History

Realm667, a private and personal webpage will soon celebrate its fifteenth birthday. Considering the fact that most personal web pages out there only exist for a few years or get abandoned even earlier, I can take this as a definite milestone for this page as it is still up to date with numerous content being added every once in a while. Though, it hasn't been that easy when I started my first version back in 2000 and I would have never believed that almost fifteen years later my web page is still online and gets still visited several hundred times every day. So, what has it looked like in earlier times? What has been changed on the page and how did things happen to turn out as they are right now?

In the beginning there was Geocities Pagebuilder

In the beginning, there was Geocities"In the beginning, there was void..."Everything begun back in 1999 when I did my first few steps in the world wide web and I really have to tell you, these few steps have been very expensive, about $0,05 per minute but that didn't put me off. I was already working on Doom maps and I really wanted to release these efforts to the newly discovered fan communities like Doomworld.com and Doomnation.com to get some feedback and response. So having a personal place where I can release my own projects was quite reasonable. Unfortunately my knowledge in this area was ... well, let's say limitedMicrosoft Word, Geocities.com Pagebuilder and Corel Photopaint 4.0 seemed like a professional solution (shame on me). Only few people actually know, that the first version of "Tormentor's Realm 667" was white/red, though got replaced quickly with a black/red color sheme that stayed for quite a long time.

Months later I discovered the benefit of frames (dare you laughing, in 2000 frames have been the non-plus-ultra!) and made a little redesign with the help of Microsoft Word 98 and added a few nice Javascripts and-applets like Counters, Rolloverbuttons, Expanding Menus and other goodies to spice things up. And - believe it or not - I even won a few awards with this homepage ("Site of the Month" by DoomWadStation, "Site of the Month" by All4Gaming (more on that lobbyism later), "Top Site Award" by DooMiNatioN).

Frontpage 98 - The greatest thing since donuts

Frontpage 98 - The greatest thing since donutsIn the beginning of 2001 I got my hands on Microsoft Frontpage 98, my first real HTML editor, and adjusted some of the crappy code in my old "Word HTML" to make everything look a bit more organized. In the same year my doom addiction reached new heights and together with my good old friend Boris "Acidflash31" Butschkau I created a two-man mapping team called Orbit Interactive. We had thousands of ideas, we were fully motivated and the only thing that was left to do was to create a new home for our creations. I still can remember the cold and snowy weather while we were sitting in my father's office both creating the homepage for Orbit Interactive.

The good, the bad and the ugly. The good thing was the effort put into the page, the bad thing was the uselesness of the page considering that we never released a project and the ugly, well... Acidflash31 quit the doom community, so there was no more need to keep Orbit Interactive alive.

Perforated Entrails ahoi!

Perforated Entrails ahoi!There was one project nearing completion which was already well-received by the community and exclusively designed for the multiplayer port Skulltag called "Perforated Entrails". It was already close to completion and I didn't want to waste that. As a consequence, there was actually need for a homepage for the project and... well, there it was, hosted by NewDoom.com

The page itself was created in about 10 minutes, nothing too fancy, just a place to read information about the project and watch some screenshots to get a certain feeling what it was all about. Perforated Entrails also only reached the Lite Demo Release state and since then was never touched again. I had plans to finish it up from time to time, but until now (the moment that I write this in 2014) it's still on hold - the files are there, maybe it's time for another community effort.

And then there was general Gaming (and Abandonware)

And then there was general Gaming (and Abandonware) Though this never meant an absolute end to me. After these disappointments with doom homepages and projects, I joined two classmates (Daniel "DTNo1" Thajer, Daniel "TheUdo" Richter)  who were working on a page for all kind of games in 2002, filled with downloads and articles focused on current games. My first task was the creation of a new site layout and design to replace the old simple green one. 

The darker, the better, the bluer

The darker, the better, the bluerAll the cyan-ness hurt people's eyes bad, so aAfter two months and a large interest in our new project All4Gaming I somehow was being forced to once more redesign the page and improving it in terms of contrasts, with many new small details and changes - and so I did. The new design was darker, more user friendly and beyond had more space for content which was the most important thing for the team.

Jumping on the RPG-bandwagon

Jumping on the RPG-bandwagon In 2004 we were close to the Abitur exams (general qualification for university entrance) so wasting the time for our hobbies was no question anymore - at least it still was for ne. The team broke up and the complete project was trashed. Time for me to get in touch again with my old friend Acidflash31. Between my studies and in times of boredom we discovered the RPGMaker2000, a tool to create your own RPG game like Final Fantasy, Zelda or Secret of Mana. Yet again time for a new homepage to presend my work (or in this case a simple recolor of Tormentor's Realm 667 to fit the new content).

