[ SDF Public Access UNIX System .. Est. 1987 ]

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[02] WHAT ARE SDF'S ORIGINS AND HISTORY?  (LONG SUMMARY)

     (For related information on SDF and the history behind this public
      access UNIX system, read "The HACKER CRACKDOWN" by Bruce Sterling)

     1987 - SDF was originally an APPLE ][e microcomputer running 
     "Magic City Micro-BBS" customized by Ted Uhlemann (iczer).  The
     system was run as a Japanese Anime SIG and was known as the SDF-1.

     The SDF-1 at that time was just your typical BBS:  One phone line
     plugged into a 1200bps modem, 128 kilo-nibbles of core and two flexible
     disk drives with 280 kilo-nibbles storage capacity each.

     Stephen Jones (smj) helped locate a 5 megabyte mass storage unit for
     the micro.  Ted was only able to get about 3 megabytes out of the disk.
     By adding a 2400bps modem and this new mass storage unit, SDF's users
     noticed a substantial performance increase.

     In 1989 Ted and Stephen began running SDF as a CITADEL BBS.  It was
     the filesystem like structure of the Bulletin Board that piqued their
     interest.  Both the Apple ][e and the IBM PC XT served logins. 

     Ted, Stephen and Daniel Finster (df) had been dialing into a system
     run by an AT&T employee named Charlie Boykin.  Charlie's system
     was called The UNIX Connection (AKA attctc or killer.dallas.tx.us).
     Charlie's public access UNIX was such a breath of fresh air compared
     to restrictive BBS menus that when killer was abruptly shutdown (20-Feb-90)
     during Operation SunDevil, it was greatly missed.  At that point the three
     decided they would form a replacement for killer.

     16-Jun-91 - SDF.LONESTAR.ORG

     At this time UNIX had been runable on i386 machines for a couple of
     years.  Ted took on the responsbility of setting up the machine and
     contacting UUCP network administrators around town to get UUCP mail
     going.  After trying to use an inexpensive UNIX clone (COHERENT) 
     which turned out to be a CROCK, Ted decided to go with Kodak's
     Interactive release of UNIX SYSTEM 5 r3.2 1.0.  The caseless
     computer ran laid across Ted's desk.

     01-Aug-91 - SDF.LONESTAR.ORG

     Interest in the public access UNIX system began to grow and it was
     decided that the system be moved to another location so that more
     phone lines (4) could be installed.  Richard Losey (rlosey) contributed
     to the project so that an AST four port board could be purchased to
     support the 4 - 2400 dialups.  There was also a sidewalk sale booth
     which was mostly comprised of donated goods and half of Aaron Schmiedel's
     (aaron) garage.  From that point, SDF grew.

     Summer-92 
 
     Ted and Daniel talked with David Lippke, a network manager at the 
     Unversity of Texas at Dallas (UTD), about an ARPANET connection for
     the SDF.  By then SDF had been running as a UNIX system for about a
     year.  The idea was considered by David, but eventually turned into
     a proposed commercial venture.  By the Fall of 1992 Ted, Daniel and
     three SDF users Steven Parker (sp), Steve Linebarger (srl) and
     Bill Middleton (wjm) had left SDF to form Texas Metronet, Dallas' 
     first (if not in Texas) commercial internet service provider.  Stephen
     remained behind continuing to administer to the SDF.

     04-Aug-93

     With the help of Charlie Boykin(SMU) and Rich Andrews(SMU), Stephen
     was able to replace the INTEL based PC UNIX with a hardworking and
     reliable WE32100 based minicomputer designed by AT&T (the 3B2).  Brian
     Rogers (brogers) helped Stephen install 9 - 14.4kbps telephone lines.

     At this time, SDF's configuration was as follows:

        uname   Machine Description
        ------------------------------------------------------------------
        sdf     3b2/400 4 Megs Memory, 2(72) Meg disk
        sdf1    3b2/400 4 Megs Memory, 2(72) Meg disk SCSI HA 338 Meg disk
        sdf2    3b2/310 4 Megs Memory, 1(72) Meg disk

     sdf handled dialup access, sdf1 handled UUCP and sdf2 handled USENET
     news processing.  The machine used RFS (Remote File Sharing) over a
     STARLAN network to share data.

