The Sonic 2 Beta Page
From Sonic Retro
The Sonic 2 Beta Page (formerly Simon Wai's Sonic 2 Beta or SWS2B) is a website dedicated to the Sonic 2 Beta ROM found by Simon Wai. Originally hosted on Emulation Zone and left for two years to the care of Pelord, the site eventually moved to private hosting while the Sonic 2 Beta message board became Sonic Classic. It is one of the most in-depth sites covering Sonic 2 Beta, and its forums are considered among the best within the Sonic hacking scene.
As of September 6, 2006, Simon left the scene for good. He handed full control of the site over to LocalH, who continued to administer the site for the foreseeable future. This prompted the site to be renamed to The Sonic 2 Beta Page. As Simon's server could no longer be used, Sazpaimon offered to host the site on his own server.
Upon gaining control of the site, LocalH appointed Tweaker as the third forum administrator, and in LocalH's punctuated absence Tweaker found himself running the forums. He appointed several moderators to help ease the burden, though he continued to intervene regularly until the page's discontinuation.
SWS2B -> S2B
In spring 2006, Simon Wai finished his college education. His experiences there led him to the conclusion that he needed to move on, and that his time as administrator and community member had passed. On June 6, 2006, he posted a heads-up in the Tech Members' Lounge, and after a few days of debate, decided to pass ownership to LocalH. Sazpaimon took the responsibility of hosting the new site (this briefly drew complaints from some anti-CulTists). Simon made the official announcement on June 24. The bulk of the debate in this topic concerned the forums' new name. "Simon Wai" could no longer be used as a component in the site's name, so it was decided that it would simply be dropped and the new site called Sonic 2 Beta. LocalH then elected Tweaker as his third admin. This decision was controversial, but the controversy was short-lived. The actual transition went smoothly.
On September 8, Kamikaze posted a "tribute topic" to Steve Irwin which contained an anigif of him being defeated in a Pokemon battle by a mantine. Tweaker promptly banned him. Qjimbo objected and threatened to leave the boards along with Fiz and Guess_Who. After some time (during which the issue was resolved), a drunk Sazpaimon strongarmed Tweaker into banning the three of them. The bans were lifted, though Qjimbo didn't return for some time and Fiz didn't return until the coup six months later. However, the damage had already been done, and this action forever marred Tweaker's adminship.
Second Member Cleanout
The idea that the registration test should be redone had been floated in IRC repeatedly throughout November and December of 2006. It wasn't until December 20 that Sazpaimon decided to actually execute it. He posted in the Tech Members' Lounge asking for questions, and got a lot of support and some debate about what form the test should take, but few actual questions. After a few days of discussion, Saz asked whether there should be a second cleanout to go along with it. This met with some resistance, specifically from Qjimbo, and it sparked debate on what direction the boards should be moving in. Most of the Tech Members were in agreement that S2Beta was a hacking community, that it should be refocused on hacking and away from general socialization, and that a second cleanout was the ideal tool for accomplishing this. Stealth in particular argued this point passionately, and Qjimbo quickly folded.
On January 16, 2007, Sazpaimon put the new test into production, and Tweaker moved all Members and Trial Members into the "Pending Retest" group. The cleanout did not have the intended effect. Nearly everybody who cared to take one of the new tests passed easily. However, it did mark the beginning of a new month of drama. Even before it happened, Shade and Vangar were banned for posting spam in protest.
The March 25th Coup
On March 22, 2007, Sazpaimon took down his server to change its operating system. Qjimbo managed to copy the database, and uploaded it to his own website to ensure that there was no downtime. At this point, Tweaker had two options. He could keep the site on Qjimbo's server permanently, or he could switch back to Sazpaimon's server when the upgrade was complete. The original server was returned to operation the next day, but Tweaker had still not decided, and by the 25th, it appeared that Qjimbo was permanently hosting the site. By this point, he had made himself administrator, an act that Tweaker did not object to.
On the morning of the 25th, Qjimbo was talking to Quickman over Skype when they realized that he essentially had complete control over S2Beta. Both were extremely disappointed with the direction that the site had been going in, and decided to use their control to bring about their own vision of S2Beta. They quickly formed a plan and implemented it on the spot. Qjimbo IP banned Tweaker from the server and locked down the Admin CP so that LocalH could not use it. Quickman then made an "I'm leaving" post under Tweaker's name, and Qjimbo banned him from the forums, claiming that Tweaker had requested it. Several people whom Tweaker had either banned or driven off returned to the boards to post in this topic, but it did not become apparent that Qjimbo had forcibly seized control of the site until several hours later, when Rainer posted PM logs with Qjimbo that made it obvious. A second "counter-revolutionary" group immediately developed, and flamewars erupted in the original topic and in the Members' Lounge.
When LocalH returned, he set forth his own terms for negotiation: unlock the admin CP. Neither Quickman nor Qjimbo agreed to this, since they thought this was just a ploy for MySQL access (which LocalH later admitted to after failing to download the database). However, LocalH still owned the domain name. Tweaker offered his admin seat to Saz if he agreed to reclaim the site, and therefore begin hosting s2beta.com again. Both LocalH and Sazpaimon accepted this arrangement, and LocalH reset the domain to point to Sazpaimon's server. By the 26th, the site had returned to the state that it was in on the 22nd.
Qjimbo's initial reaction was to purchase the "s2beta.org" domain and point it to his own server, thus forking the site. However, after discussion with ex-S2Beta members, it was decided that neither party wanted a clone site, and over time the site eventually became 100% unique, under its new name The Glowing Bridge.
In July 2007, the whole of CulTNET went down, and S2Beta went with it. After a period of downtime, ScarredSun finally agreed to host the site on the Sonic Retro server. She and Tweaker got to talking, and realized that the two sites had remarkably similar userbases. It was therefore decided that they should be merged. Scarred Sun made the announcement in September. The S2Beta forums would replace the old Retro forums, while the main site would be copied over to the wiki (though all the old pages would still exist at their old locations). This decision was met with mixed views, with nineko, Metal_Man88 and Guess_Who in particular being highly opposed to the merge. Guess_Who left the forums immediately after the merge was executed, although he would return later. While nineko seemed to no longer have any qualms about it, Metal_Man88 remained vaguely annoyed at the merger, at least until it began to benefit the forums directly.
The years that followed saw security vulnerabilities in the software used to hook up the old S2Beta site code and the Sonic Retro wiki that required tedious cleanup procedures when exploited, which happened repeatedly. It got to the point that on July 19, 2012, the old site was taken down outright. Visiting the old S2Beta URL will now bring you to the S2Beta:Main Page on the Sonic Retro wiki.