BBS ads in zip comments

category: offtopic [glöplog]
During the first half of the 1990s, it was common for BBSes to add ASCII and even ANSI text adverts onto ZIP file archives. It is a different and much faster approach than inserting an advert into the compressed archive, especially for the clunky PCs of the era. Yet today, it is a forgotten feature even though you could consider this a form of proto-online advertising?

There are many thousands of BBS and FTP site adverts hidden in people's DOS and Amiga(?) zip file collections that I think are worth preserving by themselves.

So I wrote this tool, zipcmt, to display and extract these comments to individual textfiles for prosperity. I originally made it for the site defacto2.net, though anyone who is a digital hoarder for 1990s online files might find it helpful.

It's written in Go, meaning it's fast, portable, and dependency-free for major OSes. It converts the comments into web-friendly Unicode and preserves the zip file's last modification date. And it is open-source under an LGPL license.


I ran zipcmt over an extensive collection of files and compiled imperfect 25,000 BBS ASCII and ANSI ads into this file pack which some may also enjoy.
added on the 2021-06-20 06:33:40 by Ipggi Ipggi
Finally :)
Nice idea!
added on the 2021-06-21 08:44:32 by Emod Emod
added on the 2021-06-25 01:33:53 by dipswitch dipswitch
Cool idea!
added on the 2021-07-02 00:20:24 by yop yop
I have a bunch of old BBS advertisement executables from msdos era stored in some old hd somewhere, but no means to read those drives. Possibly ansi/ascii advertisements too, but can't recall because those weren't as interesting
added on the 2021-07-02 09:39:22 by astu astu
astu: We would really like a copy, please :) If you do Discord, would you kindly stumble into https://discord.io/demozoo and talk to us?
added on the 2021-07-02 10:44:22 by menace menace