‘First’ Pirate Bay Server on Permanent Display in Computer Museum
The Pirate Bay is one of the best known file-sharing brands and in less than a decade the site has well-earned its place in computer history. The Computer Museum in Linköping has a section dedicated to 50 years of file-sharing and one of the top pieces is one of the first servers used by The Pirate Bay. According to the museum The Pirate Bay has become a contemporary historical phenomenon and the server signifies “a revolution that begun in a dark grey metal box under a bed.”
Founded in 2003, the Pirate Bay turns a decade old September this year. Since its humble beginnings the notorious site has come a long way.
Today The Pirate Bay is spreading a world of information to millions of people every day through a complex network of cloud based servers hosted across the world.
However, in the first two years the hardware setup was rather primitive. The site first came online in Mexico where Gottfrid Svartholm hosted the site on a server owned by the company he was working for at the time.
After a few months the site relocated to Sweden where more servers were added to keep up with the increase in traffic. One of these first servers has now been made available to the Computer Museum in Linköping where it’s now on permanent display.
The server in question is part of the “50 years of file-sharing” section and according to the museum it represents the cultural revolution that was started by the BitTorrent site.
Pirate Bay server on display (photo: Marcin de Kaminski)
The server is displayed in its original computer case, but the museum replaced one of the sides with a see through panel so visitors can take a look at the inside. On the panel the museum writes the following:
“Stockholm, in the year of 2004. In the home of Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, at his parent’s place, this ordinary computer is running day and night. With a special software and a standard broadband connection this machine was the beginning for one of the most loved, hated and debated phenomena in modern time – the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.”
“In less than ten years The Pirate Bay has become a contemporary historical phenomenon, due to its distinguished position in the file-sharing debate. The discussions that have sprung from this simple computer server concerns serious subjects as freedom of speech, global democracy and of course the sole existence of copyright.”
“Support groups and political parties have gathered around the now well-known banner of The Pirate Bay. Together they stand in the center of a cultural revolution. A revolution that begun in a dark grey metal box under a bed.”
A Pirate Bay insider informed TorrentFreak that the contents of the computer case in question were initially hosted in the blue box pictured here. In the same photo are also the three other servers that were operational at the time, a laptop, tower case and the red server box.
So, in just a few years, the hardware moved from an old blue box to a prominent place at the Computer Museum.
This is not the first time one of Pirate Bay’s servers has become “hosted” by a museum. Nearly four years ago Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology bought one of the server racks that were raided by the police in 2006.
Over the years The Pirate Bay has become less resource intensive. The site is no longer serving .torrent files and does not run a tracker either, greatly reducing hardware and bandwidth requirements.
Earlier this year they moved most of their service to the cloud, where they currently run on 17 virtual machines. This latest move greatly reduced Pirate Bay’s power consumption, but it’s also less nostalgic as none of these cloud servers could ever go on display.