The Node 99 Delema
What's worse then watching the competition out do your organization? Watching them copy your ideas to out do you. It happens in real life. Big business spies on their competitors to steal ideas and then market them for their own profit. Even though we were a small page at the time, I was determined not to let a big time copycat get away with robbing our site our of most prized possession: our identity.
Many of you requested this during the peek time of this insident. I said I would state my side, but I never really got a
chance to due this with a clear mind. I felt I may say something false from anger and have something backfire on me. Several
months later, I created this file. All the info here is either based on my personal notes, logs, email, or memory. As far
as I know, everything is true. (Note: most info in italics are the original text that appeared on the page.)
11/28/96 & 11/30/96
I first suspected some copying was going on at the end of the Nov. 1996.
Though it pissed my off quite a bit, I never responding to the author of Node99 because I felt it was just a co-insidence.
But never the less, I remember asking him to look at my emulator page a few months eariler and all he told me was Looks good.
Needs work. I no longer have the message to prove this, even though many of you wanted to see it. (DOH!)
Here's a copy of my notes I wrote down on my History Page.
Only the spelling and
grammer has been changed so the context will make sence. :)
After look[ing] at Node 99's page and comparing it with what my page looked like in the past, I can almost sware that he is
copying some of my ideas.
1.) The stuff on the bottom of the screen was ajusted to the left, now its centered. (I had that on my page, but I gave it
up because it was by accident.
2.) There was no heavy discription with the emulator files, now there is, (like on my page)
3.) There is now a proulog about his page under the main title image, just like i do, except mine is after the the mentioning
of "What's New?".
Before this time, I was receiving many letters stating that
I was copying or "ripping" the layout style from Node99's page. Here's what I had to say at that time:
Before I get more messages that I ripped some styles off on Node 99, I want to make one thing clear:
That new layout for the discription of the emulators looks alot like mine. They
sure don't look like his original.
There are others examples, but what the fuck. No one will fucking listen to me anyways. They will still think he came up with
everything first anyways.
The other examples included the changing of his logo to a banner-like format, like I do. I didn't think anything about it,
untilhe added a little quote under it, like I did, in italic, like I do. Only thing different was his message, which said
"Smells like Quake", or something similar to that. Then they're were the little [link] | [link] | [link] text bar
below that looked suprising, (I'm using that word losely,) similar to mine.
At this time, the letters were starting to pile-up. I got really mad when I saw
that he had advertising on his page. Why? Well, for one thing, he's making money on his page with some of my original layout
ideas. I had my friends compare my page and his page and asked if the layouts looked similar, (just to make sure I wasn't
going crazy,) and they all agreeded that they looked very similar.
Before I continue, I don't want to hear "ripping" shit for the bold date format. I had that idea for a while, but, as some
of you may know, I have been too busy with finals to do anything.(thats why there has not been any real updates for over a
Anyhow, I'm not the only one getting ideas stolen from me I received and an email messages saying that the guy
from Node 99 riped his some of his ideas and and later claimed that the guy copied Node 99. I have some spectualtion that
this guy is appearently trying to take in all the new ideas off of a cool looking new page and assimulated them into his page.
Then, after he is done, he will publicly make fun of the person, saying that the person copied him, (and include an http
address.) Weather or not this is true is not know, but I surly will not just let some jerk take my ideas and make money off
of it. (He has advertising on his page you know..)
Here's a copy of that letter that was sent to me:
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 19:37:15 -0800
From: Mark de Regt
I got called for ripping off node99 too... he's such an ass (avatarz)...
i made ideas and he copied me... like the macintosh section as well as
the sinclair section... ... I know how you feel :)
December 31 1996
After all the crap I went through, I made it my commitment for the new year not
to be walked on like that. I felt it was time to attack, before the author of Node99 made a little, "Hay, look at the
ripper" segment on this page. (Like he does with other people.) This stuff appeared the next day, or ah year, on my page.
It appears that our good friend at Node 99 has something to say...
