Aminet is the world's largest archive

By Urban D. Mueller

Today, May 16th 1996, four years after its inception, Aminet is the world's largest collection of freely distributable software for any computer system. I'd like to seize this opportunity to talk about the recent history of our archive and thank everyone involved. Also, to celebrate the event, we're giving away a CDROM drive and 10 Aminet CD subscriptions; read more below.


It has been a long while - 17 months - since I last talked about the Aminet. That's simply because the violent early days are definitely over. Much about Aminet is now routine, everyone has grown used to it. (For more on the early history, check docs/misc/5000.txt and 10000.txt).

Again, there has been steady growth. The number of mirrors has increased from 12 to 30, we have more and better search services and other incremental improvements. Some services still wait to be implemented, though, especially the possibility for everyone to submit comments to Aminet software and append them to the .readme file. Other services are only rudimentary, like the rating facility. Clearly, improvement is due.

More important than those access features, however, are the contents. And here, the situation looks very good. Firstly, there have been more uploads by the users than ever before, with a record high of 430 in one week just recently. Additional growth was caused by the fact that the Aminet CD's now appear bi-monthly (which is the way the participants in a large survey wanted it), and because those CD's don't get completely filled in that short time, more material is integrated into Aminet regularly to fill them. Thanks to that, we now have large collections of clip art, mods, fonts, games and other interesting stuff from outside sources on Aminet.

The most important development, though, is the fact that Aminet has now been accepted by the world outside the networks as the place where one can publish freely distributable software to make it widely available. Thus, almost everything that is available for the Amiga ends up here. And I am absolutely convinced that this service, the availability of everything to everyone, has contributed considerably to the amazing life-force that the Amiga is showing in those tough times.


Once more, it's statistics time. Apart from the record number of 29.000 files (world record according to, we're just crossing the total size of 5 gigabytes (second to a 5.7G OS/2 distribution archive). In addition, as mentioned before, we just saw an all time upload record of 433 files in one week. Some further stats: Monthly uploads (excluding integrated material):
 1995                                                    1996
  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec   Jan  Mar  Apr
 ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----  ---- ---- ----
 1061  923 1129  916 1269  776  907 1068  949  873 1042   985 1240 1274

Subdirectory size in megabytes: (total: 5052M)
Growth factor since the 10000 files posting:

  biz comm demo dev disk docs game gfx misc mods mus  pix text util
  --- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- --- ---- ---- ----
  119  178  902 188   20  170  431 257  246  961  44 1049  317  162
  2.2  2.2  5.8 2.0  2.0  8.1  3.4 1.0  3.2  3.6 1.3  7.7  5.3  1.6

Number of files at the mirrors:             ALL         ALL              ALL    ALL      ALL            ALL      ALL          25950          22273            20446     19552             16053               15019     12329      12329        9009          6336       5647         5453     3729        3240            2180           1792      916            871


Currently, my main project is rewriting the Aminet mirror scripts. Duh, you say, what does that mean for me? More than you think. The new scripts will allow alternate main sites to take over in case wuarchive goes down, so you get more reliable service. And they're very easy to install, so you can expect more mirrors to pop up. Next, they run on Amigas as well, do you can have your personal Aminet mirror on your harddisk. Finally, they are a precondition for implementing the long promised annotations, and a thing called views.

Annotations are the last big missing feature from Aminet. Everyone should be able to post comments about other people's uploads, giving usage hints, recommendations or compatibility notes. I still cannot promise any dates on this one, but chances to get this implemented have increased now.

The other nice-to-have that's still missing are views. Views are trees of softlinks that create a different image of the Aminet file collection. You could, for example, have a second 'Aminet' that only contains modules, but the modules are sorted by author. Or one that only contains files that are in the download charts. That, too, will still take a while.

Finally, some improvements are due in the access software of Aminet CDs. That will hopefully be adressed soon, too.


To celebrate this event, we've decided to run a big contest. To take part, you have to guess the exact number of files there were on Aminet one year ago, ie. on May 16th 1995. Mail your guess (just the raw number in the body of the mail) to . Among the best guesses, we give away:

1 CDROM drive with Aminet Set 1,2,3 and a one year Aminet CD subscription
10 one year Aminet CD subscriptions

We're also accepting snail-mailed submissions, send them (just your guess and your address) to:

Schatztruhe GmbH
Veronikastr. 33
D-45131 Essen

Submissions are accepted until mid-August. Winners will be drawn then. Good luck!


There are countless people who keep Aminet going. I'd like to thank them all, but especially:

The uploaders
for writing freely distributable software and taking the pain write readmes and to upload them
Matthias Scheler
who helps a lot with the daily administration and moderation at wuarchive
The mirror adms
for maintaining that large number of mirrors which made the success of Aminet possible
The beta testers
for finding all my mistakes on the CDROMs
Stefan Ossowski
for producing the Aminet CD
James McCudden
for maintaining

I hope you liked the service so far, and if you have any comments, wishes or ideas, please do contact me.

Urban D. Mueller

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