ChessBase.com back online

7/22/2008 – No, we did not suddenly lose interest in bringing you the latest news from the chess world. It was a major computer glitch in our news server, which went down on Friday night. We were able to revive it and display the site, but could not add or modify anything without risking new problems. Now we have things up and running and hope to provide you with uninterrupted coverage.

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Computers and computer glitches


A technician working hard to get the computer back online

Actually the picture above show the Bomba (or Bomba kryptologiczna – Polish for "cryptologic bomb"), a special-purpose machine designed about October 1938 by Polish Cipher Bureau cryptologist Marian Rejewski to break German Enigma machine ciphers.

The first computer bug in history was found, on September 9, 1945, by U.S. Navy officer Grace Hopper. In her notes we see that the problem that stopped the Harvard Mark II computer from operating was a moth stuck between the relays. The term "bug" for a computer error became a popular term after this incident.


Repairing a computer – here the arithmetic unit of the AVIDAC in 1953


A modern server park (that's us on the back left, third rack from the end)

ChessBase.com – looking back nostalgically

Our web site has been online for at least twelve years now. There are people out there who store the history of the world wide web, at least in part, and so we can take a look back at where we were and how things started.

Above is the first web page (nice yellow, guys, and blinking text!) that we could locate in the Wayback archives. It is from December 1996. Note that the link to the brand new ChessBase 6.0 program is no longer active, so it is futile trying to order it today.

The newspage in 1998, with a still working link to "Anand's analysis competition". Anand also annotates Groningen for ChessBase Magazine 63 (which contains a Fritz 5 udate!). You can actually retrieve the sampler provided.

This was the new look in August 2000 – a mainly template driven page with static HTML files uploaded to the server. You could do that for a couple of years at the time, but at some stage it becomes necessary to install a modern database driven system.

Can you imagine when we launched the new database driven ChessBase.com news page? It went online on September 11th 2001, and the very first report we had to upload was on the terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center in New York. You can find the story by clicking on "Last page" at the bottom of our current front page or go straight to it using this link. Note that you will see it today in our current ASP template, which is different to when it was first introduced. Note too that the ID number is 44 – the first 43 reports were used for testing the site before launch.

If you have a lot of time to wallow in the history of our newspage
you can spend hours doing so in the Wayback Machine archive page here.


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