Adobe Photoshop 5.0, whooaaaa!

Adobe Photoshop 5.0, whooaaaa! About 7 months later, in the late of 2004, I got my hands on Adobe Photoshop 5.0 and everyone who has already worked with that program knows about its capabilities. For me it was clear: "I need a new page design" and so I started with something totally different, new colors, new design, new style, combined content and beyond a new system to reduce the redundancies that I had in my old HTML-based framesystems. The first page in PHP working with HTML templates, a flexible and maintainance-friendly solution, Realm667 v3 was born and launched.

Realm667's 3rd birthday

Realm667's 3rd birthdayWeb- and mediadesign has always been a passion for me. During another year, I learned a lot of new techniques and styles which brought me to another redesign of the Realm667 for its 4th birthday. I wanted something more complex, with more eyecandy and with several little details. Realm667 v4 was finished within one month, thanks to sleepless nights, a bad summer and the free time after my exams and before my alternative civilian service job.

No pain, no gain - why redesigns always make sense

My dad always told me in the past "Boy, you will never earn money with this kind of stuff!" No pain, no gain - why redesigns always make senseWell, dads always want their best for their children but in this case he was a bit wrong. I am working as a mediadesigner currently (October, 2014) and I am actually earning a few bucks with developing websites. The base of this knowledge also lies 10 years in the past, when I (for the 1.329.328th time) I redesigned the Realm667 for the sake of doing something new that was more up-to-date and visually more appealing. I started to develope a certain personal style and this was the first time when I didn't inspire myself from someone else but created something that my own mind formed - Realm667 v5 with all nifty goodies like a random header, more php and even more content.

Content Management Systems - wtf?!

Content Management Systems - wtf?!In the middle of the first decade in 2000, free content management systems have been on the rise. Systems like phpNuke or Mambo come to people's minds, variants to the professional Typo3 system. These cms' weren't as powerful as their commercial twins but you already have been able to realise large community pages. In these days, Joomla was born as a fork from the popular Mambo cms. When I got in touch with it, I was sure that I wanted to use these kind of system for the next installment of the Realm667. Everything was quite easy to set up and the whole thing had a online-administrative backend. This way I could change and add content from anywhere on the world without being forced to use some kind of editor. Everything was implemented. After some headaches and yet several sleeples nights, the new Realm667 v6 was finished and uploaed. The real hard part was the template, but I already learned a lot concerning these kind of setups while working on messageboard systems (Woltlab Burning Board) that was a real big help.

From free templates to custom templates

From free templates to custom templatesAfter the jump to content management systems I also got in touch with this several times during my job in a mediadesign agency. Straight according to the motto "learning by doing" I got into this whole thing deeper and deeper. I aquired myself new techniques, new ideas and more knowledge on how to build a professional webpage, how to design an appealing look and how to form a good overall-concept that works perfectly out for the end user. Realm667 v6.5 (as I call it, as the system was the same, but the template was new) was born and unleashed to the community. I am still very pleased with the look of the page years ago, the color sheme was quite nice and the style of the site was definitely unique - and everything toally dynamic thanks to Joomla.

From custom templates to commercial templates

From custom templates to commercial templatesSeveral months later, the Joomla development team stopped the long-term support for version 1.0of their cms. To avoid problems, I have been in the very need to update the system to the already released version 1.5. In this time I was currently at my final exams of my media designer application so I didn't have a lot of time to completely rebuild the template (which was actually necessary, fortunately the content was migrated automatically). A cheap and dirty solution was a commercial template that I simply adjusted to my needs. I bought a nice one from Rockettheme, added Doom images, set the colors to match the Realm667 colorsheme of  v6.5 and there it was - Realm667 v7.0. I am such a lazy bastard!

From commercial templates to my own business

From commercial templates to my own businessAfter my exams and when my new contract for employment has been set into stone, I felt like being motivated and creative enough to finally take care of the individual and self-made template for my page. Being skilled enough in CSS, PHP and HTML finally, I was able to whip up the first template that I considered as "professional work". I took care of every little detail that even visitors wouldn't notice. By this opportunity I also split up the page, removing Art & Design as well as Personal Stuff from the Doom-related content, turning the Realm667 v8.0 in a clean and real Doom webpage - actually "back to the roots".

