How it all started: The origins of Digiex can be traced back to 2001, although we didn’t really have a name back then or a website. Broadband has just started to become affordable in the UK and more and more people were getting the internet. Sometime in 2001 Nimrod setup a web server on his pc as it was running 24/7 doing pretty much nothing except keeping him signed in to MSN. On this he hosted his own website called Snooks-World. Later on I created a basic webpage that would be hosted, this page had details of various FTP / game servers myself and Nimrod had running on our PC's. Most of the time my servers would not be online as I was banned from leaving the PC on 24/7 after we got a massive electricity bill. Here is the only screenshot we have been able to find of anything we did back then, the first ever NimrodNET website, I believe i created that sometime in 2001: (I was known as Xtreem back then) Sometime in 2002-3 We installed a pirated copy of vBulletin on Nimrods web server (Hey don’t look at us like that, we were school kids back then with no money to our name.) for his original site Snooks-World. After that got taken down (See Server History) we then used the forum for our first joint forum. I got all my friends to sign up on this forum as did Nimrod, we also got some people who played Jazz Jackrabbit 2 with us to sign up too. After the forum has been running a while we got an email from Jelsoft asking that we removed the pirated copy of vBulliten, so we did, I have no screenshots of this forum... all traces of it have long since been lost. Sometime after that in summer 2003 we installed invision power board as it was free back then, I dont remember much else about that forum... here is the only screenshot we have been able to find, it appears it was taken on the 3rd of August 2003: The member ranks we had back then: In 2004 myself, Nimrod and a guy called Seven who used to be in the same clan as myself and Nimrod on Jazz Jackrabbit 2 went about setting up a forum that would end up becoming Digiex. This was basically something to do in the summer holidays to pass the time and teach our selfs about servers, as all 3 of us had a keen interest in them. Back then the name Digiex had not been conceived, the forum was simply known as Nimrod-Online because of the domain name Nimrod owned (Nimrod-online.com) Nimrod built a dedicated server to host Digiex, this time things were also done legally and a 1 year vBulliten licence was purchased. The forums before they were opened to the public: We actually put what we thought was a lot of effort in to creating this forum that still didn’t have a name. Time was spent installing hacks for vBulliten such as a very early version of the arcade you see on Digiex today which proved to be quite popular. The old arcade: (Yes it appears i did use the word "kool", oh well ) After two weeks of work we opened and gained quite a lot of active members, mostly friends, friends of friends and people from the Jazz Jackrabbit community. Back then anyone who had more than 10 posts almost always ended up getting asked to become a staff member, eventually most of the active members were moderators or above which looking back was a big mistake. Once people got staff powers a lot of them didn’t bother with the forum anymore with the exception of Trebor who was the only moderator who did anything. The Name Digiex The forums were becoming quite active so we decided we a proper name was required. After thinking of a few possible names and asking forum members for suggestions a poll was created, the name Digiex was one of the most popular on this poll and the domain name Digiex.net was available, so it was registered. That’s how we became known as Digtial Existence, usually shortened to Digiex. A little competition was held to design a logo as we had just removed the default vBulliten logo and not bothered with one. At the time that we thought that was a good idea as I had no idea how to use Photoshop back then and none of the other staff members had any experience with Photoshop either. Several people created logos, this logo was chosen as the winner: I remember not been happy about this as it really did look like it had just been slapped on the top of the forum as you will see later on. After that Digiex continued to be quite successful over the summer until everyone went back to School, College or started University. Like many other people myself and Nimrod basically lost interest in Digiex and it just slowly died, a few posts were made in 2005 but that was basically it. How Digiex was back in 2004, click for a full size screenshot: In 2006 Haloman, MunkyMagik and a few others kept asking if Digiex would ever come back and offered to help resurrect it. I thought it might be a good idea however Nimrod wasn’t really interested, so I started to mess with a few designs in Photoshop but nothing really came of it. 2007 – The Start of the New Digiex I’m not really sure how but sometime in early 2007 I was talking to Nimrod and Digiex randomly came up, we both then got interested in resurrecting it and talked about how it failed and how we could go about creating a website people would actually want to visit and not just check occasionally as they were our friends. One of the ideas that came up was Guides and Tutorials, I had previously wrote a guide on how to configure Azureus, a bit torrent client, this guide was the second result on Google at the time when searching for information on how to set Azureus up. Myself and Nimrod both agreed Digiex needed some content and a purpose or it would just fail again like it had in the past. Writing some guides on subjects our friends and family often asked us questions on appeared to be a good starting place. It was agreed the arcade had to come back and that was a success on the old Digiex and was a place people could