Channel Past

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This is a partially complete history of the channel going back as far back as accessible people can remember.

Please note that this page is no longer updated and hasn't been since 2003.

1993

December

Conjectural rumours exist about the channel being used in the Christmas holidays between 1992 and 1993. However, so far no real evidence other than the inane scoffing of those who claim it has come to light. Until such evidence is discovered, the channel history will officially start from 1994.

1994

Early

The channel is born as a result of madwolf, a systems administrator at UWA installing the IRCii client on the central unix systems osfa.aber.ac.uk and osfb.aber.ac.uk and making it automatically join #aber on startup. Before this time, users from UWA frequented #england, and many have always maintained presences in both channels, #aber has always been greatly influenced by #england both in the way it is run and the type of channel member it attracts. Some people even describe them as unofficial sibling channels.

General

Woodsta pays a number of fleeting visits to the channel from a blood-sucking cybercafe, going under the nick of "Woodie", which is shortly changed to "^Woodsta^" following repeated sniggering from unacceptable Americans. Surfr (dof8) also joins the channel for the first time from a 14.4k modem which he used to share with Woodsta by taking the modem round each others' houses to share the parental phone bills.

1995

September

Lambie (sig4) joins the channel for the first time. Woodsta (dws5) returns to the channel from a semi-permanent residence in the infamous "The Grim" computer room at UWA, often accompanied by Lambie.

October

Stuii (sbf5) joins the channel for the first time as "Dannie". He was subjected to the same treatment which is currently applied to all new fresher channel members. His nick became "Dannii" after a few months.

1996

Early

"The *Official* Aber Homepage", the channel's first homepage is launched by |aka| (mgg5). It is maintained for a while but fell stale towards the end of the academic year and wasn't updated ever again, despite being rigorously defended by its author as the only #aber website that could be allowed to exist.

September

Robstar (rph6) and Catalyst (jdb6) join the channel for the first time, heading up a massive influx of new members that arose out of the year's crop of freshers.

1997

May 27th

Earliest log date accessible on the website log search. Proper 24/7 logging did not start until September 1998, which is why logs between these times are comparatively small, based upon when Stuii was in channel. At this time, nobody idled overnight or for long periods of time in channel when not present at keyboard, except Ricey (str6), but his logs from this period are long lost.

June

The channel's populous takes a hit as many people leave UWA and find themselves unable to access the channel as home ISPs were still expensive at this time. The people who leave are now the people who occasionally visit and suffer from Ditawyrm Syndrome.

July

Stuii starts working at Vossnet, a small ISP based in Langley, Berkshire.

August

Cosworth, a 486 Linux box belonging to Stuii is introduced to Vossnet to serve as a learning and development platform.

September

Experimental bot "Siwmper" run by Dyn (smc6) from Cosworth makes brief appearances in the channel. This was a custom written bot, which was basically an enhanced version of Dyn's "DynScript", but it didn't work very well and was banned by Moggy (hlg6). Also, the channel has modes +snt set on a permanent basis from this time (previously it was just +nt).

October 9th

The channel's first proper bot, "Jaden" is introduced the channel. This date is based on evidence in the logs, which do not confirm an actual channel join until October 26th, but have Stuii's msgs requesting authorization from the bot from this date. Jaden was a ComBot, run by Jake (blf3) and was from Cosworth. It is the first bot not to be immediately banned by the channel population, heralding a milestone in the channel's attitude to bots. Jaden had a habit of respawning itself during the night, often leaving 25 copies of itself in the channel. This phenomenon is what Multiple Jaden Syndrome gave its name to.

1998

February 22nd

First appearance of "Moriati", an eggdrop bot to run alongside Jaden. It was again run from Cosworth and its owner was Catalyst (jdb6). Acceptance by the channel was positive, although it was a bit of a management nightmare because the two bots were not able to share userlists. Parts of the existing userlist date back to this time.

May 19th

"Saarlax" eggdrop bot is introduced to the channel, run by Stuii from Cosworth. It shared the userlist from Moriati, the benefits of which soon put an end to the need for Jaden, not to mention the dislike of three bots in the channel at once.

