The History of the Undernet
by Mandar Mirashi (Mmmm) -- (1992-1993) -- Stacy Brown (BrightEye) -- (1993-2003)
This file is an attempt on my behalf to record for all posterity, the times that the undernet has gone through. There have been the bad times and then there have been the good times. But the amazing tenacity of a few persons has kept this dream alive and rekindled the spirit of the Undernet. This article attempts to explore the history of the undernet right from the hazy beginnings through turbid times to what the Undernet has evolved to, today.
Since I have basically relied on _dl's archived mailing lists to assemble this information, I must remain deeply indebted to him for the wonderful work he's done in managing the wastelanders mailing list. The file still lacks details of events that occurred before February, and the first section will be updated after further research. If you have anything which may help me out in this quest, please feel free to mail me. Because this is a historical document, the author may be held guilty of bias, but wherever possible, an attempt at an impartial representation of the facts has been made.
A history of IRC
Any kind of a historical document about the Undernet would be incomplete without a mention of the history of IRC itself. To quote from Elizabeth Reid's Electropolis paper, which is essentially a thesis report on Communication and Community, in particular the Internet Relay Chat :
"Jarkko Oikarinen wrote the original IRC program at the University of Oulu, Finland, in 1988. He designed IRC as a 'client-server' program. The user runs a 'client' program from his or her local machine, which then connects, via the Internet, to a 'server' program which may not be running on that local machine. There are hundreds of IRC 'servers' over the world, all of which communicate with each other and pass information back to the client programs - and users - connected to them. IRC was first tested on a single machine with less than twenty users participating. IRC's networking capabilities were then tested on a suite of three machines in southern Finland. Once tested it was installed throughout the Finnish national network - FUNET - and then connected to NORDUNET, the Scandinavian branch of the Internet. By November of 1988, IRC had spread across the Internet. The latest listing of countries whose Internet branches host IRC include Australia, the United States, Italy, Israel and Korea."
The original Finnish net was often termed the "O-net". The first international link established was between Finland and Sweden. Switzerland, US, Canada, Norway, Poland (for a while), Netherlands, Australia, followed suit shortly afterwards. In the middle of 1989, there were about 40 servers and 10 users on most nights. IRC had yet to come of age. But in these quiet times as well, trouble arose in 1990.
In the beginning of 1990, a net for server development called the ChNet was formed. It consisted of about 25 servers and no users. It was used to develop the 2.7 version which can be found even now (1993) on the EFnet. However, this was soon dissolved after a period of 3-4 months, due to disagreements between the programmers. By this time, Avalon (Darren Reed) had been approved of by Jarkko amongst others to be the official releaser of ircd versions. However, certain GNU programmers at MIT wanted to release code for ircd as well (Mycroft@IRC in particular) which did not fit in very well with Avalon's plans, and so the ChNet was dissolved. Soon after, a more radical split was to occur on the actual IRC network itself.
To quote from Helen Trillian Rose's Networking documentation found alongwith the IRC server (updated in Oct. 1990):
""In August of 1990, IRC suffered a critical split in viewpoints of key people in the IRC heirarchy. The result was IRC split into two networks, EFnet (Eris Free network) and Anet (Anarchy network). This split continues today. There is some debate over whether IRC will ever reunite, however, neither side is willing to bend from their standpoint. Currently, there are about 95 servers on EFnet (and the same number of users) and 15 servers on Anet (and about half the number of users)."
The A-net proposed a central server called eris.berkeley.edu in the US that everyone connect to (with similar plans for such servers in Europe and the rest of the world), which had was "open connect" i.e., no passwords were required to connect to it, and there was no limit on the no. of servers. As a result of opposing ideologies (the EFnet believed in a backbone plan based on net routes, ping times, etc.), the eris server was the first server to be Q (quarantine) lined from IRC (Q lining a server causes any server which introduces a Q lined server, to be dropped as well). The other servers along with eris formed the A-net. As of today (Aug. 1993), the A-net is almost non existent, with the EFnet having expanded rapidly.
IRC gained international fame during the late Persian Gulf War, when updates from around the world came across the wire, and most people on IRC gathered on a single channel to hear these reports.
Another one of the splinter nets formed once IRC became popular was the TubNet. This was when EF-Net started falling apart. There were a number of attempts to form other networks. But because they were run by people who really only wanted to talk.. and not by people who wanted the systems to work well, they all fell off. TubNet was formed in June 1991. It was created for all the #hottub'ers who did not like the netsplits. TubNet at its height had 5 servers, and around 100 people. The servers were located in Caltech, Washington DC, Montreal, South Africa and UK. It lasted from June to September. The net dissolved because the admins at the other sites got angry at unofficial servers.
Finally in the January of 1993, the Undernet was born, when the local US net (started by Wildthang - Daniel Mitchell) merged with the servers in France and Canada run by _dl (Laurent Demailly) and Whizzard (Donnie Lambert) respectively. The Undernet has shown tremendous tenacity as compared to the other nets, and as this document goes on to display, it is the sheer enthusiasm on the behalf of opers that have helped to keep the net alive during hard times. Today (Aug. 1993) the Undernet has over 30 servers, all over the world, with at least around 500-1000 users having visited it, 200 of them more than once! The Undernet continues to grow and confound its disparagers, and this is a story of a net that was born out of the wilderness, and which didn't give in no matter what the others felt, to finally start becoming more popular.
A new star is born - Christmas '92
As far ago as the October of 1992, people had already started feeling the effects of user overload on EFnet, not to mention many other factors. In an effort to strike out new territory in cyberspace, many "groups" of individuals had relentlessly attempted to sustain the onslaught of the forbidding isolation, and start up a server of their own. Many failed in their ventures, many just got bored of it and many just got shut down forcibly by paranoid system admins. Through the scattered outposts of the mysterious vaccum emerged 2 groups of entrepreneurs. The undernet in itself has two different tales to tell. Yes...the tale of two nets. One in the US, one in Europe-Canada.
The US undernet started off way back in Oct 92, when Wildthang put up essex.ecn.uoknor.edu (and linked it to underworld [skywarrior]) to start up a local test net. It started off as a playground to test bots at first, but quickly, the idea of a net hidden from the main net and a "friends and their friends" network grew more appealing. In mid November, Munchie (Andrew Daniels) joined Wildthang and set up the first US link essex->blackfoot.ucs.indiana.edu. Soone after Xney joined them with his server ux4.cso.uiuc.edu. By Christmas time, Wildthang linked the US net to the servers run by WHIZZARD and _dl.
