Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 07, 2009

A Billmon And MoA Archive CD is Now Available

These CDs are now available.


Learn what's on each of them and how to get one below the fold.

What is the content of these CDs?

Each CD includes the nearly complete archive of Billmon's Whiskey Bar website from his first post on April 10 2003 until The Bar closed on December 28 2006. It is only 'nearly' complete as 22 pictures from early Billmon posts, despite best efforts, are still missing. Over 780 pictures are included though. This is, I believe, the most complete Billmon archive available anywhere.

Also on the CD is the complete archive of Moon of Alabama from its launch on June 30 2004 up to July 2 2009. All posts, media and comments are included.

A search index is provided on the CD that covers both archives. For Windows users a free software to use the search index is included too. Mac and Unix users will have to download their (free) version from the net (link provided on the CD). The search engine allows google and yahoo like searches through both archives.

The two archives are interlinked. Links from the Moon of Alabama archive which originally pointed to the website now point to the Whiskey Bar archive on the CD and vice versa. One can search and surf through and in between both archives without an active internet connection.

While I have been careful in preparing and verifying the archives and each CD I can not give any guarantees. In total there are 9,100 files on each CD which together take up some 527 megabyte. I have not reviewed each of these files on each CD I will send out. Still - if your copy does not work at all you will of course get a new one.

How to get one?

Send an email to MoonofA_at_aol_dot_com and include your postal address. I will send back an email with information on how you may contribute you fair share to the costs involved. Please allow me a day or two for responding to requests.

If you are not able to pay anything for a CD please let me know. Moon of Alabama barflies who can not pay will get a CD for free. More generally - everyone decides for themselves what s/he wants to contribute for a CD.

What is my 'fair share'?

The pure material costs  - high quality raw CD-R, self adhesive label, label printing, jacket, envelope and postage (international airmail) is about € 5.00 or US$ 7.00 per CD.

The process of retrieving the data, providing inter-linkage, cleaning up inconsistencies, verifying the archives, search implementation, testing, documentation, label design, CD-burning and verifying, general handling etc will have taken up some 50+ hours of my time when this project is finished. I expect the total edition of this CD to be around 50 copies or less.

Whatever you are willing to pay above the material costs will first finance CDs for people who can not pay and second to keep the Moon of Alabama website available on the net for linking and reference. The cost for that alone is $180.00 per year. Parts of outrageously generous contributions may also be used to provide me a shot of Lagavulin. I haven't had one for quite a long time.

As paypal screwed up my account I can currently not accept any credit card payment. You will have to do a bank transfer or send a check or cash to the account and address I will provide in my email to you.

Other issues:

The comments to this post are open for questions and remarks on the CD.

Parts of the Moon of Alabama community are now taking refuge at Le Speakeasy. There are still some problems with that site. For discussing those please use the Open Thread

My best wishes and regards to all of you.

Posted by b on July 7, 2009 at 19:19 UTC | Permalink


lovely work b - thanks for pulling together our treasure. (again)

About that paypal - I have mine set up to make cash payments (comes from my bank account, not credit card) and so it does not charge any fees to you. Can you accept that, or is paypal entirely out for you?

Posted by: citizen | Jul 7 2009 19:47 utc | 1

@citizen - sorry, paypal is for now out for me. I currently have no access to any fund you would provide to my account there.

Posted by: b | Jul 7 2009 19:57 utc | 2

thanks b! hard to wrap my head around the idea that all that i've learned, loved & gained from MoA over the years fits onto a single disc...

someone better make sure they get an extra one for uncle $cam since he's out of the loop

Posted by: b real | Jul 7 2009 21:42 utc | 3


You are the man! thanks for the hard work.

I just sent you an email and I need to remember to post this comment, not like the last one I tried to leave.

Thank you!

Posted by: DavidS | Jul 7 2009 22:55 utc | 4

Bernhard, you are a star.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Jul 7 2009 23:03 utc | 5


I'm using Mac now. What's the name of the search engine software to use with Mac? Thanks.

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 8 2009 0:21 utc | 6

awesome. i'm emailing you now.