     Spring-94

     4 3B2/400 machines were purchased from South Carolina State University.
     Two were put in immediate service along with the original 3B2/310 system.
     The machines were networked over a 1 megabit local area network (STARLAN)
     and shared resources to give the illusion of one machine.  Also purchased
     were several terminals and an AT&T UNIX PC 7300 called 'minmei'.  

     04-Aug-95 
   
     The system is made up of one AT&T 3b2/400 and one AT&T 3b2/310.
     The 310 has a SCSI BUS and handles the majority of USENET processing.
     The 310's SCSI BUS has an EMULEX ESDI to SCSI converter which gives
     support to 4 ESDI drives and only takes up one SCSI ID.  By using this,
     the SCSI BUS could very easily support 24 hard drives.  The 400 handles
     all user sessions.  When you dialup into SDF you are connected to
     the 400.  The 310 and the 400 are on a STARLAN network.  STARLAN is a
     local area network which can be 1mbit or 10mbit in speed.  The two
     machines share disks through the Remote File Sharing package.  When
     you read USENET news on the 400 (sdf) it is actually reading the
     articles over the network from the 310 (news) machine.
 
     03-Mar-96  ANONBBS

     Ted and Stephen got together very late one night and decided to start a
     short lived project they called 'ANONBBS'.  ANONBBS was just as it sounds,
     it ran on an i386sx25 toshiba laptop with 60mb of storage and 10mb of RAM
     under Digital Research DOS 5.0 .. The entire BBS was written in TELIX SALT
     with an extremely functional, but minimalistic interface that Ted and
     Stephen literally hashed out over tacos and nachos at 3am in a Taco Cabana.
     The asethetic proved extremely useful and the system became busy.  Users
     would type up messages on their machines and then upload them to the
     'C:\BBOARD>' directory.  Files were stored in 'C:\XFER>' .. some users
     signed their handles on messages while others just remained anonymous.
     It was an experiment to see what people would do in an environment where
     they had completely anonyomity and control. 
     

     01-May-96  SDF

     Lucent Technologies/AT&T Bell Laboratories donated a 3b2/500 with an
     XM (disk) cabinet that replaced the older setup.  Special thanks to
     Michael Dolan (Lucent) and John Marinho (AT&T) for their help. 

     AT&T 3B2 SYSTEM CONFIGURATION:  Memory size: 8 Megabytes
     System Peripherals:

        Device Name        Subdevices           Extended Subdevices

        SBD
                        Floppy Disk
        SCSI
         (S.E. BUS ID0)
                        SD01 ID1
                                                155 Megabyte Disk ID0
                        ST01 ID2
                                                Tape ID0
                        SD01 ID5
                                                155 Megabyte Disk ID0
                                                155 Megabyte Disk ID1
                                                155 Megabyte Disk ID2
        NI
        EPORTS
        MAU
        VCACHE

       SBD    System Board.  This board contains the 3b2's main processor.
              It is possible to have up to 3 processor boards in this machine.
       SCSI   Small Computer Systems Interface.  This BUS allows the system to
              support up to 24 storage devices.
       NI     Network Interface.  This feature card is a 10base5 interface which
              support ETHERNET protocol.
       EPORTS Enhanced PORTS.  This feature card supports 8 38400bps serial
              connections.
       MAU    Mathematics Accelerator UNIT.
       VCACHE This board aides the processor by CACHE'ing commonly used 
              3b2/32200 32100 processor instructions.

     30-Mar-97

     Aaron Schmiedel (aaron) donated several large disk drives and a
     higher capacity tape backup system.  The system was reconfigured
     to take advantage of the new storage resources. 

     24-Nov-97

     Vincent Helliwell (thecave) donated a 2.1 gig SCSI drive which was used
     to replace the old /udd (user directory directory) filesystem and allow
     the last remaining 5.25" full height drive to be decommissioned.

     15-Dec-97

     A new server built almost entirely out of user donated parts was configured
     and installed.  The initial plan was for it to run NetBSD (and it just
     may someday) but for the interim it runs a highly modified GNU system
     with a slightly modified Linux kernel.  Donated hardware that makes up
     a portion of this machine:

        P166+ CPU and 16megs RAM (aaron)
        1.0 gig HD (cjc) (Traded for old SDF SCSI drives)
        170 meg HD (iczer)
        210 meg HD (wmills)
        case w/ PS, motherboard, cabling, ethernet and video adapters (smj)
   
     For the moment the machine spools news and serves NNTP connections to
     both SDF hosted users and SLIP/PPP dialup users.  It also batches news
     up for UUCP hosts and for outbound local posts.  X windows has been 
     installed on it along with CMU Common Lisp system for UNIX so that we
     can begin porting tons of SDF specific programs to LISP. 