A mention must also be made of the "visitor servers" which linked to the Undernet to soon proceed to the EFnet. One of these was the server run by Lightning (Edward Poffenbarger) who had troubles compiling it initially on a NeXt, but with the help of his sys. admin eventually managed to compile it, and later migrated to the EFnet. Another server which was temporarily linked to the undernet was one run by SpUr (Mushfiqur Rahman) from Uni. of Texas, (on port 6669) but was soon brought down due to pessimism expressed on behalf of the co-admin (Rodder) and the lack of time to maintain it. lonestar. utsa.edu (Longy) and inga1.acc.stolaf.edu (Dannyboy) joined in soon afterwards. There were then also pace2.mts.edu which ran only parttime, and one at chip.ucdavis.edu which was run without admin approval, and almost resulted in the revokal of the IRC admin's account. Another old timer was TempT who linked in CRUX1.cit.cornell.edu.
On the European side, _dl had already set up his server - hplyot.obspm. circe.fr, and in early December linked *.fr to *.ca. The Canadian venture was headed by WHIZZARD in the guise of taurus.ccs.tuns.ca. Taurus was originally set up in November 92, and linked to *.ariel.yorku.ca on the EFnet. Kangaman and Wildmage were WHIZZARD's uplinks on EFnet. However the uplink of *.ariel.yorku.ca - Nevster, got Whizzard's link on the EFnet revoked. Finally, Whizzard had a talk with _dl, and set up the Canada-France link. The *.ariel.yorku.ca server soon followed suit and linked to the Undernet as well. On the French side, _dl had originally set up a net to test the 2.8 series of servers along with dp (P. Ducrot) as well. Later on, after the dissolution of the test net, he linked to WHIZZARD's server in December. dp joined him on the Undernet soon afterwards, with his server ismra.ismra.fr.
In the last week of December '92, the 2 nets merged and formed what came to be called later on as the "Undernet". A mailing list was founded by _dl on Feb 5th, 1993, to start the ball rolling! A channel called #wasteland was proposed by WHIZZARD and accepted by others, as the channel for opers, and a bot called Wastedump was set up to "guard" the bleak landscape.
Ever since, a wide variety of servers have appeared and dissappeared from the face of the Undernet, but the ones that have clung on have always carried forth the spirit. In the face of all odds, against an almost non-existent userbase, they have clung on to one another, each oper giving encouragement to the other, trying to lighten up those gloomy days spent when there were hardly any users, and not a single soul ventured to enter the underworld. The reasons for servers dropping off have been many - accounts no longer active, sys admin dissapproval, disheartment at the lack of userbase, and so on. Nevertheless, the Undernet lived on.....As a piece of antiquity, here's the first ever e-mail message to the wastelanders mailing list.
5th Feb 1993: The First Wastelanders E-Mail Message:
From: Laurent DemaillyOf these admins, WHIZZARD, _dl, Dannyboy, Wildthang and Daveman still run servers on the Undernet. The rest of them dropped off at some period of time during the arduous history of the Undernet.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: New Mailing List ! Date: Fri, 5 Feb 93 16:25:06 +0100 Hi wastelanders ;) !
I've setup a begin of mailing list for our //Irc Net :
***** email@example.com *****
please mail me or *firstname.lastname@example.org*, to
complete the list...
currently the list is [5 feb 3pm gmt]:
The remainder of this document describes events in a chronological order.
February 1993 - the shaky beginning
Admins approve of dl's mailing list, enthusiasm is riding high.
7th Feb, updated mailing list as follows:
First messages by almost everyone on the list as soon as it is set up.
(Basher on the 5th, Whizzard on the 7th, Ultraboy on the 8th, dp on the 9th)
15th Feb, Tonto requests subscription to the wastelanders. Sets up
freedom.iastate.edu (machine name - pv1789.vincent.iastate.edu)
15th Feb, sheeba/nikita posts first message to the wastelanders.
15th Feb, Tonto posts first ever Undernet server list, as follows:
face="verdana,tahoma,arial,helvetica">sandman.cco.caltech.edu (Sheeba/Nikita/Wizcode) chip.ucdavis.edu (Basher) cory.berkeley.edu magic.magic.magic.kr mike.cs.titech.ac.jp shade.princeton.edu (IQ) crux1.cit.cornell.edu (TemPt) cunixa.cc.columbia.edu (hk) charon.njit.edu hplyot.obspm.circe.fr (_dl) ismra.ismra.fr (dp) newton.ccs.tuns.ca (WHIZZARD/Ultraboy) taurus.cs.tuns.ca iris.ariel.yorku.ca (Wildmage) freedom.iastate.edu (Tonto/hop) essex.ecn.uoknor.edu (Wildthang/Daveman) ttmath.ttu.edu inga1.acc.stolaf.edu (Dannyboy) pace2.cts.mtu.edu (Chris_S/Aeros)
Names for the new net decided as "alternet" or "Undernet."
16th Feb: Chris_S, Xney, Wildthang post first message to wastelanders.
Routing concerns voiced right at the onset, and Tonto (Tony) requests ping times from everyone.
Mailing list flooded with ping times :)
Early disapproval/approval of L-lines voiced.
Shaky routing causes servers to disconnect often, and with absence of backup lines for one another, parts of the net get isolated often.
17th Feb: freedom.iastate changed to pv1628.vincent.iastate, a more stable machine.
23rd Feb: a new European server, anatsg1.unil.ch, (admin Mcfly) is linked by _dl.
25th Feb: hacked server policy drawn out.
26th Feb: Tonto posts updated server list. New servers appearing on the list are: ra.msstate.edu, anatsg1.unil.ch, t3h.cs.man.ac.uk, hp825.bih.no. A total of 26 servers, with 15 servers "up."
28th Feb: SIO requests subscription to wastelanders.
March 1993 - link me not!
2nd Mar: Grant posts first message to wastelanders, a "map" of servers connected.
5th Mar: Wildmage withdraws from the Undernet, and takes off iris.ariel yorku.ca, citing a reason of "lack of userbase."
