NOTE: This is an archived copy of the Dragonfire
Internet Services website. Dragonfire is no longer in operation; please
do not attempt to contact any of the addresses listed on this site.
The History of Dragonfire
This history is written from the perspective of Andy Church, the
founder of Dragonfire.
- Christmas Eve (24 December) 1994: The Birth of Dragonfire
- Dragonfire (then known simply as Dragon) makes its first appearance
on the 'Net as dragon.mbhs.edu, via a modem connection
courtesy of the
Montgomery Blair High School's
Annex. The system is a 4-year-old Amiga 2000 running at 25MHz with
6MB of RAM and 600MB of disk space. Hours of operation are evenings
and weekends, most of the time. Speed is 19.2 kbps (kilobits per
second), for a maximum throughput of roughly 1.8 kBytes/second.
Anonymous FTP access to a small collection of music modules is set
up at the suggestion of a friend of mine.
- January 1995
- The Video Game Music Archive makes its debut, containing
a few pieces of music from the Nintendo Final Fantasy and
Castlevania games. The FTP site's address is quietly mentioned on
a newsgroup or two. Transfers during the month, however, total an
astonishing (at the time) 109 MB.
- February 1995
- Dragon gets its own phone line late in the month and goes online
- April 1995
- With Squaresoft's permission, all the Final Fantasy 2 and 3
music is sampled and put in the Video Game Music Archive, with
music from other Square games to come.
- June 1995
- Final Fantasy 3 Online RPG archives released on Dragon.
Music modules start disappearing as disk space starts running low.
- July 1995
- Early in the month, Dragon loses its connectivity due to a short
circuit in the telephone line. Partial connectivity is restored
almost immediately by borrowing another line during the evenings,
but it is nearly two weeks before Dragon is back up full-time.
Nevertheless, transfers total 770 MB and Dragon passes 3 GB in
total transfers near the end of the month. Also, Dragon gets a new
1GB drive, nearly tripling its total storage capacity.
- 21 August 1995
- Early in the morning, Dragon is disconnected from the 'Net in
preparation for a move to college. Transfers during the month -
over just 19 days' uptime - total 719 MB, a record-setting pace.
- 6 September 1995
- After a two-week-plus absence, Dragon returns to the Internet as
dragon.res.cmu.edu, connected now via Ethernet and a 10
Mbps Internet connection (courtesy of
Carnegie Mellon University's
Communications department). Additionally, Dragon starts
serving web pages, using an HTTP daemon (web server) written
by yours truly.
- 11 September 1995
- Dragon becomes the home for the Unofficial Squaresoft Home Page
(since moved and revamped), causing a dramatic leap in web traffic
and prompting an overhaul of the HTTP daemon.
- 21 September 1995
- After a few on-and-off days of work on the HTTP daemon and no small
amount of cursing at my own oversights, the daemon reaches fully
- 24 September 1995
- Dragon suffers a hard disk failure due to the (comparatively)
tremendous traffic, minor enough that the data is recoverable but
major enough to make the disk unusable otherwise. Service is
intermittent and incomplete over the next four days, until normal
operations are restored on the 28th.
- 30 September 1995
- After a total of roughly three weeks of service during the month,
Dragon serves 2.2GB of FTP files in over 3700 transfers, as well
as over 208,000 Web pages (about 900MB of data). That transfer
rate, about 1.77k/sec on average, would have saturated Dragon's
old SLIP modem connection.
- 21-22 October 1995
- Dragon's operations are transferred to a new, more powerful, and
more crash-proof Linux system. The multiuser capabilities of Linux
allow Dragon to offer web or FTP space to any who ask.
- 25 October 1995
- The Amiga on which Dragon had previously run suffers a short
circuit, rendering it inoperable.
- 28 October 1995
- Dragon's first user account is created.
- 27 November 1995
- Reports arrive of software provided by a user on Dragon being used
to break into accounts, resulting in the first account removal and
a more precise (and somewhat stricter) set of rules being laid down
- Christmas Eve 1995 -- Dragon's first birthday!
- Dragon reaches the end of its first year of existence, riding a
record-high 32 days of consecutive uptime. Dragon has expanded
from a fledgling system with a small FTP archive to a powerful,
multiuser Web and FTP server with over 700MB of files. Looking
back, I recall being amazed at having transferred over a hundred
megabytes of data in the first month; yet Dragon is on course to
transfer over thirty gigabytes of data this month, split
about 2:1 between FTP and Web files - ten times that original month
per day. And I can't help but wonder where Dragon will be
at the end of next year...