Never been to my page eh?? Let me find that email message - if I still have it. :|
January 4, 1997
The author of Node99 publicly commented on his page about this incedient. He denied all
charged I made against him. From the time that he made this info public on his page to the time I made this next piece
on news on my page known, I received many letters. Some were support for my page, others were support against my page. The ones I took
most seriouly were the ones that at were, (or at least appeared,) neutral. I did get one letter calling for a truce, but it wasn't from
the Node99's author. I declined because I didn't want to fadeout without a fight.
The war continues, and boy is this fun! 40 stupid "you ripped him" message, all making cheap attemps to hide the truth. I received
about 20 or so showing support for my side. I will like to thank those who wrote them for t least not falling into the false
belief that Node 99 is God. I recieved about 10 neutral letters giving an honest comparision between the pages. But, I want
to make one thing clear: This page is NOT meant to be a page where you can find anything and everything about every emulator
for every system availible. This page is meant for the gamers, like myself, who want to play these games on the PC. Sure it
might be cool to play an Atari 2600 game on the PC, but after 10 min, who is going to continue, except for the diehard fan
who played it when it was avalible for the system?? Where as for the Sega Genesis Emualtor, which run games fairly well, and
the game quality is similiar to many games for the PC, a person would more likely continue using the emulator to play the game.
What I was trying to get at at the end was that I only write about the emulation of game systems that you normally would
have to pay big money for each game ($40 each) to play. And those sytems are the ones that have have the quality that
makes bothering with emulators worthwile.
January 5, 1997
The Letter Incident - I received this letter via email. It look suspecious. For one, those
blocks. And two, the spelling was off, unlike most of letters I got from the author of Node99. Never the less, I assumed that
he was just pissed off and wrote this poorly writen letter, so I responding to him and made a public comment about it on
my page after he had something to say about it. What you see here a copy of the orignal letter and the responce I got from
> firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>At 12:49 AM 1/4/97 -0800, you wrote:
>> dear ?????
>> why don't you get a real page bitch!!!! and stop trying to copy mine!!!!!
>> Your shitty activeI wil never change my page!!
>> mine is the greatest EMULATOR page around,
i hope you are joking, because i did not write that letter. it doesn't bear
my signature, and the person didn't even know my real name. i have a
feeling its another one of your sick jokes, but if it's not be assured i
did not write it.
[ avatar_Z (sean whalen) ]
[ siamese dream . http://188.8.131.52/~swhalen ]
[ node99 . http://184.108.40.206/~swhalen/node99/ ]
Well, I didn't write it either, except for the comment I sent to him, which is avalible on his page. Going to the point of
writing fake email is pretty low, but I wish I though of it first! Anyhow, I didn't write it, and it would appear that neither
did Mr. Whalen, unless he is trying to make an attempt to outburst his hidden anger or someone wants to continue this battle.
PLEASE, NOT OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE!! YOU TAKE THE FUN OUT OF IT!
Later on, I got this confession.
Subject: i know who e-mailed you
Date: 5 Jan 1997 02:01:17 -0000
From: "Michael Baker"
I know who e-mailed you,
It was my brother, his e-mail address is:email@example.com.
the reason I know its him is because he told me about it before
you even posted it on your page. I am sorry for all the anger it caused between
you and node99.
I would advise not sending email to Mike's brother. I got an obseen messsage from him a day after I got this message.
No telling what he is thinking.
The following are somewhat related info that I posted on the page.
01/07 - If you were wondering when and where I placed all the info offline and why...
Cutting the fat out:
The Holy War has left alot of text on this page. I'll be moving it out soon.
January 8,1997 -
Looks like the Holy War is over! I'll make and info file telling the story from my point
of view soon!
I will make more comments later, like what he copied, ect. when I have time.
- For the month or so that followed, these series of events occured:
- I publicly took a week or two off from the development of the page. A week later, so did S. Whalen.
- My page went down a few months later. A week or so later, so did his.