14th Mar: camelot.bradley gets Q-lined (first server to be Q-lined) for fear that it is a hacked server. The Q-lines are removed later.....lots of confusion abounds.
15 Mar: crux.cit.cornell goes down. IQ wants to form his own net on port 9876.
17th Mar: due to absence of backup links, the Undernet at one time holds only 5 servers!
22nd Mar: IQ takes shade, spot and columbia off into his own net.
23rd Mar: TBA (Alex Skrabut) proposes new East Coast server at Hofstra University, Long Island, NY, USA.
24th Mar: Tony posts new server list. New arrivals: ball.com, belvoir-vmd1.army.mil, phys1.nchu.edu.tw.
25th Mar: DaBigMac (Jim) joins the Undernet from Down Under, with his server yamabico.cs.uow.edu.au.
26th Mar: Tony explores possibilities of implementing mesh connections for servers.
27th Mar: Grant posts the first ever Undernet FAQ.
28th Mar: the "hacked server net" comprising of cheetah, cheshire and hamster (the server on a "modem"), gets linked in by sheeba accidentally. It gets delinked almost immediately by sheeba.
28th Mar: Dannyboy and Mmmm post first messages to wastelanders.
29th Mar: Tony asks for new ping times from everyone. Wastelanders is promptly flooded with ping times.
30th Mar: Dregyon asks to be added to wastelanders. Burnt from previous experiences, the wastelanders promise to take care when handing out new links.
anatsg is proposed as the new European hub, based on pings.
April 1993 - L-lines and bots!
3rd Apr: the first Undernet oper meeting takes place. TBA discusses his "web" routing.
6th Apr: Riot posts first wastelanders message.
6th Apr: utexas enters the Undernet again - flubber.cc.utexas.edu, run by Celestia. Also, a new entree is tdsb-s.mais.hydro.qc.ca run by SirLance. flubber later is changed to tigger.
6th Apr: sandman.caltech changes names to cancun.caltech.
8th Apr: Atlantis (Gurkan Kaymak) asks to be subscribed to wastelanders.
10th Apr: IQ declares utexas as a hub server without previous notification or discussion with operators. Dat declares cornell to be a hub in the same arrogant fashion, and refuses to reason with opers. They even go ahead and start changing the routing radically without asking the rest about what they feel. Tired of it, the wastelanders finally employ L-lines to employ a good hub/leaf routing. _dl, who opposed any L-lines, /die's his server for a day in protest.
10th Apr: nikita proposes hostmasking regions with a detailed plan.
12th Apr: _dl is out of town, and the wastelanders mailing list has slight problems. hop makes a backup mailing list, but _dl gets pissed.
15th Apr: Daveman posts first message to wastelanders.
15th Apr: Patina (Lucy - Tonto's gf) sends her first wastelanders post.
15th Apr: acm4.acm.rpi.edu gets linked, with Chucki as oper.
16th Apr: acm4 changes to spiff.gnu.ai.mit.edu, acm4 and hermes leaf off spiff, and so does sugar-bombs.
17th Apr: Chucki proposes a new server at santafe.edu run by bogus.
19th Apr: first message to wastelanders by mailer (admin of viminale*fr).
19th Apr: camelot.bradley is pulled down by the disapproving sys admin. Mmmm sends letter to try and save the server to no avail.
20th Apr: first post from tc (Tewwy) to the wastelanders. He posts the European map, the American map and a routing plan in great detail.
21st Apr: curie.ualr.edu gets linked with Kham and TG as opers.
22nd Apr: the great bot debate is sparked off. Finally it is decided that no remote bots will be allowed, and each server admin will frame his own bot policy. Tony posts the bot policy for pv1628*.
22nd Apr: _dl puts up new mailing list server - listserv, which makes mail handling highly efficient.
23rd Apr: TheJester posts first message to wastelanders.
25th Apr: McFly takes a short leave from the Undernet.
25th Apr: Mailer posts the crontab file for checking on servers.
26th Apr: opers express disapproval of the 2.8 series of servers because of unexpected core dumps and their inability to work with old clients.
29th Apr: the wastelanders user average drops to 10 as exams approach.
May 1993 - timestamps and mass posts
2nd May: the bot debate rages....
TempT posts first message to the wastelanders (although crux1 is no longer around).
Chucki makes a huge mistake of deleting his ircd directory on spiff :) So he requests everyone to add links for sugar-bombs.
3rd May: many admins post local bot policies.
3rd May: TG posts first message to wastelanders.
4th May: new link from Netherlands - sg.tn.tudelft.nl (admin Run) is set up by _dl.
6th May: elm.circa.ufl.edu goes down temporarily.
8th May: WHIZZARD proposes limiting number of bans.
12th May: Chucki (by now a very confused soul :) asks everyone to delete lines to spiff and sugar-bombs, and asks to add lines for goldman.gnu.ai.mit.edu instead.
TempT gets overly uptight at some e-mail sent by kham in French.
15th May: Wildthang hands over primary admin responsibilities to Mmmm.
17th May: a new link is announced in UK - dorothy.ibmpcug.co.uk (admin Chucki). Another new link is also announced - piaget.phys.ksu.edu (admin epa).
17th May: Goldman is down for a few days, Chucki plans to move to hermes. Mmmm proposes "mass post" idea.
17th May: Tony releases new improved version of his multinet bot 'ul'.
21st May: new link in Europe - vilm.informatik.uni-rostock.de announced (admin Uwe).
21st May: "mass post" carried out by Mmmm. It turns to be a "semi" success, however, most newbies (500+ persons compiled clients defaulting to the Undernet) either give up irc, or some move to EFnet. Some stay to become regulars.
22nd May: dorothy goes down.
23rd May: chucki posts new routing plan.
24th May: Run proposes the timestamp solution to netsplit ops!
24th May: first post by Twilight1, radium and Maniac (SirKnight) to wastelanders.
24th May: the great debate on how channels can be protected by opers - Run proposes /smode, a patch which would affect all servers. It is turned down, and instead underworld.edu (a 2.7.2f server) is proposed as a channel saver, with the advantage being that if it were to get abused, it is easily removable.
User recruitment frenzy breaks loose....bots, people, etc :)
25th May: new link - falcon.lhup.edu us announced (admin CocoCat).