Realm667 as a general Doom community page

Realm667 as a general Doom community pageThis setup actually worked well for almost 2 years which is quite a long time compared to the regular frequency of redesigns we had until then. In this time, the content of the Realm667 grew a lot. The Beatiary as a monster-resource database for ZDoom and similar ports, as well as its counterparts for similar resources like items, textures, weapons and effects. The Realm667 also got a place for general Doom news gathered around the community and forums so people have a central place to look for latest projects and releases. The old template couldn't handle the sheer amount of content in a reasonable and clear way so it was about time to adjust the look of the site to the newly born requirements. The Realm667 v9.0 was the first time that the personal Doom page turned into a general Doom resource and news portal.

Haxx0rs bring us downz0r!

Haxx0rs bring us downz0r!During an unfortunate end of 2012, the Realm667 was hacked by a malware-bot that compromited numerous Joomla pages in the whole web. The system took a lot of damage due to these code injections, that a complete reinstallation was necessary to make sure the pages are cleaned the malicious code was gone. In that downtime I also took the opportunity to clean, update and fix several things that have been around for a while now. After several weeks of continous development, the latest v10.0 of the Realm667 was finished - at least that was what I thought and also hoped for.

After another hacking attack in the middle of 2014, our hoster gave us two options: Removing the page from the webhost or migrating it to Joomla 3.x as a better supported version of the cms. The problem was that a migration from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 3.3.4 was a lot of work, especially some programming was necessary which I wasn't capable of. I had two options: Letting it die or paying someone who is able to migrate the page. After initiating a crowdfunding project, $ 1.400 have been gathered for a professional technical support, migrating the content from Joomla 1.5 to the latest version available. Thanks to all the donators around, reviving the Realm667 to v11.0 turning it into the "Rebirth Edition".

Following the trail of the Web 2.0

Following the trail of the Web 2.0As the web techniques have improved over the past 2 years again, especially when it comes to responsive designs for smartphones and tablets (even though I doubt that people really need it) I always thought it was about time to improve the CSS and PHP code for the main template. Unfortunately I never felt having enough time to do it so I simply delayed it into infinity.

After updating the messageboard system to Kunena 5.0, the whole design broke and I was sure: Now there is no other choice than improving the main design as well to bring all the coding up to par. So in October 2016 I started to develop the modern new and responsive design for the Realm667 and also took the opportunity to muck out the place a bit. Next improving content and menues, I also improved the administrative user rights - which is more of a background thing but keeps changes for the Realm667-staff on the easy side.

For a certain while I even logged a list of changes of the site (aka the changelog) but I don't think that this is really interesting for people, so I stopped updating this after the migration to Joomla 3.3.3. Regarding the latest hacking attacks it's maybe even better that people do not know what systems we are using. For an even more detailed information - partially filled with heavy overuse of bad english - read the news archive.