June 25th

Last recorded quit of Jaden from the channel. It is assumed that Jaden was taken offline on this date for the reasons above.

August 21st

Stuii leaves Vossnet, taking Cosworth with him, meaning that Saarlax and Moriati also went offline. The channel is without a fulltime bot for more than two months. Moriati would never return to the channel. Logging continued using peoples' IRC clients.

September

Stuii returns to UWA and 24/7 channel logging starts using his IRC client. The 24/7 idling also went some way to keeping the channel open in the absence of a bot. Stuii also changes his nick from "Dannii" to "Stuii". Wings were added later.

October

Rudimentary experimental log searches appear on Cosworth which was at this point being hosted in halls at UWA.

November

Saarlax (second incarnation) returns to the channel after a period of unreliable service from other peoples' bots, mainly borrowed from #yorkshire. Saarlax appears from a variety of locations, including osfb.aber.ac.uk using a contraband IRC bouncer, but soon moves to a free shell account at XCalibre.com. The virtual host used had to be changed every 4 weeks or so because they kept getting k-lined from the decent servers. Saarlax used the existing userlist preserved from the Moriati days.

1999

January

First issue of the IRC Syndromes List, containing around 10 of the original recognised syndromes.

February

The channel goes through a period of heavy attack by various largely unknown parties. The sister channel "#ystwyth" is used frequently by refugees from the belleagured #aber and becomes officially supported by the bot. It is this period that mostly gave rise to the large amount of longstanding bans in the current userlist.

March

Militant March Syndrome is recognized and documented after a huge flame war against Stuii and Saarlax took place on channel and local aber.* USENET newsgroups. Several "rival" channels are set up including "#@ber", "#aber2" and similar versions on other IRC networks, but they all quickly die the horrible death they deserved and their defectors returned to the original channel.

May 16th

Suspected demise of the second incarnation of Saarlax. No evidence exists to suggest that Saarlax survived beyond this point. It is known that the problems with hosting became too much and the shell account it was running on closed. No alternatives were available. Logging continued using people's IRC clients.

June

Stuii leaves UWA, vowing not to be involved with the running of the channel any more after a turbulent six months. _Nor's bot "LucaBrasi" borrowed from #england steps in to keep the channel ticking over, it uses its own userlist.

July

Stuii returns to Vossnet and sets up Saarlax (third incarnation) on mudchute.vossnet.co.uk, using the userlist preserved from the second incarnation. This is the bot that survives today.

October

The website #aber Resources, is launched by Stuii. This is the first proper website the channel has had since |aka|'s (mgg5) "The *Official* Aber Homepage" ceased to be updated since June 1996. Also during this month, Saarlax was moved to its existing virtual host "pants.innit.co.uk". These two events were directly linked to Stuii's domain name buying spree at this time.

December

First use of the channel limiter, an eggdrop script that maintains the channel limit, setting it three above the current member count, updating every 5 minutes. This was prevent (or at least reduce the likelihood of) the channel from being taken over by floodbots during the quiet Christmas holiday period. Also this month, full time channel logging performed by the bot started, eliminating the need to gather logs from IRC clients.

2000

March

Saarlax and the website are moved to a new version of Cosworth, which was reintroduced to Vossnet at this time. Also this month, Militant March Syndrome took place as expected but was not nearly as severe as last year's.

May

Planetarion craze hits the channel, warranting the creation of a new section in the website and a sister channel #aber_arion for discussion of Planetarion related matters.

July

The #aber Dictionary is launched, inspiring many channel members to contribute to it through its web-based submission system. The feature proves enourmously popular.

Summer

The introduction of toll-free Internet phone calls causes a rush of new ISP accounts to be registered by channel members, causing userlist management difficulties. Further analysis at this time revealed that there were more regular users external to UWA than there were users from UWA, caused by increasingly acessible home Internet access and an ageing channel populous. The fresher intake of 2000 failed to produce any new channel members for the first time in the channel's history. Also, the channel limiter becomes a permanent feature from this time.