- January 1996
- Jason Pool joins Dragon's administration as
handler of account requests.
- 8 February 1996
- As U.S. President Clinton signs into law a bill which would
criminalize free speech on the Internet, Dragon joins a net-wide
protest of this second-class treatment.
- 26 February 1996
- Dragon transforms into Dragonfire Internet Services, a.k.a.
dragonfire.net. Dragonfire's user base numbers over 180,
and the system serves over 2.5GB of data per day.
- 19 March 1996
- After nearly twelve straight hours of playing with cables and
copying files, Dragonfire's disk space is doubled with the addition
of a new 2GB hard disk.
- 2 May 1996
- Dragonfire adds its 500th user.
- 10 May 1996
- Jason Pool leaves, and is replaced by Patrick Brand as
primary handler of account requests.
- 14 May 1996
- Dragonfire heads to a new location for the summer. But, unbeknownst
to any, there were a few surprises in store...
- 13 June 1996
- After no less than thirty days of downtime - thanks in large part to
a two-month delay from Bell Atlantic - Dragonfire finally returns to
the Internet with a 112 kbit ISDN connection. Domain name service
is not available (yet), so all connections have to be made to
184.108.40.206. Nevertheless, Dragonfire's connection hits
periods of saturation during its first day reconnected.
- 23 July 1996
- Dragonfire acquires a 4GB drive, doubling its storage capacity to 8
gigabytes. And just in time: Dragonfire's original 4GB of space
was 99% full when the new drive was installed.
- 25 August 1996
- Dragonfire returns to its earlier high-speed connection, albeit two
days later than planned (no thanks to Murphy's Law).
- 28 August 1996
- Dragonfire's user base reaches 1,000.
- 16 November 1996
- Dragonfire passes one terabyte (1024 gigabytes) of data sent.
- 22 November 1996
- Dragonfire upgrades its main server to a Pentium-based system to
alleviate the delay problems in accessing Dragonfire's web server.
- 25 November 1996
- The UnOfficial Squaresoft Home Page, the first page ever served by
Dragonfire, leaves Dragonfire to be hosted by Square USA.
- 24 December 1996 -- Dragonfire's second birthday
- Dragonfire sits silently on its second birthday, down for unknown
reasons. One could almost say Dragonfire deserves the rest,
though: it has served over half a million pages daily from 5,000
accounts during the previous month. That number of pages was the
total monthly transfer during December of the previous
year. Because of the incredible growth, Dragonfire has stopped
offering accounts until a way can be found to support increased
- 25 December 1996
- By some fluke, Dragonfire is restored to service early in the
morning. However, signs of a break-in are present, and most access
to Dragonfire is shut down again until a further survey of the
system can be made.
- 11 January 1997
- Dragonfire is finally returned to normal operation.
- 20 January 1997
- Dragonfire announces its intention to charge for accounts beginning
on 1 April 1997.
- 21 March 1997
- Dragonfire leaves Carnegie Mellon University and is installed at
the network center of Clark
Internet Services, Inc.
- 1 April 1997
- Dragonfire begins charging for web/FTP accounts.
- 17 April 1997
- The old free accounts expire, completing Dragonfire's transition to
a commercial service.
- 5 July 1997
- Dragonfire's server is upgraded to 128MB RAM, drastically reducing
delays in accessing files on the server.
- 20 August 1997
- Dragonfire begins offering domain services.
- 27 September 1997
- Dragonfire's disk space is doubled with the addition of a 9GB
(well, actually 8.5GB) disk drive.
- 24 December 1997 -- Dragonfire's third birthday
- Although the road's still somewhat rocky, Dragonfire has been
operational for three years now, and operating commercially for
nearly one year. Dragonfire has exceeded anything I thought it
might become when I put up my first anonymous FTP archive three
years ago, or even when I started allowing free accounts over two
years ago, and it has yet to seriously fall on its face, which
impresses me (particularly since I had no real concrete idea how to
run an Internet service when I started Dragonfire).
- 30 January 1998
- Dragonfire doubles its number of server machines from one to two
with the installation of a new (and more powerful) Linux box to
relieve overloading occurring throughout the past month.
- 1 February 1998
- Dragonfire raises rates to compensate for increased network
- 1 October 1998
- Dragonfire adds basic domain service
(http://accountname.dragonfire.net/ URLs) to its standard
account package. Account fees are revised to reflect this change
and also to establish a more even scale for bandwidth rates.
- 16 October 1998
- Existing accounts are converted to basic domain service.
Last update: . . . rather redundant.