About the SixtyFour Originals DataBase
A.k.a. Project What's in the box
About 10 years ago, in 2001, when I started actively collecting C64 games, I was already wondering if the stuff I was buying was complete. Sometimes I'd see a game with a disk and a manual, and 2 weeks later I'd see the same game with a disk, manual and registration card. Most people, even collectors, probably wouldn't care, but I like to have my stuff really complete.
So I started taking notes from stuff I saw, writing down which game it was, some version info, and what was included. I'd pass on several copies until I was certain enough I saw a complete one. I should mention that at that time I was only interested in the games I used to have (but lost due to son-moving-out-and-not-taking-stuff-with-him syndrom) and that mainly consisted of some microprose and epyx games.
Of course like all small collections it soon got out of hand and I simply started collecting C64 games. At the moment this is what I have:
|Condition||Number of games|
As you can see, most games are in the 'presume' category. That's because I simply have no way of knowing. Most of the complete games are ones that I bought new and sealed.
What I started to do, late 2003, was to build an application in Visual FoxPro that contained info on all the games that I had. Soon the feeling gnawed that I could do more with this and a testscenario for a dvd-profiler like interface was born. If I could get some collectors together who were also interested in these facts, the numbers could decide when a game was complete and if not, what was missing. Unfortunately, technical issues plagued the project and with only a couple of development hours a week, the project has been dragging on for over two years by now.
Good news is that there is new code written on a weekly basis, and I'm still running tests for the webpublishing of the data. Bad news is that my database design has a serious flaw where the link between the program and its items is on the program level, instead of containing a sublink to the user level. This basically means that should a game consist of two disks, and you have only one, you have to put in a comment or something that a disk is missing. That's unacceptable for me, so I've redesigned the database. However, while I was changing the program to reflect the new database, a techincal issue arose where I need to update two tables at the same time based on a 1 to N relation. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but I'm now using an easy to manage data-entry grid. Well, enough of the technical rambling. Some day it'll be done, I'm sure of that.
So the deal at the moment is that I publish all my data on the internet. On this site you can view what I have and what I think of it. Along with the data are thumbnails of the 300 DPI scans I make. These thumbnails have no other function than to show you what it should look like. There are no instructions to download, no full manuals and no taps or disks available. In time, I might start to do one or more of these things, but for now I focus on collecting C64 games and preserving the info.
One day you might see a new site and a finished tool to download, but until then, this is what you'll have to get along with :)
Update on the offline tool (June 24th 2007)
Some tests showed that using an active internet connection in the way I wanted to is not going to work with Visual FoxPro. Anything that differs from a direct internet connection from the pc will result in disconnects and time-outs. As Microsoft has recently disclosed information that Visual Foxpro will no longer be updated, and I have started to find my way around .NET, I've also decided to cancel the FoxPro version of SFODB and develop a .NET based solution.
Update on the offline tool (August 11th 2007)
I'll be focusing on developing soap services for the site first, so if there's anyone reading this who has some knowledge about implementing soap services in a client and wants to help with the project, please contact me.
Update on hosting and site take over by Shane. aka c64web on lemon64..
SFODB: aka The SixtyFour Original DataBase is now hosted on our dedicated server at http://cbm8bit.com, Should you know of another great Commodore 8bit resources that's in need of hosting please leave a message here.