     24-May-99

     The domain "freeshell.org" was registered as an alias for sdf.lonestar.org
     as a marketing strategy to help sdf grow.  Since the "arpa" vote that
     occured early in this year, SDF's amount sponsorship as grown.  We are
     hoping by making this general marketing step that sdf can continue to 
     grow and make a more obvious name for itself.

     23-Aug-99

     A secondary server 'sdf-2' is now acting as the main http server. It is
     a PII/450MHz with 256mb of RAM and about 18 gigs of hard drive space.
     it has a 13 gig file system which it sdf mounts so that shell users can
     setup their homepages without having to login to the other machine.

     01-Jan-00

     System Configuration:

     'sdf' P233, 94mb of RAM, 20gig mixed mass storage (EIDE/SCSI)
     linux 2.0.37 kernel (modified), GNU software and 'linux' utilities
     role: shell server, primary dns, secondary http server, mail server,
           pop3 server, ftp server.
             
     'sdf-2' PII/450MHz, 256mb of RAM, 18gigs mass storage (EIDE)
     linux 2.2.14 kernel (modified), GNU software and 'linux' utilities
     role: http server, secondary dns (others will migrate)

     Network connectivity: DSL 1.4mb/768kb, 10mbit ethernet, 2b+d ISDN

     11-May-00

     'sdf' as a P233 has been decomissioned along with support hardware.

     'sdf' AMD Athlon 750MHz, 384mb of RAM 36gig mixed mass storage (UDMA/SCSI)
     linux 2.0.36 kernel (modified), GNU software and 'linux' utilities
     same roles.

     31-Oct-00

     'sdf-2' now has two 30 gigabyte disks and has taken over as the primary
     mail server for 'sdf.lonestar.org'.  It handles incoming and outgoing
     SMTP/POP3 requests as well as primary webservice and minor functions.

     'sdf-1' role is to primary that of a shell server.  Mail can be sent 
     outgoing from it and ~login webpages will still be served.  This sort
     of modification should help greatly with uptime and load balancing.

     15-May-01

     Major hardware failure (sdf-2, now called 'otaku') basically overheated
     and fried its motherboard when its powersupply fan died.  On top of
     that, SDF's root disk (main drive) decided to give up and die.  This is
     the third disk we've lost this year.  Crappy consumer hardware.  

     09-Aug-01
                                                         ,        ,
                                                        /(        )`
                                                        \ \___   / |
           BYE BYE LEENOX!                              /- _  `-/  '
              BYE BYE x86!                             (/\/ \ \   /\
                                                       / /   | `    \
                                                         |   ) /    |
                                                       `-^--'`<     '
                   ?                                   (_.)     )   /
                  _o)                                   `.__  `    /
                   /\\                     __             `-----' /
          (O_     _\/V                     / \---.     __ / __   \
      (o< //\                              \\/---|====O)))==) \) /====
      //\ V|/_     (._        (o_/\        >-)---'    `--' `.__,' \
      V_/_          |        /\\<--)->      ,            |        |
  (:_       (~<    //\       \_/_\/                      \       /
 / /\       //\    V_/_  (._                `       ______( (_  / \_____
 \/_/_  (o_ V\/_         (/)                 ,    ,'  ,-----'   |       \
        (\)      (o_         (-<           .      `--{__________) (smj) \/
      (O_   >O)  //\   (~<  //\.-                                  (fl)
      /      (\) V_/_  _|_  V\/_             .
    //\               //L\\
 Oo.V|/_              V\_/V
                       - -

     10-Aug-01 - The minicomputers return!

