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UUPC originated with the first release in 1985; the UUPC Project members included Stuart Lynne, Richard H. Lamb, and Samuel Lam in Vancouver, British Columbia.
UUPC/extended is based on the widely distributed 1987 interim version of UUPC, version 1.05, which was also done by the original UUPC project.
UUPC first appeared on our radar scope in 1987, when Drew Derbyshire tested an incomplete port of UUPC 1.0 to the Zenith Z-100 MS-DOS PC. Due to various issues (including that the Z-100 hardware is not a true IBM PC clone), and that other e-mail solutions were available to Drew at the time, work with UUPC was dropped.
Drew did revamp the Z-100 Kermit-MS specific routines during this time frame. When his original Z-100, AKA the Fantasy Factory, retired in 1992, it was sent to the prime author of Kermit-MS, Joe Doupnik, to spend its retirement testing future versions of Kermit-MS for the Z-100.
In late 1988, Drew migrated from the Fantasy Factory to the original kendra, an Epson 286 (a true PC clone). This, combined with the growth of UUCP as a low-cost Internet mail gateway, in May 1989 encouraged a return visit UUPC/extended as a dial-up e-mail link. Specific function and bug fixes were done over a two week period in May which got the system working well enough to be used for basic e-mail. This was labeled as version 1.06a. Work continued on various fixes and improved for the next 8 months, until 1.07g was the first release generally posted to the Internet in 1990.
Regular updates were made in the following years, including bug fixes, ports to OS/2 and Windows NT, TCP/IP support, and news support.
Work continued on UUPC/extended through the 1990s, including adding simple SMTP and POP3 servers to use with the then new GUI email clients such as Netscape Communicator.
We ran FreeBSD mail servers for a over decade on dedicated machines (the final four years on leased hardware in a commercial datacenter). However in 2011 our 22 year flirtation with providing our own email service ended when we moved to Gmail, Blogger (Gone Google, as they say), and an external web hosting service.
As of 2016, the last release of UUPC was over fifteen years ago, in 2002. We still keep the archives online and answer the rare questions, but UUCP and UUPC/extended been overtaken by cheap ISP email.
And now, a few words about where our names came from.
Oddly enough, while the original Z-100 had the name the Fantasy
Factory (often written as
ffactory) virtually all of its service life, the Epson 286 didn't
have a unique name for the first six months. Since a unique six
character name was required for registering in the UUCP maps (the
UUCP-net equivalent of the domain naming system), the name kendra
(meaning womanly knowledge in Old English) was selected in May 1989
In autumn 1989, Drew Derbyshire moved from Kingston, NY to Boston, MA, where he already knew an MIT student, Katherine Williams. She suggested Drew query a MIT mailing list to obtain a local UUCP feed. She also inspired the naming of the name we operate under today; she allowed her initials to be used as the actual domain name (kew.com) when we registered, and our full name is reverse engineered from the acronym.
True story #1: We came up with "Electronic Wonderworks" first, and only belatedly remembered that "kendra" starts with a "K".
Hobbes Internet Timeline and RFC-1296 show the Internet had about five thousand domains at kew.com was registered; given there are now ~ 300 million Internet domains, we seem to have beaten the rush.
Since Katherine's full name is now Katherine Derbyshire
and MIT systems provided our UUCP feeds for ~ 8 years,
things worked out for the best.
Once You Start, It's Hard To Stop
kendra, with an assist from MIT's project
actually set a precedent; most of systems used by us since her have
been named with similar feminine names. In accordance with the UUCP
convention, our system names are never capitalized; the Fantasy
Factory is an exception, but it uses a UUCP name of
Our systems names (and the year they entered service) include:
The systems which bear boldface years for their latest generation are still in service within the extended family; the italicized system years were owned by third-parties or employers.
Comments about various sytems:
kendramachines were not in our service for years, but her name continuously lived on as the advertised UUCP name of our mail gateway. (We were still in the maps when the UUCP mapping project terminated in September 2000.)
dumbo(1992) got its unique name because it was a obsolete 386/25 portable that Drew borrowed from an employer, a 10 or 12 pound Toshiba which ran on AC only. Being portable made it a flying white elephant, of course.
dumbo(1995) was also a white elephant, and came from the same employer as its namesake. As a desktop, it didn't fly, but it was literally white.
minerva(1998). Each started on Drew's desktop, and passed into server/firewall duties in their later years. These have now been eclipsed by
xena(2008), a Mac Pro which was throughly over-speced when purchased, and served as Drew's primary machine for 9 years.
minerva(1998) has a special place in our history. She was a Dell GX1 Desktop with a 350 MHz Pentium II. She worked so well that we bought her from Katherine's employer. We then later bought three more Dell GX1's on E-Bay, including
cassandra(2004) are also unique, in that they were not unique to each other. Although built 9 months apart, both were Dell GX270's with the same OS, processor, memory, video, and disk. The only differences as shipped were that kendra had upgrades to both the sound card and optical drive. (This is explained in part because Drew dragged kendra into his day job for three months, and provided kendra's specifications to his employer when encouraging management for a permanent replacement).
catzilla(2004) was another Dell GX270 at work, but not as close as the other two in configuration. The machine is of course named after our feline overlords, the catzilla brothers.
dumbo(2005) was slightly different from its earlier namesakes. Another white elephant that was surplused by Drew's employer, it thus became our property. It was neither flying nor physically white, but as a heavy duty server with six drive bays and redundant power supplies, she seemed as heavy as baby elephant.
sonata(2005) is special because she was our first Mac at home, a 12" powerbook. sara has always been various Apple machines, but she's never been personal property.
helen(2006), a 24" iMac. helen was our first new Mac, our first Mac with an Intel processor, and our first Mac desktop. She was enough of a machine to run virtual machines minerva (Windows XP) and ophelia (Windows 98) for programs which require them.
xena(2008), our desktop conversion to Mac OS X was complete. We have still Windows virtual machines as a secondary OS as on the Macs.
Fantasy Factory(2016) has returned us to handling our own web server. It seems running a virtual Amazon Web Service instance is now cheaper than paying for a shared evironment. So in a way, we're returned to our roots.