- A month or more later, I had a generic page up explaining what happened, and a week later, so did S. Whalen
Either S.Whalen is a long lost brother, a long lost cousin or my evil twin, or he is just copys what I am doing for some
reason which I can't explain why. Anyhow, I'm claiming victory. Node99's layout changed heavily in mid January, to the point where it
no longer looks like mine. Now, it is safer to say that it doesn't look like mine at all!
True, my page's layout has changed too. But, I was the only one who still had individual info on select systems.
I said that statement in the past tense because Node99 has vanished from the emulation scene altogether.
Responce From The Public
I got alot of responces from the public showing support for my side of the story, even months after it started. Alot of the responces I got went something like, "Yah, your right! I can't believe
I beleive that guy[SWhalen]." Another individual emailed me saying "Ya, your right! I help him buy emailing some stuff to him for his
page and then he claimed credit for it." And finally, I got one piece of email that went like, "After reading you artical, I can't believe
I was wrong. Sorry for flaming you during that time." Of couse, I accepted the apology!
(I was going to post the real names of some of the people that sent me these message, even
when they insisted, but I decided against it. Why? Well, I CAN'T FIND MOST OF THE ORIGINAL MESSAGES! =[ )
Yes, this "war" actually has an ending. On April 26, Sean Whalen email me the following, calling for a truce.
first, i apologize for the way i handled the situation. it was silly of me
to be so protective of my site layout, but the web was young, and so was i.
second, i swear to this day that i never once visited your page (until after
the whole mess started) or took any ideas from it. one weekend i was bored,
i spent 12 hours on a saturday redoing everything. the things which we were
accusing each other of copying were commonly used web design elements, but
neither of us at the time could believe the other came up with those changes
at the same time without seeing the other's page.
my point being, i'm really sorry for the way i handled things. whether you
believe me or not, the way you saw things really isn't the way things
happened at all. i had worked hard and long on an update, i saw your site's
changes corresponding with mine, i was an over-defensive webmaster, you felt
the i was both taking credit for your work (which i wasn't) and picking on
you at the same time (over-zealous self-defense at the time), and the rest
anyway, this will probably go nowhere, but i would be interested to hear
what you have to say after all this time. you may never believe me, but i'll
always know the truth. for some reason it's important to me that you at
least consider the possibility that we were both 'right' and i was simply
wrong in the action i took. we were two webmasters who just wanted some
credit in a new and exciting scene, i was over-defensive, and we had
vengeful fingers pointed at each other for years over simple design
coincidences. i've stopped pointing. ;)
My reply to him (On May 21) went as follows:
Sorry for the delay in my reply. The last month of the semester was a
pain and I just finished everything on Friday. Now that I have some
time, I will get to your email
Well, to honest, I think you are right. Web page design in the good 'ol
days was a lot more limited then compared to today. After all, with SSI,
CSS Sheets, ASP and PHP, the posibilities and vast.
As for the dispute, I might have jumped the gun. I was afraid that I
would have become the next victum of a "rip mock" on your page, so I did
what I thought was necessary. Even if you did not know of the existance
of the my page, I thought that someone from outside was going to email
you and say "Hay, check this site out. I have been following them for
months and they are copying you!" I believe that was my biggest fear.
Well, accept your apology and I guess it's just water under the bridge
to me now.
I would have felt that way a lot sooner if it were not for what [Noam]
said about the 'Zone on Zophar's Domain. (See Holy War 2.0) That got to
me because I though the fued between Node 99 and the 'Zone was resolved
and done with.
In any event, what will I do about the "Holy War 1" page? Well, I will
give it a final update and say that teh matter has been resolved. I
would like to just trash the page, but I have to leave it up for those
that still wonder what the heck happened. (The incident with HW #2 made
it clear that it had to remain up.)
I have accepted his apology and have agreed to just put this matter to the side.
However, this page will remain up only for historical references whose
purpose was made clear during the "Holy War 2.0".