Blast from the past: romkocsmak.com
February 6, 2023
At the end of the ’00s and the beginning of the ’10s, ruin bars were springing up all over Budapest. They were often just temporary tenants of turn-of-the-century buildings that had fallen into disrepair until the owner decided to sell or demolish the building. The owners of the bars tried to be hip by using discarded furniture from the streets and giving themselves cool names. Many of these names were one word, often just a noun from the dictionary.
I don’t remember if it was my friend András or me who came up with the idea of a quiz, but I know that we found these names ridiculous. Clothespin? Cave? Trapezoid? For real‽
So we got to work: András compiled a list of real and fake pub names and I designed and coded the website. The only problem was that I had no idea how to code a website, so I cobbled something together from various tutorials and answers in online forums. It was not pretty, The code was not pretty. The website was very pretty, of course. but it got the job done. I bought the domain romkocsmak.com and the site went live. The website was originally only in Hungarian. For this special occasion, I translated it to English – find the link at the top of the page or click here to get there directly. We thought we might even make some money off the project if bars paid a small fee to have direct links to their websites when their name appeared in the quiz, but we never pursued that avenue. We just showed off our cool website to other friends.
After a few years of keeping the site online, I didn’t want to pay for hosting anymore, so I took it offline, but kept the domain just in case. So when the topic came up in a conversation with friends, it “only” took me two hours to migrate the code from PHP5 to PHP7, translate the site to English, and put it back online at infinityfree.net, a service that provides free PHP hosting. It’s not the easiest to use or the fastest to respond to requests, but, once again: it gets the job done.
This project is not open source because
- The implementation is trivial,
- The code is horrible, and
- It would reveal the correct answers to the quiz.
Enjoy the game!