play games in School / College that wasn’t blocked by the various content filters used in different Schools. We then went about creating Digiex, at some point in time Nimrod posted up his Bluetooth driver which began to attract large amounts of visitors every day, at this point in time the forums were closed and guests couldn’t download attachments which I’m sure probably annoyed quite a few people. After a guy sent us an email about this we allowed guests to download attachments and thought it would be a great idea to provide rare, old and hard to find content that was not wildly available on the internet. The Download centre was then born, which was basically one section of the forum dedicated to downloads, this was later improved and renamed Download Centre 2.0. We then had idea’s for other services such as an IP checker, Protocol Bypasser (a web based proxy), free email for members and later free web hosting for advanced members when we upgraded to a dedicated server, other ideas included the image uploader. After we had these ideas the forum sections were setup, we couldn’t find a theme for vBulliten we liked so i set about creating “Digital Vista” the end result been a theme that was loosely based on Windows Vista. An early screenshot of this theme: Nimrod did a lot of the work behind the scenes, such as setting up Apache (the web server) PHP, MySQL, and other server based applications such as the FTP server. Originally we had planned to open Digiex in the summer of 2007 before we both started at University. However that didn’t happen, we gradually worked on Digiex after starting the first year of University however by Christmas we just had too much coursework and projects to finish so Digiex was abandoned until the summer of 2008, however the website remained online. Guests could download content, during this time we started becoming higher and higher in the search results on Google. This was due to content such as the modified Creative soundcard drivers by Daniel K, Nimrods Bluetooth drivers and of course the first publically leaked Beta of Windows 7, Build 6519. Here is a screenshot of what Digiex looked like around this time: (My avatar was Bender and Nimrods was Cartman, hence the images in the logo) And another of the site with yet another logo, been viewed in IE8 on the first leaked Windows 7 beta Summer 2008 came, after we both passed our first year of University we worked hard on Digiex again, finally in July of 2008 we started renting our first proper dedicated server in anticipation of re-launching Digiex. A year later than planned we allowed members to register at the start of August 2008, we classed this as a beta opening as we knew we had to open the site at some point otherwise we would never do so. I still worked on the theme after this and Nimrod working on optimising the forums. The site still had the same blue theme as seen above, however we had totally re done the logo by this point and added some buttons to link to various parts of the website: Around this time Nimrod got in to the Red Alert 3 Beta and uploaded it to Digiex. This started getting us a lot of visitors and new user registrations with people working together to try and crack the beta so everyone could try it before the game was released. Everything really went from there, we gradually gained members who liked Digiex and stuck around, I still see members who registered in August 2008 such as Icharus_Falling, Safinn and xzKinGzxBuRnzx. Around October 2008 the final version of the theme was finished, this is probably what most of you remember as we used this all the way until we upgraded to vBulletin 4 in August 2010. We were happy with the final layout, I hope you will agree it looks a lot better than the work in progress screenshots I have posted up. Later in 2008 I posted up the Xbox 360 NXE Preview Dashboard and the Resident Evil 5 Demo for Xbox 360 which got Digiex on the front page of many big gaming websites. After that we gradually became known for our Xbox 360 Demos and other related content, Dark Scyth and xzKinGzxBuRnzx uploaded a lot of demos that people requested. Back then Microsoft was selling a lot of Xbox 360 arcade consoles that only came with a small memory card to save games on. Downloading demos from Digiex and burning them to a DVD was the only way a lot of Xbox 360 owners could enjoy the latest demos. As 2009 progressed Digiex continued expending on the Windows 7 and Xbox 360 content with the help of some great members. We figured people must like the content and tutorials we post as websites such as 360ISO and 7sins were constantly ripping the tutorials we post up and trying to pass it off as their own. We asked them to remove the stolen tutorials however the staff didn't care... We realise most of them are not competent enough to even do a proper copy + paste job so we had a bit of fun with the stuff they tried to steal from us. One such stolen tutorial: After we had some fun: (image not safe for work / school) also excuse any spelling mistakes, paint doesn't have a spell checker! In 2010 we made the news on a lot of popular gaming website thanks to MasterChief posting up a lot of screenshots of a fair few un announced and un released Xbox 360 games such as Crazy Tax and Sonic 4. In summer of 2010 Digiex upgraded to vBulliten 4, something we had not been looking forward to for a long while, this was basically like starting Digiex again apart from we would still have all our content and members. All the modifications we had done to vBulliten 3 right down to the theme had to be recreated. We managed to get the Digiex looking much like its old self again after a few days of doing nothing but work on Digiex for 14 hours a day. We hope the regular members would eventually be happy with the upgrade and accept it. As of today I would still like to improve the front page