26th May: the mailing list and hplyot are down for 3-4 days.
27th May: curie.ualr.edu goes down for the summer. Kham's on vacation.
27th May: new link to India established - server soochak.ncst.ernet.in (admin Mmmm).
27th May: Mmmm posts the "newlink" document which contains guidelines for new servers linking to the Undernet.
DemiTrix (IQ's pal) tries to get a server linked again to the Undernet but is turned down.
Dat tries the same stunt. Boy, these people never will stay out of the Undernet history - IQ, Dat and Demitrix. :)
28th May: dorothy is back up for a while.
29th May: mirac.eecs.usma.edu goes down.
June 1993 - new servers and timestamps
1st June: TheJester posts patches against the UTC bug in clients.
A need for an East Coast hub expressed again.
1st June: Karll posts first message to wastelanders (admin sci.dixie.edu).
1st June: hermes.acm.rpi.edu goes up again.
2nd June: viminale changes to deabis*fr.
5th June: McFly posts new routing plans for Europe.
Dat manages to gain a temporary link from Canada! To prevent an out-of-country link, Chucki gives him a link too.
6th June: WHIZZARD posts wallop patch.
7th June: new link announced - shadow.acc.iit.edu (admin Staffa).
7th June: Dat gets delinked again, due to his own arrogance.
8th June: Tony accidentally deletes his conf (luckily he has backups).
10th June: Mailer takes a short vacation.
Munchie pops into the Undernet again with apricot.ucs.indian.edu. He proposes to act as a backup for iastate.
16th June: Chucki notices that some servers have still not changed links from acm4 to hermes :)
17th June: Rob (email@example.com) sets up a new server - sequent.sequent. com.
17th June: Rellik (firstname.lastname@example.org) obtains an oper password which was easily guessable and performs the first mass kill on Undernet. A sad day.
17th June: epa posts first message to wastelanders.
21st June: falcon moves to port 6666.
21st June: new server aspen.che.sdsmt.edu is set up (admin - chucki, sunil).
Some servers experience technical difficulties and are a bit irregular on the net.
28th June: Dwildstar introduces a new server which could act as a hub on the West Coast - goren.u.washington.edu.
Mmmm posts new routing plan, along with dwild and chucki.
28th June: Run releases Timestamp (TSpre1)!!
29th June: Twilight1 hints at a good uark server.
July 1993 - mass kills and jupes
1st July: four servers upgrade to the timestamp protocol.
1st July: Run releases more patches for upgrading to 2.8.10 with wallops and TS.
5th July: Munchie pulls out of the Undernet again! (first one was blackfoot, the next one was apricot)
10th July: new link in Greece - Cyprus.csd.uch.gr (admin kermit) announced.
12th July: midnet faces some severe problems for a day or two, due to floods in Iowa and Nebraska.
15th July: Tony becomes upset at cancun's ridiculous ping times and drops links until the problem is fixed.
16th July: a new server, pellava*fi (admin Sisko, S_Avatar), is set up.
16th July: Run releases TSpre6.
An effort on the behalf of some is made to move to 2.8 servers. But many are still reluctant to change because of the incompatibility of new servers with old clients. A soft deadline of Aug. 1st is proposed.
A brief debate on whether hacked id should be allowed or not, with most agreeing that it is impossible to stop hacked id.
16th July: Mmmm posts the Undernetiquette document.
21st July: TG sets up bolero.rahul.net.
23rd July: due to TG's lapse of setting the correct modes on the conf, a miscreant signs on and performs a mass kill (the second in Undernet's history). Hendrix is the prime suspect.
24th July: Run puts up TS for FTP.
26th July: a new link - imageek.york.cuny.edu -- is established on the East Coast (admins - USViking, geek).
26th July: the troublesome bolero server pops up again, linking to essex (which had not yet deleted the links) and another masskill takes place. Finally the links are pulled, but it is too late. TG resolves not to return to the Undernet again.
27th July: Dregyon proposes oper meetings to move things smoothly.
29th July: many opers decide to use their IRCNAME for advertising the Undernet.
Ping data packet size decided at 1024 bytes.
29th July: geek and Rob have a fight on EFnet, Rob drags the fight over to the Undernet and repeatedly squits imageek* without any further notice, and refuses to apologise. sequent.sequent.com is juped - the first server to be juped on Undernet. Rob continues to allege that geek's server is hacked without any proof to back his allegations.
29th July: a flame war erupts on the wastelanders over the incident - Rob versus the rest.
29th July: radium is tired of the bickering on the mailing list.
30th July: elm.circa.ufl.edu returns (admin TG).
30th July: TG proposes to advertise Undernet on BBSes.
30th July: Tychy posts first message to wastelanders.
31st July: Run posts a useful "IRC Map" alias.
Things settle down again - July was a bad month for the Undernet.
1st Aug: Wildthang posts about his channel link bots again.
2nd Aug: a new link santafe.santafe.edu (admin bogus) is set up.
2nd Aug: Discman returns to wastelanders.
3rd Aug: first Undernet oper meeting held. Topics discussed - Rob, no flames on the mailing list, cancun oper inaccesibility, limit on opers per server(?), oper protocol, underworld.edu, nick change when away, help bots, hubs to go 2.8+TS.
4th Aug: SIO posts ban info patch.
TG notices Undernet as an option on the holonet.net menu.
5th Aug: the second oper meeting. Topics discussed - TS, hacked servers, fast upgrades, channel policy, motd change, Undernet billboards, /sping.
6th Aug: new link in Sweden - need.hgs.se established (admin Oddy).
6th Aug: Tony releases Oper Manual.
6th Aug: the third oper meeting. Topics discussed - no oper bots, hub upgrades, note not working on 2.8.11, ping times, European routing, host masking.
6th Aug: Run posts about how L-lines can be used for auto routing.
7th Aug: wallops fixed again by Run; he also releases NOTE patch.
7th Aug: Dregyon posts summary of topic covered in meetings.
8th Aug: the "underworld" debate flares up.
8th Aug. the Undernet starts averaging more users than servers.
10th Aug: everyone votes yes for underworld.
11th Aug: SIO releases Topic patch and _dl posts summon/local kill in syslog patch.
A need for recruiting users expressed once again.
12th Aug: Rhino's (oper on sci.dixie) first e-mail to wastelanders.
