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This is an interesting historical quirk, more than anything else – but I thought it merited a blog post. If you’ve seen me rattling around the Internet pre-Sunbelt, you might be aware I have a bit of a sparring history with a company called 180 Solutions / Zango.

Or, as The Register once put it:

“…its chief tormentors – Ben Edelman, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, and Chris Boyd, former security researcher at Facetime Security – continued to document evidence of malpractice by Zango years after the FTC settlement.”

Anyway. While looking for random things to play with on, I noticed this:

Zango Downloads

A nice collection of Zango files. Quite a few installs too, from the looks of it with one program alone totalling 2,326 downloads. All of the files were added on 10/01/2004, which could either be the 10th of January or the 1st of October, depending on whether or not you’re a confused Englishman like myself.

Here’s an obligatory close up shot of one of the pages:

Zango install page

“In exchange for free access to games, users are shown 2–3 websites while browsing online”. All of the Zango files offered up are pretty tame, but I find it a little surreal to think that all of these files have remained on through the years while this, this, this, this and, well, all of this took place.

You can still download the files and run them (assuming your security software doesn’t block it, of course) but no program will spring to life – instead, you’ll see the following message appear in a browser window:

Dead installer

Yes, all of the programs appear to be dead which is a shame as I was really looking forward to playing David Vs Goliath. Or not, as the case may be…

Christopher Boyd