some more, so that should change for the better in the near future. However we hope everyone feels the forums are nicer to use. The Digiex theme that was totally 100% re created for vBulliten 4, I was honestly never happy with this. Been a perfectionist I preferred the theme I created for vBulliten 3, however the theme would be in use for the next two and a half years, when i got time i tweaked the theme and tried to make improvements where possible. In September 2010 we made the news again when xXXBOXxHACKERXx uploaded the previously un-leaked Kinect Dashboard beta to Digiex, he apparently obtained off someone in the beta who wished not to be named. The YouTube video I made of my console upgrading to the leaked Kinect dashboard became quite popular resulting in my YouTube channel been the 16th most viewd in the United Kingdom on Sunday 12th September 2010, beating the BBC, ITN News and 4 on Demand. Overall I was the 66th most viewed on YouTube in the United Kingdom for the following week. Visible changes to Digiex its self were small in 2011, minor adjustments to the Digiex theme were made and the Digiex Xbox Live Leaderboard made a return. Towards the end of 2011 the #digiex IRC channel was re-launched, however would only remain active for a few months. Throughout 2011 The Digiex Minecraft server grew to be very popular, and ended up been one of the most active Minecraft servers in the community. Jessenic Minecraft Launcher for the Digiex server proved very popular too becoming one of the most popular launchers for Minecraft at the time. A major news story that we broke in 2011 was that Digiex obtained a playable demo of the much anticipated Duke Nukem Forever weeks before it was officially released. Digiex was the first site to report and provide screenshots of it which got us quite a bit of attention in the gaming community. In 2012 many major changes would happen to Digiex, some for the better, some for the worse. The first major change was that we introduced a mobile theme for Digiex, this was basically the default vBulletin mobile theme with our logo changed on the top, I dont have any screenshots of this with our logo, however this is basically what it looked like. The mobile theme caused problems with various mobile devices and was dropped at the end of 2012. In June 2012 Rick was asked to come on-board as a moderator. This was the first time we had promoted a member to staff in several years. All the staff felt Rick would be an excellent addition based on all the contributions made over the years on the forum. Now for the bad, about mid 2012 we got removed from Google Adsense, meaning we would no longer be able to earn revenue from showing adverts on Digiex. This was a massive blow to us as we use the money generated from adverts to pay for the two dedicated servers, and various other misc running costs. Luckily we had a bit of money saved up to help cover the running costs of Digiex. Digiex tested out various other ad networks, including Adbrite who we showed adverts for over a 3 month period, then never got what little revenue we earned with them. For more details please read AdBrite Review - Malware, Poor Customer Service, Low Revenue and Scam. Shortly after that Adbrite ceased trading (we wonder why...). We had long since removed a few posts on the site we didnt think Google would be happy with, so when we re applied for Ad-sense again we managed to get accepted back in to the program, meaning Digiex had a steady source of income to pay for the servers, domain name's and so on. 2012 was also the start of DMCA trolling, read more: Digiex Transparency Report 2012 - Covering DMCA's takedowns, and the invalid claims. We have had many DMCA takedown requests we have had to comply with, even for a fan made Xbox theme based on the Forza game franchise. Sadly we have had to start complying with them, otherwise we will be de-listed from Google and kicked off Ad-sense again. Now lets end 2012 on a massive positive. In December 2012 we made the most significant change to Digiex since the vBulletin 4 upgrade back in 2010. We installed a totally new theme created by a professional themer. This theme was based on the "Metro" principles used in the then just released Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox 360. The admin team agreed it was time for something fresh and modern to kick off 2013. An emphasis on touch friendliness was desired, given a lot of members view Digiex on touch enabled devices now. However it was agreed usability on traditional desktop PC’s could not be sacrificed. We felt the "Digiex Metro Theme" delivered all this and more. See the current theme below: So far 2013 has been a steady year for Digiex, in August we celebrated the 5th year of the current Digiex, since its re launch in 2008. To celebrate this several thank you gifts were handed out to staff and long time members as a thank you for all there contributions to Digiex over the years. That basically covers as much as Digiex as I can remember right up to the present, if you are interested you can try and view parts of the old Digiex versions on archive.org Placeholder for Digiex in 2003: http://web.archive.org/web/20030718192306/http://www.nimrod-online.com/ VB2: http://web.archive.org/web/20031222015351/http://www.nimrod-online.com/ First VB3: http://web.archive.org/web/20040128103120/http://nimrod-online.com/ Next Error: http://web.archive.org/web/20040328060530/http://nimrod-online.com/ Finally Opened: http://web.archive.org/web/20040519063446/http://www.nimrod-online.com/ Became Digiex: http://web.archive.org/web/20040618114804/https://digiex.net/ Placeholder for the Digiex you know of now: http://web.archive.org/web/20070901023430/https://digiex.net/ Were back: http://web.archive.org/web/20071217180919/https://digiex.net/ Nimrod has wrote about the history of Digiex's servers below.