14th Aug: Mmmm opposes Karll's opvis patch which allows opers to see private channels. The patch is finally removed.
The Undernet sets a new record of 57 users.
16th Aug. auto routing discussed intensely.
16th Aug: Fizzy (Adrian Hall) proposes a backbone for European routing. _dl also posts his own ideas.
16th Aug: Run proposes a new coding idea which will help in routing.
16th Aug: client connect patch released.
17th Aug: it is discovered that bolero is attempting to connect to aiken which is fortunately L-lined. The aiken admin takes off the lines when he discovers them.
17th Aug: Fizzy (Adrian Hall) proposes the DNS alias *.Undernet.org scheme, along with FTP/Gopher/Wais/wastelanders at Undernet.org.
19th Aug: Patina posts after a long interval of time. Expresses some displeasure at the current feelings amongst Undernet ops.
19th Aug: with essex down for maintenance, and pv1628 out of action tenporarily, the Undernet is in some turmoil.
20th Aug: Twilight1 sets up new server at engr.engr.uark.edu. curie is replaced by engr.
20th Aug: bugs in TSpre6 (mode changes) found by Mmmm.
23rd Aug: Fizzy applies for registering the Undernet.org domain.
24th Aug: the first *.Undernet.org server - London.UK.EU.Undernet.org - is set up by Fizzy.
24th Aug: goren1 goes down - Dwildstar pulls out of Undernet citing the reason of "insufficient userbase." (funny how history repeates itself :)
25th Aug: Undernet.org is registered, and new server names are quickly decided.
People move too quickly to the new names, causing lots of routing headaches.
26th Aug: hot debate on a Nickserv which can maintain nick uniqueness by means of kill/jupe launched. Opers divided into 3 groups - no easy decision found yet.
28th Aug. Mmmm posts the Undernet history file.
Run releases a Timestamp (TS) patch at the end of June. This is mentioned in Mmmm's history, but just to go a little further, this was probably the one modification that really set Undernet apart from EFnet. It was the TS patch that allowed servers to see when a channel was first created, and thus resolve nick collisions and disallow channel takeovers after netsplits. This patch quickly becomes part of Undernet's servers, although Undernet was not yet using its own ircd.
In August, ircd 2.8.10 is the stable release version.
There's a long debate over the existence and use of Underworld (Underworld was the server name, Uworld was the bot name). It had been linked since the norman* server was first linked back in December 1992, but many opers and admins didn't know what it was for. It was agreed that it provided necessary and helpful services, and Wildthang added the opcom and clearchan features. Run also has an underworld.nl.* linked for a while, which he wrote and had separate functions and syntax. These services also helped separate Undernet from EFnet, in terms of what it had to offer its users.
ljubljana.si.* links in January with President as admin.
oslo.no.* links in January with Macro as admin.
fayetteville.ar.* delinks in January due to lack of resources.
gothenburg.se.* links in February with Snarf as admin.
paris.fr.* delinks in February due to lack of place to host it.
halifax.nb.* delinks in February due to the host not wanting it.
sanjose.ca.* links in February with Ensor as admin.
krakow.pl.* links in March with Kaz as admin.
The infamous Mmmm/Barron squit fight happens in April, and the fallout lasts several months later, even after Barron's server delinks, when Wildthang puts a function in Uworld to prevent anyone from upenn.edu (Barron's host) from staying linked after a successful /oper.
boston.ma.* links around April with Meatloaf as admin.
santiago.cl.* links around April with Arcade as admin.
tampa.fl.* links around April with Dylan as admin.
ircd 2.9 is released in July.
austin.tx.* links in June with SunSword as admin.
pueblo.mx.* delinks in July due to poor network performance.
rochester.mi.* links in August with Ausum as admin. It is hosted at the then well-known oak.oakland.edu server.
krakow.pl.* delinks due to poor performance and low user base.
Undernet's ircu development splits from EFnet's ircd development in October because an Undernet patch breaks the EFnet protocol. coder-com is formed to handle the new development.
washington.dc.* links in October with Matt Lyle as admin. It was hosted by AOL from the beginning.
oxford.uk.* links in November with LM as admin.
pasadena.ca.* delinks in November due to the host not wanting it anymore.
paderborn.de.* delinks in January due to the admin moving.
Uworld2 links off rochester* in February just to have a backup service.
tampa.fl.* delinks in February due to the hosting university not wanting it anymore.
auckland.nz.* links in February with nil as admin.
bloomington.in.* links in February with Jon2 as admin.
boston.ma.* delinks in February due to poor network performance.
Super posts the Channel Service Guidelines proposal in February for a new committee to take care of the new channel service. X (originally named "lagbolt") is online by the end of February with Cservice in place. It was connected via channels* off of montreal*.
Undernet hits 1000 users for the first time in February.
charlottesville.va.* links around February with Helix as admin.
pittsburgh.pa.* links in March with Peterb as admin.
stgeorge.ut.* delinks in March due to lack of place to host it.
charlottesville.va.* delinks around March
albany* delinks March because the admin's account expired.
Uworld2 off rochester* delinks in April because it was unstable. It comes back after it is upgraded to the same version as Uworld in June.
amsterdam.nl.* links around April or May with Undertow as admin.
bloomington.in.* delinks in July due to low user count.
milwaukee.wi.* delinks in June due to lack of place to host it.
delft.nl.* delinks in June due to the admin losing the account.
washington-1.dc.* links around June with limited clients.
W (which was almost named "Q") comes online from rochester* in July. It was connected via channels2*.
lausanne.ch.* delinks in July due to bandwidth restraints.
phoenix.az.* links in July with _Zool as admin.
vienna.at.* delinks in October due to technical problems.
gothenburg.se.* delinks in November due to time and resource constraints.
ann-arbor.mi.* links in November with Hoopycat as admin.
oxford.uk.* delinks in November due to instability and the admin moving.
diemen.nl.* links around November.
halifax.nb.* links very briefly in December but shortly thereafter delinks because it used too many resources. The admin was Whizzard, the same as the earlier halifax* server.
delft2.nl.* delinks after Aug 95 but before Dec 96
sandiego.ca.* links in January with Helix as admin.
okc.ok.* links in January with Wildthang as admin.
murc2.* delinks in January.
rochester.mi.* delinks in January.
sydney.au.* links in January.
espoo.fi.* links in February.
blacksburg.va.* links in February.
hamilton.on.* links in February.
davis-r.ca.* delinks in February.
vancouver.bc.* links with admin FootPrint in February.
lowell.ma.* links with admin Skot in February.
brisbane.au.* and wollongong.au.* delink in March due to the bandwidth being unmanageable. They form a separate network in Australia, oz.org.
london.uk.* links in March with admin brummie.
stlouis.mo.* links in March with admin BigTim.
washington-r.dc.* links in March at the same site as wash*.
joplin.mo.* links with admin jsb in March.
davis.ca.* delinks in May when it moves to oz.org.
