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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 2022, the last release of UUPC was over twenty 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
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 the large 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 large systems names (and the year they entered service) include:
The systems which bear boldface years for their latest generation are still in service; the italicized system years were owned by third-parties or employers.
Comments about various sytems:
kendra machines 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
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
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.
sonata (1996), and
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. (xena, whch has gotten cranky in her old age, will retire completely soon.)
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
pandora (2002) and
kendra (2003) and
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
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.
(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.
helen was joined by the Mac Pro
(2008), our desktop conversion to Mac OS X was complete. We had still
Windows in virtual machines on the Intel Macs for Quicken and other
was the first time we bought a pair of matching systems, 27" iMacs. (We also did
this in 2022, see below.)
took us in a new direction; they moved us off Inteli/AMD x86_64 systems
to a pair of matching Mac Studios using Mac silicon chips. With this,
we retired the virtual Windows environments in favor
ada, a dedicated
Windows 10 machine for running special applications.
Around 2014, we acquired from the vendors associated with
The Raspberry Pi Foundation
a Raspberry Pi Model B+ and named her
lucia. Being cheap,
numerous Raspberry Pi machines over various generations have followed. In
fact, they got so numerous that we gave up the naming followed by our
larger systems, and instead switched to Warner Brothers Looney Characters.
The turnover of these machines is such that for now, we have chosen to omit their names. (Hence the reference to What's Up Doc in the heading of this section.)
One Raspberry Pi, our router, doesn't follow the old or new conventions.
It is named
after the original Internet gateway machine for Drew's alma mater,
Clarkson University. It's there he first
got Internet access.