Changelog

Changes from September 2014
dot_misc
Migrated to Joomla 3.3.3 from Joomla 1.5
dot_misc
Updated DOCman to 2.0 (subscribtion)
dot_miscUpdated JCE (subscribtion, incl. all plugins)
dot_plusRemoved any unsupported and buggy plugins/modules/components
dot_plusAdded replacements for unsupported plugins/modules/components
Changes from January 2013
dot_misc
Updated Joomla 1.5 to the latest version available
dot_miscUpdated JCE
dot_plusRemoved JoomlaStats 2
dot_plusRemoved Facebook Likebox
dot_plusRemoved Weblinks
dot_plusAdded j4age Stats
dot_plusAdded AutoReadMore
dot_plusAdded Facebook Sidebar
dot_plusAdded Enhanced Weblinks
dot_plusAdded JFusion Discussion Bot
dot_plusAdded AcePolls
Changes from February 2012
dot_miscUpdated phpBB to 3.0.10
dot_plusAdded thread description to the forum
dot_plusAdded new icons and ranks to the forum
Changes from December 2011
dot_miscUpdated the Random Image Box to 1.5-7-3
dot_miscUpdated JCE to 2.0.7
dot_miscUpdated eXtplorer to RC5
dot_miscUpdated RIM Module to the latest version
dot_miscUpdated DBReplacer to 1.3.1
dot_miscUpdated DOCMan to 1.5.7
dot_plusRemoved Akeeba Backup (server solution found)
Changes from October 2011
dot_plusAdded module for displaying seasonal particle effects
Changes from July 2011
dot_miscUpdated Joomla from 1.0 to 1.5
dot_miscMigrated JoomlaComments from 3.26 to 4.0
dot_miscMigrated JoomlaStats from 2.0 to 3.0
dot_miscMigrated EasyBook from 2.0 to EasyBook Reloaded
dot_miscMigrated DOCMan from 1.4 to 2.0
dot_plusAdded JFusion as bridge between Joomla & phpBB3
dot_plusAdded JFusion Login & Activity modules
dot_plusAdded SectionEx component for repo-blod display as table
dot_plusAdded Form2Content for the community news and review area
dot_plusAdded Community news (incl. submission dialogue)
dot_plusAdded Rewviews (incl. submission dialogue)
dot_plusAdded "Latest Forum Posts" module
dot_plusAdded rating feature to the repository
dot_plusAdded DJ Imageslide as special "Top News" display
dot_plusRemoved Joomfish component
Changes from December 2009
dot_plusAdded a phpBB3 messageboard to the page
dot_plusAdded several resource sections to the Realm667 repository
dot_plusAdded numerous mods to the phpBB3
dot_plusAdded a shoutbox to the forum
Changes from January 2009
dot_plusRemoved/Moved about 70% of content from the page, "Doomified" the Realm667
dot_plusStopped Joomfish component (no future german news items)
dot_miscMoved from "Saecksmachine.biz" host to a own host at All-Inkl.de
dot_miscUpgraded Joomstats to latest version
dot_plusAdded complete new site design built from scratch
Changes from May to August 2008
dot_plusAdded new gallery system (flash based w/ mp3 player)
dot_plusAdded tab/slides mambotAdded tab/slides mambot
dot_plusAdded section "Songs & Music" and content
dot_plusRemoved "ArtBanners" component for "Snapshot" box
dot_plusAdded "Random Image Modified M13" for new "Snapshot" lightbox
dot_plusRemoved "JoomlaXplorer" component
dot_plusAdded "eXtplorer" as new filemanager backend
dot_miscUpgraded "JCE" admin component & plugins
dot_miscUpgraded Joomla to 1.0.15 from 1.0.13

