Last night, pursuant to IFTF’s new stewardship of the IF Archive I began setting up the Linode VPS that will serve as the new ifarchive.org server. As with all IFTF purchases, donations from the IF community pay for this machine. So, now as ever: thank you. I quite look forward to seeing it online and serving the public at the core of a reinvigorated Archive.
I want to tell you about the new machine’s name, and why we named it so.
While we don’t invest heavily in classic-IF iconography for IFTF projects, we do like to keep a candle lit here and there in recognition of bedrock-level work. Take IFTF’s logo, for example: we came up with a design that could be read as either a hypertext game’s node-graph, or a text adventure’s map of connected rooms. We juggled various stick-and-ball patterns around, and when I noticed that this one looked a bit like the edge of a white house with a mailbox next to it, in profile, we knew we had to keep it.
Similarly — though out of public view — I two years ago let myself name IFTF’s very first server lantern, after the single most iconic inventory-item from Zork. (This is the organization’s general-purpose machine, managing our mailing lists, our website, and this blog, amongst other things.) Last year, when it came time to build a new machine to serve IFComp, we decided to roll along with the “stuff you pick up at the beginning of Zork” theme, and named it sword.
In a stunning coincidence, it happens that the IF Archive team, pre-IFTF, had also named its server “lantern” — albeit following the delightfully more specific naming scheme of Zork light sources. Regardless, the fact obliged us to choose a new name for the new machine. I turned back to the list of early-game Zork stuff, and… the choice was obvious, really.
And that’s why the new, under-construction IF Archive server, destined to preserve and share IF work of all sorts for many years to come, bears the name bottle.