CSDb is the abbreviation for C64 Scene Database and was put online around 2001 by the C64 freaks and website administrators Perff, Cyberbrain, KBS and Celtic. It is a website created and maintained by C64-scene members, on which a database around C64-scene productions as well as forums can be found. Both the cracker scene and the demo scene are covered. The main goals are the archiving and preservation of C64 software as well as the documentation of the cracking and demo scene.
Entries - The contents of the database[edit | edit source]
Releases[edit | edit source]
Under the term Release all kinds of scene productions can be found. Primarily these are:
- Cracks of games
- Tools for creating the above products that run either on the C64 itself or on other platforms.
- games, usually non-commercial releases (homebrew).
There are other release types, these are mostly subcategories of the terms already mentioned, e.g. there are the types One-Filed Demo, Crack Intro, 4K Intro, Basic Demo or game categories with RAM limitations, often based on the rules of Competitions. For graphics releases, the graphics mode can be additionally specified, e.g. HiRes or Multicolor. Furthermore, special categories for C128 and SuperCPU are also available.
Some categories like Dentro, Fake Game etc. are not always clear and are sometimes criticised within the CSDb.
Groups[edit | edit source]
Group Entries include Cracking and Demo Groups, but also Magazine Staffs, Music or Graphic Groups, Game Development Groups and some other types.
Sceners[edit | edit source]
Sceners are people who have contributed something to the C64 scene. What exactly is usually determined by the "profession", the task someone had or has either as a freelancer or within a group.
Events[edit | edit source]
The Event Entries contain information about scene parties. There is also an RSS feed that informs you about "Upcoming Events", so it also makes sense to enter planned events here. However, if nothing CSDb-relevant is released at an event, the event entry is usually deleted after the end of the party.
Functions[edit | edit source]
Registration[edit | edit source]
Download, search function and reading in the forum work without registration, for creating or editing entries or uploading images or writing in the forum you need an account. To become a registered user, unlike on other platforms, you have to fill out a form explaining why you need an account. In view of the database character, the most sensible reason would probably be the intention to upload releases. References can also be given, e.g. reference to membership of a group in which there are already registered CSDb users, or simply reference to a release in which one was involved. The registration request is not processed automatically, but by an admin; it may take a few days or weeks until an admin deals with the evaluation of the respective registration form.
Search function[edit | edit source]
You can search directly for a release name using the "Search" field (top right). Using the tab "Browse" or the "Advanced Search" the CSDb can also be searched for the following criteria:
- Groups - e.g. any developer and cracker groups.
- Sceners - e.g. special C64 freaks who have an entry in the CSDb dedicated to them.
- Events - events from the C64 scene worldwide.
- BBS - Mailboxes with focus on the C64.
- SIDs - Music tracks from different programs for the C64.
- Forum - The related CSDb forum.
- Comments - Comments in the forum and in the database.
Userpage[edit | edit source]
Registered users can create new entries via this tab.
Voting[edit | edit source]
The CSDb also offers a rating system (voting) with which releases, authors and groups can be rated between 1 ("awful") and 10 ("excellent") by submitting a vote. The ratings can be submitted anonymously or publicly. Also to prevent "downvoting" or "upvoting" (see below), a point value is only calculated from 5 votes onwards; if there are more than 5 votes, "public" votes are also shown individually. The value is not simply the exact arithmetical average, but the calculation follows a formula in which individual outliers upwards or downwards are weighted weaker in the calculation.
Comment function[edit | edit source]
With the button "Comment" registered users can give feedback or information about the releases.
Forum[edit | edit source]
In the forum you can discuss entries directly, e.g. about categorisation or doubtful information, e.g. about release year or credits.
But there is also an exchange about all kinds of topics around the C64, e.g. developers can get tips about tools or programming.
Without registration the forum can only be read, posting requires an account.
Other[edit | edit source]
Only the most important functions are presented. The tab "Statistics" should be mentioned; there you can get interesting figures based on the database, e.g. about the activity of the scene over the years and decades. The Oneliners Box is only mentioned because some registered users mistake it for a search function, otherwise it is explicitly designed to spout more or less entertaining or annoying nonsense.
Continuing controversies from a user's point of view[edit | edit source]
Note: Since the old version of this article contained a lot of unmarked opinion, it is clarified that in response this section was written by TheRyk, CSDb user since 2009. So this text also contains opinion based on personal experience. The criticisms previously presented as facts are deliberately addressed.
- Database vs. release platform: Especially the hard core of admins and users who have been here for a long time never tire of mentioning that the CSDb is not a release platform, but a database. This means that neither do cracks released on the CSDb count in any first release statistics, nor was the site originally intended to publish one's latest releases. In fact 99% of all software developed for the C64 ends up on the CSDb sooner or later anyway, so many developers use the site to put their releases on the CSDb for download without any other way of release.
- Exclusivity or "elitist" circle of users: It is reported time and again that users have difficulties registering an account. Sometimes this is interpreted as being too "lame" and therefore excluded from the supposedly elite CSDb circle. However, experience shows that the reasons are often banal, e.g. missing or insufficient information in the registration form.
- Voting: As one would expect, voting often leads to discussions, for example because of alleged downvoting. Here it is assumed that one or more users give an unjustifiably low rating, either because they objectively think the current score is too high, or because they do not like the author or his group; the opposite would be upvoting, i.e. one criticises supposedly unjustifiably high votes. Since one can always argue about taste, users who are interested in voting will probably always argue as long as voting is not abolished altogether. Especially when the CSDb voting is used as a measuring instrument for so-called "standalone competitions", it is usually a matter of time that a discussion flares up.
- Administration and moderation, tone, drama: As on all internet platforms, perhaps a bit more extreme, there is always criticism of the moderation. Common accusations are unfair moderation, e.g. taking sides in disputes, not implementing user wishes or not intervening when things escalate in the forum or in comments. It is true that a small group of admins make the rules and do not necessarily bow democratically to the opinion of users. In the few cases where a "ban" was pronounced, i.e. users were banned, there were clear breaches of the rules, e.g. database vandalism (deleting or falsifying existing entries). The tone tends to be rougher than on forums like lemon or Forum64. A somewhat harsh comment or forum post is not always meant as an attack. New users have to get used to it, put on a thick skin or choose another platform. It is seldom the case that beginners are torn apart; there are also very nice users. But if, for example, you're a developer looking for a pat on the back, but several times you don't deliver quality, you're in the wrong place here; if a release is no good in the opinion of users, you'll be told that clearly, sometimes more bitingly than you might be used to on other platforms.
- Colloquial English: As a rule, contributions such as comments or posts are deleted by the moderation if they are not written in English. Although the rule should be understandable because of the international mix of users, there have been occasional disputes and hostilities against the moderators because of its enforcement. It is not about the language used in a release; non-English language releases are also welcome per se.