In May, Starfox starts on a new routing plan for r-com.
Super proposes reorganizing r-com, admins, and opers in May. It doesn't go anywhere.
joplin.mo.* is renamed to springfield.mo.* in May.
chicago-r.il.* links in June with admin Pierre.
oslo.no.* delinks in June.
hamilton.on.* delinks in June.
vancouver-r.bc.* links in June as a place to hub channels*.
norman.ok.* is renamed norman-r.ok.* in June and becomes a dedicated hub.
dallas.tx.* links in June with khagen as admin.
lulea.se.* links in June.
atlanta.ga.* links in June.
luxembourg.lu.* links in June.
toronto.on.* links in June with DeeCee as admin.
chicago.il.* is renamed chicago-1.il.* in June, when chicago.il.* links with Edge as admin.
monticello.ar.* links in July and quickly delinks a month or so later. There are many problems with the administrative team.
santiago.cl.* delinks in September.
regensburg.de.* links in September with admin wuschel.
oslo.no.* links in June with ene as admin. This is not the same server that delinked a few months ago.
saltlake.ut.* links in September with Derrick as admin.
luxembourg.lu.* delinks in September.
los-angeles.ca.* links in November with Shadow as admin.
dublin.ie.* links in November with Morcar as admin.
dallas-r.tx.* links in November at the same site as dallas*.
rockhill.sc.* links in November with mrcactus as admin.
atlanta.ga.* delinks in November.
espoo.fi.* delinks in December.
ljubljana.si.* delinks in December.
portland.me.* links in December with Esoteric as admin.
blacksburg.va.* delinks in December.
baltimore.md.* links in December with Cyberdude as admin.
des-moines.ia.* links in January with Kevin Houle as admin.
Host authorization with different levels of access in Uworld.
Legal Issues FAQ by Mmmm on why Undernet doesn't do more about porn and warez.
The infamous _Metal_ attacks in January 1997 caused Romania to get blackholed.
manhattan.ks.* delinks in January due to poor network position.
Reorganization of the undernet-admins list and voting procedures, started by Shadow (los-angeles* admin). He and buff wrote up most of the procedures we still have today. Previously, there were many opers and coders on the admins list, and CFVs were handled very haphazardly, without organization. Some "old-timers" are kept as honorary admins: Kev, Run, Mmmm, and President, in addition to Wildthang and SeKs, who had servers at the time.
vancouver-r.bc.* delinks in January and vancouver.bc.* becomes both a client server and hub.
goettingen.de.* links in February with Sparc as admin.
lulea.se.* becomes a hub server in February and is renamed lulea-r.se.*.
portland.me.* delinks in February when r-com doesn't permlink it.
dublin.ie.* delinks in February when r-com doesn't permlink it.
pittsburgh.pa.* delinks in March because problems with the admin and some communication problems with the hosting company.
newbrunswick.nj.* links in April with mregit and play as admins.
almere.nl.* links with admin Flynn in June.
lasvegas.nv.* links in April with Angel111 as admin.
RFD-0001, the first RFD under the new organization, is on global K:lining *.uu.net. CFV-0004, the first CFV, is to dissolve CService. It fails.
NA r-com does a server link review, to recommend bad servers for delink, and assess the hub situation. Much politicking ensues. In the end, almost all the members of r-com resign, Tealie resigns as secretary in May, and eti is elected. She immediately resigns for health reasons, and Leland, who was second in the election, takes her place. The election was in June and Leland became secretary in early July.
chicago-1.il.*, washington-2.dc.*, and des-moines.ia.* delink in April because of the link review. des-moines* is allowed to relink after an appeal.
sanjose.ca.* delinks in May because of the cost of providing resources.
austin.tx.* delinks in May.
ircu 2.10 released on July 14, 1997, with beta-testing on it the previous 6 months.
norman-r.ok.* delinks in July when the admin moves.
baltimore-r.md.* (CyberDude), los-angeles-r.ca.* (drk), stlouis-r.mo.* (BigTim), and charlotte-r.nc.* (mrcactus) all link in July as part of a new routing plan. stlouis-r* delinks in August because it is not needed.
baycity.mi.* links in August with comstud as admin.
des-moines.ia.* delinks in August because the ISP doesn't want to host it anymore.
amsterdam.nl.* delinks in August because the admin wants to move on.
drk (admin of los-angeles* after Shadow) links protocol, a P10 service bot, which caused a lot of controversy with its "hidden" abilities to gline, jupe, and masquerade as Uworld. Its primary purpose was to find P10 bugs. It got delinked in August 1998 after someone found it in a hacking channel, opped, with the kiddies bragging about it.
arlington.va.* links in September with shameer as admin. It was originally to be named springfield.va.* but that would have been confusing since there was already springfield.mo.* at that time.
dallas-test.tx.* links in September with Ci_Ci and Try as admins. By November, khagen (admin of previous dallas.tx.*) is tired of running a client server so he delinks it and dallas-test* is renamed to dallas.tx.*.
almere.nl.* delinks in October, due to an EU r-com vote. It was unstable.
sevilla.es.* links in October with goku as admin.
leiden.nl.* links in October with digiman as admin.
oslo1.no.* becomes a server only for web clients in October.
In November, EUworld links (the one written by Nextie), and it is fully P10, while Uworld is not yet P10.
chicago-r* delinks in December because the ISP didn't want to host IRC servers anymore.