August

Stuii leaves Vossnet (again), but manages to secure hosting for Cosworth at Vossnet until a viable alternative arises.

December 14th

Saarlax and the website are moved to a new ADSL connection in Stuii's flat. The new host is scorpio.slmr.rhydio.com. Cosworth is turned into a mail server. Fears concerning the reduction in speed to the website prove to be unfounded when people notice little difference.

December 30th

Stuii launches the SNWO website, inspired by ongoing comedy in the channel.

December 31st

The year closed with over 250 records in the userlist and 49% larger logs than 1999. This increased activity was partly due to more reliable logging systems, but it is believed that there had been a general increase in channel activity over the year. Log sizes are expected to continue to grow, but at not such an exponential rate. The now permanent channel limiter is considered to have a negligible effect on log sizes, adding only 8k to a normal 125k of logs generated on average each day.

2001

January 12th

First attempt at documenting the channel's history. Also, #aber_arion was closed due to falling interest in Planetarion.

January 31st

The website receives a facelift and backend improvements, warranting the release of version 2.00. beta.aber.org.uk is established as a development platform for new website features. The Planetarion section was removed from the site due to almost depleted interest in Planetarion.

February

The concept of channel "wildebeasting" is recognised and documented with Rampaging Wildebeast Syndrome, in summary the repetition of a single short string by a large quotient of present channel members plus the bot.

March 16th

A channel wildebeast of a record 56 minute length occurs on channel. Initially it was thought to be in excess of an hour but closer examination of the official logs showed that it feel just short of this landmark time, setting a challenge to future wildebeasts.

April

Further channel idle limits are introduced designed to combat the increasing problem of longterm idlers and the potential effect they can have on the channel if left unchecked. The channel is rendered useless for the whole of the Easter weekend as a result of such an incident. From this point on, all members were subjected to a maximum idle time allowed before being temporarily banned, although the limits for ops and non-ops were vastly different (by a factor of 10) reflecting the difference in privileges. The channel is divided in opinion on this matter, some claiming that their "right to idle" was being infringed.

July 2nd

Two experimental servers forming the first version of AberNET are set up and linked together accross the broadband networks of Easynet and NTL, in response to mounting problems with servers and reliability on IRCNet. The initial experiment is a success, with many channel members trying out the new network from this day.

July 3rd

chat.bt.net, the longstanding British Telecom public IRC server goes offline permanently, forcing irc.demon.co.uk to open up its connections for BT Internet users. By this point, most channel members had migrated to AberNET, despite it still being in experimental stages. A third server is added (irc4), based on NTL's network in Cambridge. Other servers (irc5 and irc6) were added in the following fortnight but were removed again either due to technical difficulties or a lack of commitment.

July 4th

The politics of the new AberNET IRC network take a tumble when an argument erupts on channel concerning who should run the network and who should have operator powers, and why. It was eventually agreed that masters cannot be OPERs, and OPERs cannot be masters; the two roles are mutually exclusive. The OPERs will run the network for the benefit of #aber, and the masters will continue to manage the operations of the bot in the same way, calling on the help of the OPERs if and when it is required.

July 8th

AberNET switches over to UnrealIRCd, a more modern and advanced IRC daemon. After this was done, AberNET was officially launched as a useable network. Later on in the same day, the #aber bot masters agreed to officially run #aber on AberNET for a trial of one month, and Saarlax is moved accross to begin service on the network. The channel limiter and the idle kicks are removed from the bots configuration, as they were not needed on the new network due to the advantages of having our own OPERs.

August 8th

AberNET trial ends, masters convene and agree to adopt AberNET on a permanent basis while keeping the successful Jaden sentry on IRCNet.

September 11th

Arab terrorists attack the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC with hijacked airliners. IRC proves once again to be an invaluable source of information which may or may not have been true.

September 16th

Stuii New World Order website snwo.org is discontinued due to lack of development and interest.

