|Type||Forums, Wiki, FAQ, IRC|
|Code by||Costello, tj_cool|
|Design by||JeX-, shaunj66, Zarcon|
|Copyright||(c) GBATemp.net 2007|
Nowdays, GBAtemp has become a real community, mostly known for it's support for NDS/GBA flashcarts and Wii Hacking. To avoid legal issues, all Illegal files have been banned from the forums.
GBAtemp began as a small GBA ROM site in 2002, created by it's original admin, an Italian guy named KiVan.
KiVan was a GBA scene freak, always behind the latest ROM releases. He was both for playing them (first on emulator, then came the 'real hardware', aka flash carts) and for sharing them with others.
Motivated by his passion for the GBA games and by the relative difficulty of getting the ROMs on IRC channels soon after the release, he came up with the idea to host some of the latest ROMs himself, to help out close and far friends that shared his same passion: the GBA. So he started to keep a constantly up-to-date web page, where he provided always-working links to the LATEST 10 GBA ROMs. A very simple and straightforward page: just some text & images, and links to the ROMs of course .
He started to become well-known in the scene because he was blazingly fast in updating the web page (split-seconds after the ROM was released, KiVan uploaded it on the hosting web space and updated the page with the links), and he almost never had any broken links (well he had them, but he worked VERY VERY hard to update old dead links with new links as soon as he noticed them down... and that was REAL fast since he was a real 'F5' refresh maniac).
That page was called GBAtemp, mostly because it was a GBA ROMs page, but always TEMP(orary), since KiVan had to switch hosting nearly everyday, and KiVan worked hard for it: by updating every hour or less the page with the newest ROMs & by always keeping the web page & the ROMs online, using a free dynamic DNS service in order to automatically give people the link to the latest, constantly changing, working web space.
Back at the time, people knew that if you wanted to check the last ROM released or if you needed a hand to get just released GBA ROM, GBAtemp was the place to be.
Keeping up with the ever flowing releases and the web hosting shutdowns was no easy feat, but KiVan was well prepared for the task. He had tons of different 'free' webspaces registered to always different fake names: he kept registering new spaces every day with fake names and IDs, and he kept this 'pool' of free hosting web spaces so as soon as the web page or one of the ROMs went down (mostly because the hosting company finally noticed KiVan playing bad tricks with THEIR web space), he could easily and quickly replace the link with a new one.
KiVan was at the time, a university student in computer science at the 'Università degli Studi di Milano' in Milan (Italy), and from the university computers room he administered GBAtemp and played every single GBA release as soon as they came out along with several friends: Omero, Alexander, Zel and Garet. They all had GBAs and flash cards and so non-stop multiplayer and single player 10 hours per day was pretty much the 'usual everyday stuff' for them.
Then things started to change: the GBAtemp name spread quickly, and two of KiVan's close friends (Omero and Alexander) joined him to help out with GBAtemp, and so they started to add 'features' to that tiny page: first a guest book (it sucked big time, but it was used as a sort of make-shift message/relay board), then the chance for users to give feedback to the ROMs, then some news, etc...
At some time, they came up with the idea of making it a forum, a community. Here came M4D (an Italian gaming services portal), which helped a lot by providing GBAtemp a server to be for quite a long time, giving bandwidth & server all for free. This was the chance for the guys to make GBAtemp into something big for real.
On 24 October 2002, the Invision Power Board forums and portal were officially opened, hosted by M4D server. Omero and Alexander helped KiVan installed and managed the board. The site boasted an impressive portal, it was an original design and quite different from normal IPB portals, this led to many other sites cloning the portal layout. Despite the Italian origins, English was picked as the language of choice, because KiVan, Omero and Alexander wanted GBAtemp to be the #1 GBA Scene Community on the web, and English is by far the most widespread and well-known language, so it was the only 'right' choice for that, simple enough. Also because of this, the forums quickly grew in size and the new GBAtemp attracted a lot of attention.
About half a year into the forums life, the staff had to come to the decision that ROMs would no longer be available to download from GBAtemp, and all warez and other illegal material would be ruled out on the forum. The reason this was done is because a lot of members and the staff themselves had really come to appreciate the forums and each other, and didn't want to risk losing the community they had built up. So to avoid legal issues and to make sure GBAtemp was never shut down, all ROMs, ROM links, warez and more were now strictly forbidden on the 'new GBAtemp'.
A major site change
On 14 January 2005, the forums and website got their first major update. Officially dubbed GBAtemp V2, the site was improved in many ways. The site officially started using http://gbatemp.net as it's new web domain from this date.
The most notable change was the upgrade of the forums. Thanks to donations from the various staff members, enough money was raised to buy an Invision Power Board License, which was used to install IPB2.0.2, and later 2.0.3. Along with the new forum came a brand new skin, as well as a revamped portal. Other changes include the addition of new forums, the creation of the gOnline, and the changes to the Staff.
Another improvement was the Reviews section, which would later turn out to be one of the biggest features of the site. Regular members were also allowed to post their reviews in a special section. The best reviews were regularly featured on the site's front page.
On 11 June 2006, a new skin called GBAtemp Lite was added to the site. The site also moved to a new and better host, resulting for the first time in a dedicated server. This greatly improved page loading speeds and overall stability of the site itself.
A few months later, on November 2006, the portal received another update. Thanks to newer technologies, the portal could now be customized by members in order to display on the news that was interesting to them. The page was now loaded through AJAX, so that news items could be changed without having to reload the entire page.
Over time, the site began running slower, resulting in a big part of the older posts and topics to be archived.
Updating yet again
The site started grewing more popular, and more visitors were lured to the website. In the mean time, progress was made on various consoles, gaining the site the interest of many users.
GBAtemp got it's second major update on 27 February 2007. This new site was now called GBAtemp V3, and brought another set of great additions and improvements. A new skin was introduced under the same name, containing a brand new layout and an improved mascot design. The older skins remained available for the members who wished to keep using them.
Along with the update, the GBAtemp Wiki, nicknamed WikiTemp, was introduced. The wiki was meant to be used for articles about GBAtemp itself, but also about it's various related subjects, like Nintendo DS flashcarts and console homebrew. Various other changes were also made on the site, like an improved gOnline, which now included integration with the portal.
Only a few days after the major update, the site moved to yet another webhost. At this time the site contained around 500 active members on average.
The next major addition to the site was the addition of a GBAtemp Download center. This allowed the members of the site to upload various homebrew and other useful tools directly to the site. The feature turned out to be a big success, as it gained over 500 files in only a few days.
The site had now reached 5 years of existance, and had gained over 100,000 members and nearly 850,000 posts. But the site kept on growing faster than ever before!
Expanding the network