Wildthang's P10 server links in February as gateway1*. A few months later it changes to services1*, which has a web interface at the CService webpage. This is the first rcsd linked to Undernet.
lowell.ma.* delinks in February (CFV-0052). It had been missing for 2 months and the admin was having trouble bringing it back.
atlanta.ga.* links in March with Johannes and Angmar as admins.
pittsburgh.pa.* links in March and soon thereafter delinks (CFV-0057). There were problems with the admin, ReliX, aka elsif, who had been involved with the server when it was linked before.
leiden.nl.* delinks in April when its hosting ISP goes out of business.
newyork.ny.* links in May with sjs as admin.
los-angeles-r.ca.* delinks in May.
mclean.va.* links in May with Emory as admin.
springfield.mo.* delinks in May because the admin changed jobs.
alexandria* links in May with delusion as admin, and delinks in June (CFV-0060) when there are concerns about delusion and his standing as a member of hacking groups.
bari.it.* links in May with Nemesi as admin. R-com declines it for testlink so it delinks due to poor performance.
diemen.nl.* delinks in July (CFV-0065). It had been missing a while and the admin had too much trouble bringing it back.
stlouis-r.mo.* relinks in July to replace los-angeles-r*.
graz.at.* links in July with Nico as admin.
Brummie gives watchy an o:line on london* to protest the o:lines that admins were giving out on other servers, to people with questionable pasts, and general admin lack of caring about important issues. He says watchy never got the password to it.
goettingen.de.* delinks in September because the admin changed jobs.
gothenburg.se.* links in September with Snarf as admin, and it is approved as a hub in October. Snarf was the admin of the gothenburg* server when it was linked before.
In October, Wildthang proposes the SMT (Services Management Team), a group that is trained to use Uworld3 thoroughly, and has access to maintain the userlist. They will also develop the AUP. There is some squabbling about SMT members having higher access than admins, but the admins eventually back down when they realize it's only access to user add/remove commands. Uworld3 is brought online very early in January 1999. It is a huge improvement over the old one, and fully P10.
okc.ok.* is renamed to plano.tx.* in October, and services1* is linked behind it.
baycity.mi.* is renamed to santaclara.ca.* in October and becomes a hub in November.
washington-1.dc.* delinks in November because it is redundant.
antwerpen.be.* is renamed to flanders.be.* in November.
diemen.nl.* links in December with SlaapKop as admin. It's the same server and admin that were delinked earlier in the year, but he promised to do a better job this time.
A CFV is passed to implement host hiding, but it isn't fulfilled until 2002, when 2.10.11 is released and +x is available.
rockhill.sc.* delinks in February because the box died and nobody replaced it.
regensburg.de.* delinks in April after the machine was hacked.
poptix gets an o:line on lasvegas* because Angel111 wanted to give him a chance to prove himself in a positive way. This causes a huge controversy, he gets into /kill fights repeatedly, and buff resigned as admin-sec because of all the fighting. Typos replaces him. It all ends very badly when poptix encourages someone to hurt themselves, and several admins demand his o:line be removed, and poptix removed from Undernet, which happens. During the "remove poptix" flamewar, typos also resigns, and Super agrees to do it, even though he never really wanted the position.
brussels.be.* (RCSD) links off flanders* in May.
haarlem.nl.* links in May with xL as admin.
There's an ongoing discussion about rcsd's place on Undernet, and Wildthang's motivations for using it. Originally there was Uworld, but then he links an rcsd off flanders* and another off stlouis-r*, with plans for another off oslo* that would replace EUworld. Helix thought they should all be removed becuse rcsd wasn't fully compliant with ircu with some functionality, and Run didn't like that it was closed source. It eventually comes to a vote on how rcsd servers can be run and from where.
Related to the rcsd argument, in July, Cetlink (which hosted rockhill* and charlotte-r*) and I1 (which hosted stlouis* and stlouis-r*) had plans to merge and delinked the Cetlink servers because they were redundant. But in August, BigTim (the admin of stlouis*) got fed up with being unable to get people to agree to let him run an rcsd server and delinked both of his servers. He had wanted to make money on it from some kind of Undernet- rcsd profit sharing, but that plan was never even developed, much less implemented.
Run resigned from coder-com because he didn't like rcsd, and because he felt admins didn't take him seriously enough and let him do what he wanted with the ircu code. At that time Nemesi was the only other person really working on the code, so he wrote a coder-com guidelines document to start up a newer, better coder-com, which was approved by admins. Bleep, Kev, Isomer, Ghostwolf, and others very quickly got back involved with ircu and coder-com as a result.
amsterdam.nl.* links in June with Undertow as admin. He was also the admin when amsterdam* delinked a couple of years before.
oslo1* returns to being a general-purpose client server in July.
chicago.il.* delinks in July when the admin refuses to remove Godess' O:line.
A lot of problems from Malaysian hosts results in a global ban on *.tm.net.my and *.jaring.my, which covers just about everyone in Malaysia. Jaring is willing to help curb abuse, but nobody at TM ever seemed to care.
manhattan.ks.* links in September with tar as admin. Tar was also the admin of the server before it delinked 2 years ago.
newyork-r.ny.* links in November as a cross-Atlantic hub. sjs is the admin.
Wildthang setup the first proxyscanner as an extension of Uworld, which caused a lot of concern when people thought some machine from chatsystems.com was attacking them. Later he changed the hostname to undernet.org and all servers put a note in their MOTD about it.
austin.tx.* links in October with Mark as admin.
In January debate begins on how to hide hub and service IPs. Initially ssh tunnels were used to hide hub IPs, for a few hubs. This comes to a head when dallas-r* is asked to leave is host, and khagen (the admin) finds a new host, but it won't tolerate any attacks and insists on being hidden, so khagen wants a CFV to hide everything hideable from users. CFVs are passed to hide hubs and build Uworld functions into ircu. There is a hub-hiding patch feud between Run, Nemesi, and bleep. When 2.10.07.12 is released, is does hub-hiding, even from opers, as does 2.10.10.easter.
amsterdam-r.nl.* links in January at the same site as amsterdam*. Previously the server had been acting as both a client server and hub, and that was not working out so well.
lulea-r.se.* delinks in January by an EU r-com vote. It had been missing for several months.
los-angeles.ca.* delinks in February (CFV-0125). It had been hacked and moved around many times without consulting admins or routing-com.
ann-arbor.mi.* delinks in February (CFV-0126). It has very poor network performance.