     System Configuration:

     'sdf' Dec ALPHA 5305, 1024mb of RAM, 55gig SCA SCSI-2 UW 
     NetBSD 1.5.1 performance tuned and hacks
     role:  'users' shell server, primary dns, secondary http server,
             anonymous ftp server

     'otaku' Dec ALPHA 5305, 1024mb of RAM, 60gig SCA SCSI-2 UW
     NetBSD 1.5.1 performance tuned and hacks
     role:  'arpa' shell server, secondary dns, primary http server

     00-SEP-01  THE FATE OF THE OLD 3B2/500 THAT WAS SDF

     I just learned what happened to the 3B2/500 I lent to user '*****' who had
     hopes to buy it when he got money.  It came into his possession in late 
     1997 or 1998 when I decided to try to run SDF on x86 with linux (the 
     biggest mistake I've made, and I apologise).  I gave '*****' the complete 
     3B2/500 setup, a full set of manuals, software and a 4425 AT&T Death Star 
     terminal.  When he moved out of his mother's house in 1999 he put it in 
     the trunk of his car.  It stayed there for 6 months!!  through the Texas 
     heat.  He once went to '**'s house to pick up his friend and they decided 
     they needed some trunk space, so they took the 3B2 out and brought it up 
     to the house.  '**' really hates UNIX and refused to allow the machine in 
     the house, so they left it on his porch.  It sat there for 3 months, 
     through the rain and elements.  '**' finally put into 'storage' with 
     some other computers, but I seriously doubt it will ever run again.  
     '*****' never paid a cent to sdf and will not respond to my emails from 
     is new email address (he no longer uses sdf).

     10-OCT-01  SDF Public Access UNIX System, INC.

     On this day, the entity SDF Public Access UNIX System was formed
     as a NOT-FOR-PROFIT corporation in the state of Delaware.

     22-DEC-01 - 27-DEC-01 MULTIHOMED DS3 CONNECTION

     The 'sdf' along with 'otaku', 'sverige', 'neguse' and 'norge' were moved
     to a new datacentre location in Bellevue Washington.  Besides the luxury
     of having a cooled machine room, high availability UPS and monitored site
     security, we also gained a multi-homed 155mbit connection to the net.  

     Although only 'sdf' and 'sverige' were production machines at the time, 
     the others were installed in preparation for 'SHIT DAY 01-JAN-02'

     Total 'sdf' downtime was exceptionally minimal during the move (1 hour). 

     25-JAN-02 - ALL MACHINES ONLINE - björk runs NetBSD-current SMP today!

     All machines are now online at the datacentre .. configuration info:

     uname   platform         version  storage  memory  function
     ---------------------------------------------------------------------
     sdf     dual alpha 5305  1.5.3     64gigs  1024mb  Primary shell/UUCP 
     otaku   dual alpha 5305  1.5.3    118gigs  1024mb  SMTP & ARPA member 
     droog   dual alpha 5305  1.5.3    118gigs  1024mb  freeshell.org.uk
     bjork   dual alpha 5305  1.5ZA SMP  9gigs   512mb  Experimental test 
     norge   dual sparc ss20  1.5.3     18gigs   512mb  ROBOT (irc 'bot') 
     sverige dual sparc ss20  1.5.3     18gigs   512mb  MUD server
   
     21-Sep-02 - DISK REPLACEMENT

     SDF purchased roughly 30 36.4GB SCA SCSI disks to replace the old
     4.3GB and 9.1GB as necessary.  

     20-Nov-02 - ICELAND ONLINE
 
     SDF purchased four API CS20 machines to replace the old ss20s and act
     primarily as shell servers.  This will help to keep resources free on
     'sdf' and 'otaku' so they can fileserve to the API machines.

     iceland.freeshell.org a dual 833MHz CS20 w/ 1024mb of RAM went online.

     10-Jan-03 - VINLAND ONLINE

     The second of the CS20s went into service.  It has the exact same
     configuration as iceland.

     27-Jan-03 - MOVE TO THE GIGAPOP

     Today NWLINK had its Bellevue co-location customers move to the SIX
     (Seattled Internet Exchange) AKA the Gigapop.  The move took about
     3 hours.

     30-Jan-03 - NWLINK TERMINATES SDF CONTRACT

     NWLink.com has decided to terminate sdf.lonestar.org's
     co-location contract because of a DDoS attack which apparently was
     directed at sdf.  The termination notice was not written and was
     carried out immediately (approximately 10:30am today).
 
     We attempted to quickly get another co-location contract with two other
     prominent providers, but were turned down because of what happened at
     NWLINK.  Fortunately, we were able to bring services back up late in the
     evening of February 4th, with DNS updating by the afternoon of the 5th.
     This was made possible by a free hosting offer with SiteSpecific.NET

     Many SDF members have expressed the need for recourse as we all
     are a victim in this.  If you feel inclined to do so, you
     may file a personal complaint against NWLINK online via
     the NW Better Business Bureau. If you choose to do this,
     please be sure to give concise, mature and correct information.