Posted by: annie | Jul 8 2009 1:43 utc | 7

have you considered offering a premium version with slothrop's comments deleted? I kid!

Posted by: ran | Jul 8 2009 2:17 utc | 8

What a Gift!
Both you, and the archives.

Thank you a million. If you ever find your way to the American Southwest look me up for lodging and sightseeing. I believe we may have more law enforcement of various kinds than the Korean DMZ. That in itself is a cultural moment.

Best wishes, Obiwan.


Posted by: Jake | Jul 8 2009 2:19 utc | 9


I'm in.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 8 2009 2:33 utc | 10

thank you thank you, b

and just to give you a heads up, if it's all right, i will be purchasing two; one for me, and one for my dear friend, uncle $cam.

he will be absolutely floored when he gets back from his trip to see copies of the archive have been made available.

thank you.

Posted by: Lizard | Jul 8 2009 3:27 utc | 11

@all -

From emails I received some seem to think that the archive is on multiple CDs. That is not the case. The complete archives (527 MB) fit on one CD and I will send out only one for each request unless more are explicitly ordered. The three CDs pictured above are identical.

@Copeland - I'm using Mac now. What's the name of the search engine software to use with Mac?

From the Search-help file provided on the CD:

The stand-alone search engine Swish-e is included on the CD plus a 'ready to use' search index. The search index includes all single-post pages from both, the MoA and WB archive. While Swish-e is as good as the usual online search engines it unfortunately lacks a graphic user interface.

For Windows user (beyond 95/98) clicking on the batch file "Search.bat" is all that is needed. There is no further installation. At the first start of "Search.bat" the files libswish-e-2.dll, libxml2-2.dll, pcreposix.dll and zlib1.dll will be copied to your C:\Windows\System32 folder. You are fine from thereon and you can skip the following paragraph.

As I currently have no test capabilities for Mac software so I could not include a 'ready to use' Swish-e Mac version. Mac (and Unix) users will have to download their appropriate program version and follow the documentation to install it. You will likely not need to generate a new index file. The most useful and sufficient program parameters for searching with Swish-e can be gleaned from the provided "Search.bat" file. The documentation for these parameters is available here. The search index-file is located in the CD path as "/swish-e/moawb.index" and for searching the Swish-e parameter -f has to be set appropriately to point to that file.

Using Search

Under Windows (above 95/98) double click on the file "Search.bat" provided at the top level of the CD. Enter the searchterms you want to search the archive for. The results, limited to 40, will be displayed in a DOS-box window and can be copied and pasted into a webbrowser to reach the individual archive files. Entering x will close the window. (Under Windows95/98 use Start - Run - Command, change the drive/path to the CD root directory and enter Search9598.bat to get results. Enter Exit to close the DOS-box window.)

The Swish-e search-engine has the standard operation mode you are used to from Google or Yahoo.

Normally you will simply enter:

word1 word2 word3
The search engine then assumes you entered:
word1 AND word2 AND word3
You can do boolean searches for multiple words using AND, OR, NOT and brackets:
word1 OR (word2 NOT word3)
To search for a phrase under Windows you will need to 'escape' the quotes delimiting a phrase with a backslash:
\"this is a phrase\"
You can find more tips in the slash-e online Searching Instructions.

Search Results

The returned search results are limited to 40. Each result consists of a search rank, title and the relative path to the archive-file that has been found. For example a search for "Iraq war" returns:

# SWISH format: 2.4.7
# Search words: Iraq war
# Removed stopwords:
# Number of hits: 3907
# Search time: 0,031 seconds
# Run time: 0,094 seconds

1000 - Whiskey Bar: The Humanitarian Case for War in Iraq

995 - Whiskey Bar: The Cruel War

991 - M of A - 3rd Iraq Thread

991 - M of A - Ominous Signs of War

Let's decide to read through the second search result. One can copy the relative path line of that result from the search output (usually by the sequence: Rightclick-"Mark"-(marking)-Enter). Copy the line without(!) the two leading dots At the URL input field of the webbrowser enter: file:///, plus the driveletter of your CD-ROM drive plus a colon. Then paste the string you have copied behind that. When you are finished the input should look like this:


My laptop has the CD-ROM drive at driveletter G. I therefore have to type:

into the Firefox URL input field and then paste the relative path the search has returned, without the leading two dots, behind those.