Bad things are set in motion when baltimore-r* ends up hosting both X and W. There are a lot of complaints that Chatsystems (plano*) is hosting everything as part of a conspiracy on the part of Wildthang to rule the world. This becomes less of an issue in March when plano* and services1* delink because they were attacked almost constantly and Wildthang couldn't put up with it anymore. At the same time, phoenix* delinks because of attacks. Vancouver* delinks soon after because of new company policy.
Coder-com and Cservice start work on the CMaster project, to create a new P10 X/W using a SQL database for registration.
paris.fr.* links in June with Mr_RIP as admin.
vancouver.bc.* delinks in June when the hosting company institutes a "No IRC Servers" policy.
In July Uworld, X, and W were offline due to hardware failure. By August they were back up. The Balt* client server stayed off because they new server couldn't handle all of it at the same time. Client server returned a week later. The proxyscanner had been disabled while the box was on Cyberdude's home machine, but reenabled when he got them all on balt*'s new permanent host.
In August extended numnicks could be enabled since Euworld was rewritten to support them.
Sengaia suggests taking channels* and *world* out of /map and /links, but Kev says it's not possible to take remove arbitrary servers. He says the integration is going, but going slowly. Also pointed out that X/W have to have public IPs because of the webpage. Cyberdude also reminds that X/W have to be linked behind a 2.10.07 server until they are P10, and that's why hidden1* exists.
dp removes the ancient telnet2.eu.undernet.org telnet IRC service at the end of August 2000.
TRi wanted to link his own proxyscanner since he didn't think Uworld's was good enough, in August 2000. Some suggest putting this into ircu, but Kev is opposed to that. Wildthang says he can code it into Uworld to improve it's SOCKS checking, if somebody would help him, and he's opposed to multiple proxy-scanning services.
seattle* delinks in November because the company went bankrupt.
October discussion starts on how CSC2k (cmaster) will work.
Super resigns as admin-sec on Christmas day, 2000. Dintx replaces him in January 2001.
oslo-r.no.* delinks in December due to relocating the server. oslo1.no.* is renamed to oslo.no.*.
Huge DoS attacks starting the first week in January result in baltimore.md.*, baltimore-r.md.*, and newyork.ny.* delinking right away, atlanta.ga.* and dallas.tx.* at the end of January, gothenburg.se.* and manhattan.ks.* in February, newbrunswick.nj.* and auckland.nz.* in March, saltlake.ut.* in June, and lasvegas.nv.* in July.
Because the balt* servers went offline, Uworld, X, and W were all offline as well. SeKs considered the old P09 X/W decommissioned and said this would be a good chance to get CMaster ready and linked to replace them. Amst-r* was constantly hit by DoS as well, and it couldn't keep EUworld linked, but wash-r* could, sort of, at least enough for opers to do their job.
Work on CMaster was progressing smoothly by February. Opers were able to get usernames at the end of February, ahead of the pack. CFV-0165 to hide all the stuff from users passes in April, and ircu is thus modified with ircu2.10.10.pl14 which is released at the end of May.
surrey.uk.* links in March with Illusion as admin.
stockholm.se.* links in March with lexie as admin.
napoli.il.* links in March with jester as admin. It delinked less than a month later.
graz2.at.* links in March or April at the same site as graz*.
dallas-r.tx.* delinks in April due to the admin changing jobs.
CControl, the GNUWorld module for Uworld functions, is ready to go in early May. Admins want to see more testing of it, and Wildthang is opposed to linking it, yet he has some technical issues with relinking his Uworld. Euworld remains linked but doesn't have some necessary features. WT's Uworld does relink soon thereafter from another host. CControl links as Protocol in December 2001. It replaces the old EUworld a few months later, and in May 2002, a second copy is linked in North America as Protocol. It is renamed to Uworld after WT's Uworld goes away in April and doesn't come back.
Leland resigns as r-com secretary in June and is replaced by Indian.
amsterdam* gets a hardware upgrade in June, and the old machine stays linked as amsterdam2.nl.* which becomes a test server.
sandiego.ca.* delinks in July when the hosting ISP is bought out.
ottawa.on.* debacle in July-August 2001, where it linked, was quickly hacked (requiring hubs to get new IP addresses), relinked, hacked again, and then delinked. MANIAC and fix were the admins.
geneva.ch.* links in August with spale as admin.
newyork.ny.* links in November with magic as admin.
mesa.az.* links in December with Joey- as admin.
paris.fr.* delinks in January due to DoS.
newyork.ny.* delinks in February due to DoS.
toronto.on.* delinks in February due to its data center moving, and the ISP not wanting to bother with it anymore.
caen.fr.* delinks in March due to DoS attacks. It had been around a long time.
moscow.ru.* links in March with Uvex as admin.
jamaica.ny.* links in March with modsiw as admin but delinks in April due to the hosting ISP not wanting it.
atlanta.ga.* links in July with Acidli as admin.
quebec.qu.* links in July with Bio` as admin.
flanders.be.* delinks in August since it was redundant with diemen*, and diemen2.nl.* was linked at the same site as diemen* to replace it. brussels.be.* was also delinked at this time, the last RCSD on Undernet.
elsene.be.* links in August with LordLuke as admin.
oslo2.no.* links in August at the same site as oslo* to provide room for more clients.
austin.tx.* delinks in September due to DoS.
bucharest.ro.* links in September with tim as admin.
sanjose.ca.* links in September with DeeCee as admin. He was previously the admin of toronto*.
oslo.no.* is renamed to oslo1.no.* in September so that the oslo* name can be used for load balancing between oslo1* and oslo2*.
arlington.va.* is renamed to fairfax.va.* in October.
quebec.qu.* delinks in January due to DoS. Undernet has a parent and child be opers at the same time for the first time with ET-SR and his son glacier.
Feb 8, Undernet celebrates its 10th Anniversary. There is a live event online with old and new admins, and BrightEye posts the updated history document.
References1. Electropolis - Communication and Community, On Internet Relay Chat,
Elizabeth M. Reid, Honours Thesis, 1991, University of Melbourne.
2. ircd/US-Admin/Networking document - Helen Trillian Rose, October 1990.
3. IRC Primer, Nicholas Pioch, Edition 1.1b, February 28, 1993.
4. The Wastelanders mailing list archives - maintained by Laurent Demailly, (Feb 93 - Aug 93).
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