Lim Chee Aun

The fate of Phoenity

Phoenity.

What a nice name.

It is born on 4 November 2002, around 3 to 4 years old by now. All started quite miraculously, since I never expect this little project could make me who I am today. I'm known as the guy who created the Phoenity artwork, specifically the Phoenity theme for Firefox. Through the process of development, I've learnt a lot of valuable lessons, most are unforgettable ones.

From today onwards, the Phoenity site and all related projects will be suspended. In other words, development of all Phoenity themes and skins are discontinued. Stopped. Frozen. Hopefully, for a short time, depending on situations.

The reason behind this is due to a problem happened to my computer two months ago. My hard disk died because I left my computer at home for three months while I was in Kuala Lumpur taking my first semester studies. After I was back home on November, it just stopped working and no longer detected from BIOS. Hard luck, indeed. A powerful lesson I learnt is always back up your files before it's too late. I did not back up my Phoenity artwork and source files, so they could be trapped inside my hard disk, waiting for someone to rescue them out.

There are over 200 Phoenity icons created. Could be more though. Few of them are not even published to the public yet. Previously, I do have plans that will further improve my icons project. I've promised few people that I'll be releasing the Phoenity desktop icons pack by around last year or this year. I'm very sorry that I've broken my promise to all. Anyway, the concept behind the Phoenity icons design is not suitable for the desktop environment. I design it just for toolbars, if you know what I mean. So, the concept has to be changed slightly and the icons have to be redesigned. Some experimental ones are in my hard disk unfortunately.

So, how about the Phoenity theme for Firefox? The theme build currently hosted on my site is really, really outdated. Please, don't install it! Even though this official build is discontinued, a nice fellow named John Ramirez has become my saviour to maintain my theme for latest versions of Firefox! Thanks a lot! I'm definitely impressed by the improvements he has done, especially the slick sub-skins selection user interface. By the way, he is also maintaining the Phoenity theme for Thunderbird. Kudos to this guy!

Okay now, how about Phoenity themes for other applications? First, I focus on K-meleon. Phoenity has been the default theme for about a year now. And I'm not sure if the developer would decide to switch to other active themes or design their own. My second concern is Phoenity theme for Opera browser. Opera uses a lot of icons so I thought when the new version of Opera is out, Lars, the maintainer, will be asking me to create extra icons. That would be a difficult case for me.

I don't feel worry much on the other theme ports, since most of them are not very contagious, compared to my flagship Firefox theme. I would allow anyone to maintain them willingly. Also I allow anyone to use all the available Phoenity icons archived on my site and re-create them if possible. By the way, I've upgraded the licensing of my icons to the latest version of the Creative Commons. Still free and non-commercial, don't worry.

Since my hard disk died, I thought of buying another new hard disk, which would be relatively cheap nowadays. I could start all over again, right? But wait, I'm a university student now. When a new semester starts, I might need to bring my whole desktop computer to my hostel. When it ends, I'll be having few months of holiday and need to bring it back to my hometown! If not, my computer will get rusty and might break again, just like my hard disk. Yet not to mention, my computer is at least 5 years old now. My computer's Pentium microprocessor runs at 800Mhz speed. How embarrassing.

Even if I buy a new computer, perhaps a laptop, my files are still stuck in my dead hard drive. Believe me, recreating all my icons from scratch is a very neck-breaking task. Besides, I would have to work hard and earn some money before buying a new machine. Unless I could be so lucky to win a laptop from a contest or get someone to sponsor me. Haha.

My hard disk is currently in a state of coma. Just like a ticking time bomb that will explode anytime. I've bring it here in Kuala Lumpur, and is hoping to find any experts capable of either fixing my hard disk or at least recover data from it. The former can be very risky, yet the latter can be very costly. It's a hard decision for me to make. Due to high cost charges, most people advise me to spend on data recovery services only if the files are super important. If not, it would not worth my money.

That actually makes me wonder, is Phoenity really that important?

While I'm stuck being a geek who doesn't own any computers, I think I'm no longer able to support the Phoenity project. It took me one and a half month to accept this regrettable fact.

I'm sorry, folks.

Let's just hope for a miracle to happen.