Pressing Enter will then load the archive file of that page.

Sorry for this rather inconvenient handling but a nicer search interface implementation is not available for free and I currently can not spare the time to program one myself.

I hope that helps.

As the Whiskey Bar is no longer available to be searched by Google (and MoA will - at some time - not be available there either) this was the best I could do with my limited efforts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted by: b | Jul 8 2009 5:04 utc | 12

Thank you for doing this. I have been lurking here for years and will certainly be ordering a CD. This place produced the most human, thought provoking content on the net IMHO.

Ok...I'll ask while you're around....and because I reckon some of the crew have this in the back of their minds anyway.. Any chance of someone else taking the reins here at MoA?

Posted by: LeslieM | Jul 8 2009 8:42 utc | 13

@ran have you considered offering a premium version with slothrop's comments deleted?

Not yet, but I could create such a premium version. Just make me an offer ... :-)

Posted by: b | Jul 8 2009 9:11 utc | 14

this is not going to work......i want my favorite bar re-opened.
I need my fix........please pretty please?

Or can someone give me a key for the speakeasy? I can go to the homepage, but while trying to register or to read a thread it showes as hacked.

good grief, i hate cold turkey, hate hate hate it.


Posted by: sabine | Jul 8 2009 10:04 utc | 15

I've sent my request. Thank you again [and again].

Posted by: beq | Jul 8 2009 11:13 utc | 16

Sent in my request. So long and thanks for all the fish.

Posted by: John Shreffler | Jul 8 2009 12:49 utc | 17

@Copeland and other Mac users - I'm using Mac now. What's the name of the search engine software to use with Mac?

If you are wary to install that little search app suggested by b., you could also rely on the build-in Spotlight: copy the contents of the 'Moon CD' to your hard disk, and let Spotlight index it (under 10.5 it will do so asap). Then you could a search by content – and even create 'Smart Folders' with targeted search queries. That worked very well for me on a number of projects. There are some explanation docs on the Apple Support site. Google is your friend :-).

Posted by: philippe | Jul 8 2009 14:19 utc | 18


Thank you so much for all of your efforts on our behalf. You are truly an outstanding human being. I will email you privately for a copy of the cd (although I don't want to flood your inbox... I expect everybody and their in-laws are trying to get in touch with you about now.)

Know that you have my gratitude.


Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 8 2009 16:34 utc | 19

I Miss MOA more that I thought I would, can b, not give keys to the best posters and set up a paypal system?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 8 2009 19:42 utc | 20

heard some people recently got their paypal account limited through their name/business "possibly being listed on a government sanctions list". Hope that's not the case here... Some more reasons here.

Posted by: hokasch | Jul 8 2009 20:22 utc | 21

Count me in, too, b! I'll be sending you money for the CD -- and then some...

Believe me, if I could wine and dine you to your heart's content, I'd do so with all my heart. But it looks like you're gonna have to settle for just a Lagavulin or two from me. In all honesty, though, any drink that gotta "powerful peat-smoke aroma" about it doesn't sound all that tasty to me. But hey, as they say, whatever floats your boat.;~)

Now I realize that you've got much more important things to do in your life than to blog till you're dog-tired, but please don't become a stranger to us all. I don't expect you to be a regular at our next great watering hole, whether it's Le Speakeasy or not, but I'd love to see you visit there on occasions.

Thanks again for a blog well done, you and your words will be sorely missed.

With warm wishes and lots of kisses,


Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 8 2009 21:24 utc | 22

I'll be emailing you for a copy.

Miss your quality analysis (and I'm not trying to lay a guilt trip on you!), can't tell you how many times I've wished I knew your take on something.

What about a tutorial as to how you did it all? I'm becoming more and more impressed with your work as I click hither and yon, trying to get to those nuggets of reality, the parts we're not supposed to find and put together....

Once again, thank you for all you've done. I've really learned a lot from you and people here.

Damn, it's nice just to get this little fix of Moon!