Changes from January to April 2008
dot_plusAdded new page design (rev. 7, "PHP/MySQL CMS" based)
dot_plusAdded file database component ("DOCMan")
dot_plusAdded latest / hottest items module
dot_plusAdded password protection mambot
dot_plusAdded latest / hottest downloads module
dot_plusAdded countdown module
dot_miscRearranged and optimised menue hierarchy and site structure
dot_minusRemoved selection sub-section added list icons (language and changelog)
dot_plusImproved and expanded css typography styles
dot_miscAdded preview thumbnails to ecards and compressed page dimensions
dot_miscSplitted and renamed portfolio section into web design / print design
dot_miscMoved wallpapers and ecards into the design sub-secton goodies
dot_plusAdded alternate style choices (different text colors & header graphics)
Changes from September to December 2007
dot_miscReplaced comment component for better spam protection ("JComments")
dot_miscReplaced guestbook component for better spam protection ("Easybook")
dot_plusAdded latest comments module
dot_plusAdded selection sub-section in doom
Changes from June to August 2007
dot_plusAdded guestbook component (cms integration, "AkoBook")
dot_plusAdded beastiary sub-section in doom
Changes from January to May 2007
dot_plusAdded new page design (rev. 6.5, "PHP/MySQL CMS" based)
dot_plusAdded header slideshow (flash based)
dot_plusAdded backend ftp component ("JoomlaXPlorer")
dot_plusAdded top level domain "Realm667.com"
dot_plusAdded top news box
Changes from August to December 2006
dot_plusAdded picture gallery (flash based, "FIS")
dot_plusAdded interviews sub-section in articles
dot_plusMoving from DRDTeam.org to Allinkl.de (paid space, less restrictions)
dot_plusAdded site polls
dot_plusAdded comment component ("AkoComment")
dot_plusAdded multilanguage component ("Joomfish")
dot_plusImproved counter, added stat istics module and component ("JoomlaStats")
dot_plusAdded emoticons to new content items
dot_plusAdded partnership module
dot_plusReplaced pic of the day box with random picture (php script)
Changes from January to July 2006
dot_plusAdded page content to cms (Joomla)
dot_plusAdded new page design (rev. 6, "PHP/MySQL CMS" based)
dot_minusRemoved project status tracker
dot_plusAdded top release box
dot_minusRemoved rpgm2k section
dot_plusImproving page content items to fit the new cms
dot_plusAdded blog
Changes from January to May 2006
dot_plusMoving from Framecom.net to DRDTeam.org
dot_plusAdded project status tracker (newsticker)
dot_plusAdded photographie section
Changes from September to December 2005
dot_plusAdded project status tracker (newsticker)
Changes from January to August 2005
dot_plusAdded various content
Changes from August to December 2004
dot_plusAdded new page design (rev. 5, "PHP/HTML" based)
dot_plusAdded pic of the moment
dot_minusRemoved review section
dot_minusRemoved messageboard
dot_plusAdded guestbook popup link
dot_plusAdded article section
dot_plusAdded lyrics section
dot_plusAdded gaming section and moved doom / rpkm2k section
dot_plusAdded webdesign section and moved wbb styles / references section
dot_plusAdded portfolio section
Changes from January to July 2004
dot_plusAdded various content
Changes from May to December 2003
dot_plusAdded various content
dot_plusImproved the preview layout for wallpapers
dot_plusAdded new page design (rev. 4, "PHP/HTML" based)
dot_plusAdded sketchworks section
dot_plusAdded review section and sub-sections
dot_plusImproved several htmls for compatibility reasons
dot_plusImproved guestbook system by switching to BurningBook ("PHP/MySQL" based)
dot_plusLaunched "Sunset Lounge v2"
Changes from January to April 2003
dot_plusFixed broken bilingual php system
dot_plusAdded unreleasables doom sub-section
dot_plusAdded artworks section
dot_plusImproved messageboard system by switching to WBB ("PHP/MySQL" based)
dot_plusAdded topinfo box
dot_plusAdded news archive and moved old items
dot_plusAdded wbb styles section
dot_plusIntegrated messageboard seemingless into the site system
dot_plusUpdated messageboard to WBB2
dot_minusDropped guestbook system (service stopping soon)
Changes from June to December 2002
dot_plusAdded various content
dot_plusLaunched "Sunset-Lounge"
dot_plusMoving from Exit.de to Covers.de (now known as Framecom.net)
Changes in May 2002
dot_plusAdded new page design (rev 3, "PHP/HTML" based)
dot_plusAdded news item category icons (doom, rpgm2k, misc, design, ...)
dot_plusRenamed "Tormentor's Realm 667" to "Realm667"
dot_plusAdded design section
dot_plusAdded design sub-sections and content
dot_plusAdded reviews to doom content
Changes from August, 2001 to February 2002
dot_plusChanged messageboard / guestbook systems into PHP/MySQL bases
dot_plusAdded RPKMaker2K sections
Changes in September, 2001
dot_plusMoving from Newdoom.com to Exit.de
dot_plusChanged messageboard system to "ezboard"
dot_plusChanged guestbook system to an ad-free provider
dot_plusChanged messageboard
dot_minusDropped "Perofrated Entrails"
Changes from January to August, 2001
dot_plusAdded doom music section
dot_plusAdded flash intro
dot_minusDropped "Orbit Interactive"
dot_plusLaunched "Perforated Entrails" site
dot_plusMoving from Newdoom.com to Exit.de
dot_plusChanged messageboard system to "ezboard"
dot_plusChanged guestbook system to an ad-free provider
dot_plusChanged messageboard
Changes in December, 2000
dot_plusAdded new sections
dot_plusImproved existing sections
dot_minusRemoved background music (temporary)
dot_plusAdded bilingual site system
dot_plusAdded resolution compatibility for 800x600 and 1024x768X
dot_plusAdded background music
dot_plusAdded temporary christmas design
dot_plusImproved various design aspects
dot_plusImproved tools section
dot_plusRenamed "Text World" into "FAQ Section"
dot_plusImproved brightness of standard text
dot_plusAdded various content
dot_plusMoving from Geocities.com to Newdoom.com
Changes from August to November, 2000
dot_plusAdd "Perforated Entrails" section
dot_plusAdded flash counter
dot_plusAdded new page design (rev 2, "Word" based)
Changes from June to July, 2000
dot_plusChanged / Improved frameset
dot_plusAdded german messageboard
dot_plusChanged messageboard language into english
dot_plusAdded new page design (rev 1, "Word" based)
dot_plusLaunched "Orbit Interactive" site
dot_plusAdded article section (formerly "Text World")
dot_plusAdded top level domain "Tormentor667.de" (FreeCity)
Changes in May, 2000
dot_miscLaunched "Tormentor's Realm 667" ("Geocities Site Builder" based)
dot_plusAdded wad section
dot_plusAdded links section
dot_plusAdded various content
dot_plusAdded animated gifs
dot_plusAdded background music
dot_plusAdded tools section
dot_plusAdded guestbook
dot_plusAdded various content
dot_plusAdded frame based navigation
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