Written by Snowman

Greetings PC Demo Scene,

Since 1992, you have enjoyed the vast collection of scene-related files located at The Hornet Archive. For years, we have struggled to provide the best user interface and highest level of organization possible. With over 300 gigs of files downloaded per month, all of us have been kept very busy. Our archive is undeniably the single most active demo scene location in existence.

On 04 Feb 1998, the final issue of DemoNews was released. From that point forward, the energy of those who maintained the archive decreased steadily. Finally it seemed obvious that we were no longer willing to give _enough_ energy. Many aspects of the archive have been completely automated (/incoming/music being one example). If it hadn't been for this, the archive would not have lasted this long.

Hornet is disbanding. Although not all of our group members directly assisted with the maintenance of the archive, they were all driving forces keeping our organization together. Our group, in its final state, consisted of 5 members: Andy Voss (Phoenix), Brett Neely (GD), Pim van Mun (Stony), Jim Leonard (Trixter), and myself (Snowman).

Andy (maintainer of everything that was "demo" on the archive) plans to retire from the scene by the end of this year, but not without one final scene project, a CDROM filled with memorabilia from NAID '95 and '96. You can contact him at or

Brett (columnist for DemoNews and co-organizer for Music Contest) has retired from Hornet but plans to remain in the music scene; you can reach him now at

Jim (coder for our single large-scale demo Explicit and several other smaller intros) has already left our group and retired from the scene to work on his new project, a tribute/nostalgia site dedicated to games of the early 1980's. Jim's new email address is

Pim (graphics artist for the Escape and Freedom CDs, as well as a contributor to several intros and web images) will go inactive at the same time as the archive. His plans are to release his never before released work on a scene CDROM project. He will finish up his Computer Science degree at the University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands next year, and will continue with his small company. You can reach Pim at

Personally, I plan to complete my new faster-than-light warp drive and sail to the third moon of Zenthrax on the outer fringes of the Pangalaxian Empire, where I will be reunited with my r3 brethren. On approximately 01 Nov 1998 according to your primitive Julian Earth calander, I will reachable through terrestrial email at

As a result, the archive will be dismantled as soon as possible. All html pages will be deleted. The search engine will cease to function. The /incoming directory will be cataloged, emptied, and removed. All sites being web-hosted under /info will find new homes. Our mirror sites will no longer be resolvable by (country-code) In the near future, there will be a "final" version of the archive. At this point, there will be no web interface.

We can not shut down the archive quickly. We are the primary host for several large online documentation projects and must give the maintainers of them a chance to move somewhere else. We also can not, in good conscience, end the archive with a full upload directory. For the first time in perhaps 5 years we will have every file moved out of /incoming.

Those of you who know me personally realize that I do not like loose ends. I like closure. I feel an obligation to shut down the archive properly. No, the end of The Hornet Archive will be a grueling, painful, extended process (just kidding!).

Ironically, we have not been able to sell off all of our Hornet Underground and Hornet MODs CDROMs. They will outlive the archive itself. There are still at least a couple hundred of each left. See under "Games and Entertainment" for more details.

When the archive has reached its final state, I will put a copy of our MASTER.SDD database file online. To all those would-be flat ascii file hackerz, do with it as you please. After backups of the archive have been made, the files will officially be transfered over to the folks at What they will call the new archive I couldn't guess. Provided this new host keeps the data, they are allowed to do with it as they wish. After this transfer is complete, I will rm -rf * /pub/demos.

Hopefully, the maintainers will set up a new archive quickly. After that, I will mirror this archive back to our server on (we might as well take advantage of our bandwidth as long as no work is required). Hornet Archive mirror sites will then become mirror sites.

I notified several people at least a month ago about the end of the archive. Fortunately, the "PC Demos Explained", "PC Demo Fan Club", "Zen of Tracking", "GFX Zone", and Future Crew pages have all found new homes. The URLs to the new locations will be posted on the main page of our archive as they become available. Update your bookmarks as soon as possible since there won't be a "main page" of the archive much longer.

The "Music Contest" and "Hornet Archive Memories" pages will be moving to a new domain called I am setting up this new domain with a friend of mine from University (r3mdh). After the new machine is up, I will remap the DNS entry for to point to, and set up a virtual host so that you get to the correct location. This will happen in about 2 months.

Music Contest may or may not be over. It is the single scene activity I have not necessarily given up. Right now, I would estimate about a 60% chance of MC7 happening. Just wait 8 months and find out.

And now as an added bonus for having read this far, you will uncover the answer to the longest-held secret about The Hornet Archive.

 : > Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:08:23 -0400
 : > From: Eric Johnson 
 : > To:
 : > Subject: Re: Fwd: hornet question
 : >
 : > Several years ago, we decided to officially name our archive "The Hornet
 : > Archive" as a direct result of the machine name  For
 : > years after that, the genesis of "hornet" remained a mystery.  Frankly,
 : > I was content to leave it that way.  For the next half decade,
 : > references to The Hornet Archive surfaced as we attended scene
 : > gatherings and received press coverage (Wired mentioned us twice if you
 : > can believe it).  However, we (the friendly folks who have been
 : > maintaining the archive all these years) are now in the twilight of our
 : > demo scene activities, and will be shutting down the archive within 2
 : > months.  As such, it seemed appropriate to finally unlock the mystery
 : > behind the name.
 : >
 : > I would personally be indebted if you, or a coworker, could locate
 : > the individual who originally named the machine,
 : > and enlighten us as to why that particular name was chosen.
 : >
 : > Yours respectfully...
 : >
 : > --
 : > Christopher G. Mann -
 : >
 : > Technical Supervisor, Webmaster
 : > Walnut Creek CDROM -
 : >
 : Well, I am afraid you may not find the story as exciting as you wish.
 : When UF Engineering Computer Services was founded we were given a block
 : of 20 or 30 IP addresses on the campus backbone network (128) this was
 : about 1990ish. At the time we didn't manage the reverse pointers and
 : putting names to IP addresses was kind of a "claim" on them back then.
 : So one afternoon we (That being Me, Brad, Phil and Andy) brainstormed up
 : some names. We didn't really have a theme, other then that the names
 : were mostly un-vulgar. (Frenulum slipped in there somehow ;) Many were
 : named after our cats, Another theme that came and went quickly was
 : insects. We came up with the names, and as equipment came in it got
 : assigned to the next available named IP address.
 : As time progressed we moved to new locations. We got our own subnet and
 : control of the DNS for it. But the names moved with the machines, and
 : the theme of "no theme" stuck with us until I left ECS in 1992ish...
 : That is how hornet came to be hornet.
 : E

Before I sign off, I'd like to give sincere thanks to the countless people who have helped with the archive over the years. I would have preferred to thank people individually, but the list was growing too quickly and would surely have been missing important names. To all those brave souls who authored web pages for the archive, assisted in the drudgery of moving uploads out of /incoming, typed their fingers to the nub with email feedback, and reviewed new songs, demos, code, and graphics, I thank you whole-heartedly. Your efforts were successful in bringing together the best place to get scene files.

I'd like to repeat something that Dan Wright said in the final issue of DemoNews: "Oh yeah, one last thing. If you find that you are the last one left please close the door on your way out."

From my interview in that same issue; "I like closure, not loose ends. I'd much rather say something like 'OK folks, it's a wrap.' instead of 'See you next week!'... with that next week never arriving."

OK folks, it's a wrap.

Christopher G. Mann
Snowman / Hornet
22 Sep 1998