It’s been exactly one year today when Blackbox 4 Windows, the site, was launched in the bubbly sea of Internet waves.
The experiment was nothing more than an effort from my part to revive one of the greatest alternative shells ever (and, by the looks of it, the only active shell today). It took a bit of encouragement from mojmir and some of adni18’s technical skills and web savvy to do it, while none of us was really sure if this was going to work.
I mean all 3 Blackbox sites that I had the honor and pleasure to co-administer (boxshots, lostinthebox and bb4win) were down and out thanks to malicious attacks or lack of interest. Windows 7 had risen, bringing a kind of flexibility and customization that made many users abandon alternative shells. But even 7 couldn’t totally replace the desktop and skin windows on their own, so Blackbox (and other shells) diehards remained faithful to the kind of customization that only alternative shells can bring to the mundane Windoze OS.
And then, as they usually do, Microsoft shot themselves in the foot with 8. And then 8.1. And then 9. And, soon, 10. Ugly upon ugly. New users realized their desktop shouldn’t look that bad and their system shouldn’t be that unyielding and slow. And Blackbox was back with a vengeance.
Today, one year after its creation, Blackbox 4 Windows, the site, boasts about more than 1,400 members, no less than 3 new builds (the most active of which, mojmir’s, seems to be quite popular since it works under any Windows’ OS, 32- or 64-bit) and a treasury of every plugin and old build ever put out, all under one roof.
We recently renewed the subscription to our host for another 5 years, which means Blackbox 4 Windows will be with you till 2020. At least.
But one of the most important and heart-warming parts is the member’s reaction to our new validation mail, deemed necessary because of spammer attacks. I should post excerpts of their letters here, and maybe I will. Or maybe I should send them to Microsoft? You can read passion, determination and a will to take their system’s fate into their own hands.
Just as heart warming is the fact that many old Blackbox figureheads, developers and users are back. snkchnb, freeb0rn, cthu1hu, lyrae, crowmag, arcangel, doctorfrog, almostX – to name just a few – are honoring this site with their presence, their work, their co-operation and their points and hints to newbies. And I also have to thank great artists like sed, somadjinn, relhom and many others for regaling us with their wonderful wallpapers.
But, more than anything else, I want to thank the average user, member of this site. It’s thanks to them this site is alive and, by extension, the shell itself. Let’s all work together for another year of Blackbox proliferation and new working builds.