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 8 2009 22:45 utc | 23

I'll be emailing you for a copy - thanks again b

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jul 9 2009 2:45 utc | 24

Thank you.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jul 9 2009 3:52 utc | 25


Have you though about turning over MoA to some group of regulars, perhaps even selling it to them? You could still post the occasional essay but not have to do anything if you did not want to do so.

Is it even a possibility?

Posted by: Joseph | Jul 9 2009 11:03 utc | 26

OT, but in keeping with the tradition here at MoA, has anyone here yet read Mafia Son?

A sensational, epic true story of a modern Mafia dynasty, by an author with incredible inside access to both the Mob and the FBI.

The Scarpas were a Mafia dynasty led by Greg Scarpa Sr., a man addicted to murder. His son, Gregory Jr., a promising athlete, worshipped his ruthless father, and was slowly drawn into his dark world. What only father and son knew was that for thirty years Scarpa Sr. was an FBI informant. For decades, his connection to the FBI granted him a virtual license to kill. But when facing arrest in the late 1980's, Scarpa asked his son to leave his wife and children, and take the rap for his father.

After years in prison, in 1995, Gregory Jr, imprisoned alongside Ramzi Yousef, architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, agreed to extract information from Yousef in exchange for leniency, furnishing the FBI with detailed intelligence on what would result in 9/11. Incredibly, Greg's desperate warnings were unheeded, and he was sentenced to forty-years-to-life at the notorious ADMAX. There he would supply the FBI with intelligence on Oklahoma City bomber and fellow prisoner, Terry Nichols. Again his contribution was ignored, and Gregory Jr. remains at ADMAX, where he believes he will one day be murdered.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 9 2009 15:52 utc | 27


After a recoup of costs, etc. Are you amenable to having an .ISO image of the disc available for download?

This seems to me to be a reasonable way to maintain this into the future - beyond the next couple of months when people may be urged to respond and you may yet be interested in acting.

The Internet Archive is well established for providing this hosting and distribution for works in public domain or placed under Creative Commons licensing.

I urge you to look at this option, at the appropriate

Posted by: Dr. Jeremiah | Jul 9 2009 19:32 utc | 28

To Cynthia: an explanation? Smokey peat, yes, but they left out the part about the seaweed.

Try it sometime.

Posted by: beq | Jul 10 2009 0:14 utc | 29

please keep this up for awhile i've got to wait till next month for $.thanks for all you've done. will miss you folks.

in new orleans

Posted by: onzaga | Jul 10 2009 4:43 utc | 30

Try it sometime.

i'll say

Posted by: annie | Jul 10 2009 5:08 utc | 31

@Cloned Poster @20 - can b, not give keys to the best posters and set up a paypal system?

@Joseph @26 - Have you though about turning over MoA to some group of regulars

Over the years I several times asked for more participation in managing this bar by providing pieces to post etc. No on ever came forward. So no - it will for now get closed down.

Some 40+ archive CDs have been sent out by now. A few are still available but will not be so for much longer. If anyone still wants one let me know.

Posted by: b | Jul 10 2009 5:38 utc | 32

"for now"?

Posted by: b real | Jul 10 2009 6:05 utc | 33

Well, I've been sitting here thinking hard about sending you twenty bucks to cover me and some others, but if forty of fifty are already out the door, they're all probably out the door, and what I wanted was to get to talk with you every day. So I'll leave the CDs to those who want the memories, and content myself that you are out there somewhere....

Please let me know if your costs haven't been covered, I'll send the dough anyway.

Posted by: 99 | Jul 10 2009 6:57 utc | 34

B, thank you so much for all the work.

Posted by: Tangerine | Jul 10 2009 11:20 utc | 35


I hear you. I guess I was just too afraid that a piece of my own writing would just not be up to snuff. Sorry, I should have volunteered and let you say --- not good enough, if it was not suitable.

Anyway, I want to extend my extra special thanks to you for the last 5 years. I would never be able to express how much it meant to me at a difficult time in my life.

Thank you for everything you did. And may the gods help you through your present difficult times that you alluded to.

Posted by: Joseph | Jul 10 2009 12:38 utc | 36

The comments to this entry are closed.