October

Saarlax is moved to a new vhost "osfb.aber.org.uk", as a tribute to the late UWA OSF/1 machine from which many channel members spent years IRCing from.

November 1st

Rhydio Ltd owned by Stuii officially launches. The company makes a statement that contrary to several rumours circulating at the time, it would NOT at any time be introducing any sort of subscription or charge for using #aber or AberNET.

December 31st

The year closes with over 320 records in the userlist, but with 14% less log volume compared to 2000. The decrease is thought to be a result of the move to AberNET, which eliminated a lot of the superfluous nonsense on channel necessitated by IRCnet such as the channel limiter and random people wandering in. Annual reports for the channel and the dictionary are compiled for the first time.

2002

May 16th

The tolerance of "Wesleyism" that had been steadily increasing for two years previously finally reached critical mass when the website was compromised by a Wesley channel member. The channel member concerned was banned permanently, marking the end of the day to day tolerance of the petulance, lameness and disrespect from the channel's younger members that had taken hold amongst the more seasoned channel members. Website security was tightened, as were channel rules concerning channel behaviour.

July

irc3.aber.org.uk AberNET server is disconnected from the network after it was compromised. The server was never reconnected, instead becoming part of another IRC network.

August

Groundbreaking tools which allow database content normally only avaiable through the website to be made available directly on channel via bot commands are introduced. In particular, the #aber Dictionary, the Log Search and the Multipass system are given commands. Based on the popular !google script (which was also installed at the same time), they formed unique features that no other IRC channel had.

October 23rd

The Internet domain name "aber.org" is secured to complement the existing "aber.org.uk" domain name. The new domain is aliased onto the existing domain, allowing the website to be accessed through http://www.aber.org/ and AberNET to be accessed through irc.aber.org. The domain was previously registered elsewhere but became available because of unknown reasons.

December 31st

The year closes with over 400 records in the userlist and with 34% more log volume compared to 2001. Annual reports for the channel and the dictionary are compiled again.

May 16th

The tolerance of "Wesleyism" that had been steadily increasing for two years previously finally reached critical mass when the website was compromised by a Wesley channel member. The channel member concerned was banned permanently, marking the end of the day to day tolerance of the petulance, lameness and disrespect from the channel's younger members that had taken hold amongst the more seasoned channel members. Website security was tightened, as were channel rules concerning channel behaviour.

July

irc3.aber.org.uk AberNET server is disconnected from the network after it was compromised. The server was never reconnected, instead becoming part of another IRC network.

August

Groundbreaking tools which allow database content normally only avaiable through the website to be made available directly on channel via bot commands are introduced. In particular, the #aber Dictionary, the Log Search and the Multipass system are given commands. Based on the popular !google script (which was also installed at the same time), they formed unique features that no other IRC channel had.

October 23rd

The Internet domain name "aber.org" is secured to complement the existing "aber.org.uk" domain name. The new domain is aliased onto the existing domain, allowing the website to be accessed through http://www.aber.org/ and AberNET to be accessed through irc.aber.org. The domain was previously registered elsewhere but became available because of unknown reasons.

December 31st

The year closes with over 400 records in the userlist and with 34% more log volume compared to 2001. Annual reports for the channel and the dictionary are compiled again.

2003

January 20th

Rules on dual #aber memberships are relaxed in response to response to the growing desire of channel members to frequent alternative #aber channels run separately to AberNET #aber on different networks. At the same time, a deal was negotiated for AberNET and the younger "AFNet" IRC network to share the banner displayed by the sentry bot in IRCNET/#aber, but the deal was overruled by one of the AFNet OPERs without further consultation, despite the fact that AFNet claims to be an anarchy without central authority. When the likeness to a dictatorship was pointed out to another of the AFNet OPERs, he admitted "what can i say, anarchy has a long way to go".

December 31st

Maintenance of this channel history page ceases.

2004

Channel celebrates ten years of bile and bitterness.

2014

Channel celebrates twenty years of bile and bitterness.

2017

Channel moves on from IRC and migrates to Slack, Saarlax is retired.