     NWLINK has released a letter via the BBB which quotes a director of
     SDF even though it was explicitly stated in a telephone conversation
     that any joint statement would have to be approved by the SDF board.

     04-FEB-03 - SITESPECIFIC.NET PROVIDES FREE CO-LO FOR SDF

     Sitespecific has graciously given SDF a free lease while we arrange
     our own site (we've decided to move back to Dallas).  The Dallas 
     site is to be composed of brand new machines with two circuits that we
     will own to prevent any ISP from doing what NWLINK did to us.

     15-MAR-03 - MIGRATION TO OUR NEW HOME

     droog (sdf-eu.org) was the first to migrate and was basically done
     over the internet in less than a day.

     ol was created to do fileservice and was setup so that only the DEC
     SBBs (disks) would have to be shipped from Seattle to Dallas, saving
     us quite a bit.  ol currently has 14 disk drives in two StorageWorks
     SCSI arrays.

     sdf, otaku and norge were all recreated as client machines which slave
     off of ol.  The whole migration took less than a week, with users being
     able to access either site at anytime making the migration extremely
     smooth and transparent to most.  The disks drives, which held old mail,
     web and home directories were plugged in with 16 hours of them leaving
     Seattle for Dallas next day air.

     31-MAR-03 - AS1200 DECOMMISSION PARTY

     50 members were in attendence in 'com' as we decommissioned the DEC
     AS1200 computer which served as SDF.  The four AS1200 systems were
     then auctioned off to the users. 

     Summer and Fall 2003 

     A number of new hosts (DS10Ls and CS20s) were brought online.  As well,
     all of the 4.3GB and 9.1GB drives were replaced with 36GB 10K SCA
     SCSI drives.  A third t1 was installed to aide with peering and dialup
     was expanded to include 16323 numbers in the USA and Canada.  A mirror
     for 'otaku' was brought online called 'ukato'.  ARPA member websites 
     were split between these two hosts.  'mx' became the primary pop3/imap
     server with its mirror 'xm' balancing out requests.

     Spring 2004

     'sverige' is now soley for MetaARPA member use.  'screen' is now allowed
     on this machine with limited usage background processes.

     10-Jun-2005

     After patience and extensive testing all machines were updated from
     NetBSD 1.6.2 to 2.0.2.  The upgrade event was mostly automated and was
     performed in about 2.5 hours which included updates to the fileserver
     and mail server as well as all 6 NFS client systems.  Apart from 
     external problems (such as power and UPS related datacentre issues)
     the NFS performance problems we saw with 1.6.2 have seem to have been
     minimised. 

     15-Jun-2005  SDF-EU.ORG TEMPORARILY OFFLINE

     Due to inconsistencies in the power at the datacentre we seem to have
     lost the DS10L that was 'sdf-eu.org' .. The DEC StorageWorks disk array
     is fine, and all incoming sdf-eu.org mail is queuing via UUCP.  However
     we had to wait about 5 days for the datacentre technician to get to 
     the machine to replace it with a spare.  This was due to a back injury
     he suffered (please note, the site technician is NOT smj ;-)

     20-Jun-2005  NEW DOMAINS

     Victor Bragga (vothr) has donated the 'shellacct' domains to SDF.
     These domains will soon be available to ARPA members for website 
     vanity domains as well as virtual email addresses to VPM and MetaARPA
     members.

     22-Jun-2005  THXMOO

     A MOO (virtual world) is currently being designed and implemented on
     SDF.  It is based on the post world war III THX-1138 world where humans
     live underground and are dependent on pills, television and prayers to
     keep their mental states in subservient check.  The beta THXMOO should
     be available this fall.  Further updates will be posted on thxmoo.org

     August - September 2006  DISK MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADES

     All of the 36.4GB disks in the three arrays were slated to be replaced.
     This was mainly for preventative maintenance, though one or two drives
     had gone bad of their 3 years or so of service.  28 73.8GB SCA2 15KRPM
     drives were installed during this time and a subsequent ARPA vote 
     increased the base disk quota to 600MB.  MetaARPA members were given 
     an 800MB quota with an increase of files to 15000 per filesystem.
    

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©1987-2065 SDF Public Access UNIX System, Inc. 501(c)(7)
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