripod’s slow-ass load times and all of those ads. I’ll miss you least of all, Foxy Bingo.

The End of the Line

Great news:

“Dear LYCOS Tripod customer,

As you might have heard in the media, the management and the board of directors of LYCOS Europe N.V. have decided to liquidate valuable businesses and cease unprofitable activities. Unfortunately the web hosting business which includes Tripod is one of these.

This means that we will continue providing our Tripod services for only a limited period.

We will inform you about any upcoming changes in sufficient time. Though details are not yet clarified, we expect the Tripod platform to be operating during the first quarter of 2009.

As soon as we have further details about the planned measure, you will immediately be informed. We expect this to happen in a few days.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. We strive to enable a smooth transfer of your presence. We ask for your understanding that we cannot provide you with further information at this point of time. We also ask for your understanding that you might experience delays in response times from our support team in the next days as we expect an increasing volume of requests.

Please refrain from contacting our support team via telephone in this matter as no additional information can be provided by this channel.

Thank you for your patience and your understanding.”

I need to find a new host. Any suggestions? I’m seriously thinking about a .com, .net, .whatever.

I guess this explains why the advertisements have been so heavy.