Introductions to the Lab:

Who was responsible for getting us here.

login name patron intro comments
chaos Alan De Smet m_turner

I was also dragged in by m_turner. He was a year or ahead of me at Edgewood High School and the only real computer geek I knew at the time. (That this lead to my wearing an absolutely terrifying, out of control beard for several years of high school is a related story.) So I showed up to the UW, bumped into Turner (while playing pool at Union South, if I recall correctly), and was dragged over to the UPL.

The first few times I visited it was very daunting. It probably wasn't intentional, but it felt closed and cliquish. So I steared clear for a year or so. As my circle of friends grew and included more and more people in the UPL, I eventually started spending time there and realized what I had been missing.

craft Michelle Craft harl Tyler Novak brought me into the fold. I dated him but I was also in the cs building for 302 (needed for intended astro-physics major). The people I remember meeting were Gus and Besh, but mostly Keller. They were the reasons I stayed past the first semester.  
dsb Dave Blumenthal


As I recall, I was directed to the UPL so I could get a unix account so I could get some real work done. Or maybe just to have a real mail program. I have no idea by whom. But I was in Madison during the summer of '93 and not many others were, so someone made me a coord and gave me root so I could help keep the machines going. Might have been Spy actually.

But when everyone came back in the fall, and I had been running things for the most part over the summer, no one told me that anyone else had been running the place before, so I became head coord. And then people told me I had to do certain things, like organize the other coords, so I did. And I kind of stayed head coord until I left in August '94.

etler Sam Etler ramirez I was not a coord or technically a member (though I subscribed to the newsletter) but I believe Ramirez brought me by. Then I just started hanging out, never actually using any of the computers. Guess I was enthralled by the social interactions that took place. dickson: nope, you were just a geek
garret Garret Magin  

I don't have much of a story.

Bob holloway was the lecturer for my 367 class. And he told me that I should really go check out the upl new user night.

gulfie Tom Rutledge spy/abe I'm not sure when, but I was jumped in by spy and abe, after being originaly shown the lab by felix. It turns out I was spending a bunch of time in the lab, a cordship came up and they figured it'd be easier if I had a door code.  
hartmann Gus Hartmann m_turner

I'm thrilled to have made that list, but I knew nothing when I got to the UPL. m_turner forcibly demanded I get an account when I ran into him during SOAR, at which point the sum total of my computer experience was loving my Apple ][e for about a decade (and I wasn't old skool on that either - never learned assembler or anything beyond BASIC).

So there I am in Union South, and I run into m_turner and wonko headed to the ROG for a nutritious lunch of rogbeast. I knew Turner from camp, and he strongarmed me into the UPL, made me sign a form and give him two dollars, and finally proclaimed "Congratulations! Now you're on the Internet!". This meant nothing to me and I believe I said as much.

Somewhere I have a message to upl about the coord debate prior to my appointment, and it stated that while I didn't seem to know much after my first year, I was learning to program and was around a lot and would probably work out okay. Hence my coordship.

jeffreyp Jeffrey Peterson will I sat next to Will in that 302 class and I wandered in about the same time and stuck around enough to become a coord that december when it was decided that Besh! wasn't going to be showing up anymore and there should be a body to fill the space.  
kilroy Chuck McKenzie


Pretty sure Chuck Spencer introduced me to the group over at dmf, around the time I was getting interested in learning computers (end of my first year). I was pretty intimidated, because:

  • There were all these scary people who knew everything and had been doing things like looking inside the computer cases, and interning for Apple, and writing medical software, and they were the ones who were about my age, and competing with me for grades and jobs and stuff. I had a lot of catching up to do.
  • There were girls there. Some of them were wearing vinyl when I met them, and not much of it. Being fresh from Up Nort', these were all pretty new and scary things for me.
wonko: Well, when I met you at SOAR when I was working the DoIT booth, and you asked me about computers and stuff, I disntinctly remember telling you about the UPL. Whether or not that was what caused you to look it up, I don't know.
kimuchi Kim Wallace wonko Wonko brought me into the UPL because I missed my CAE account. I decided I wanted to pursue being a coord because I thought it Chris Schultze was up to the task I _certainly_ was.  
lunatic Peter Bierman  gnat

The Short version: Gnat.

The Medium version (an excerpt from the first email I sent to Gnat:)

At 2:28 PM -0600 1/27/95, Peter Bierman wrote:
><snip instructions on creating a web page>

Done that. Nothing beautiful, since my Mac is from the dark ages, and my home page is just a organized list of my favorite links, and local. But really, that's as godo an excuse as any to join UPL. I was going to, and I stopped by at the begining of the semester, but people were busy talking around me (as computer people tend to do when preocupied) and I left.The

(heavily edited)

Long version:
I think I'll defer to Stroker's good advice. I will say that it was the best and worst two years of my life, and profoundly changed me. One impulsive moment, totally out of character for me at the time, completely changed the direction my entire life would follow from that point on.

mitch Mitch Blank  tomlaw

I was vaguely aware of the UPL when I first arrived at UW-Madison (fall 92). I think tomlaw might have suggested I join (I vaguely knew tomlaw when we were both high school students in the Milwaukee area from academic competition circles) I looked into it but I wasn't interested - why would I want to use their dinky hardware when CAE provided me with *rooms* full of brand new HP workstations to use? (not to mention CAE's standard disk quota was a _huge_ 3MB)

In fall 94 I was dating Gnat and she was about to start school. I wanted to set her up with *real* email, so I took her down to the UPL. This was during a period when all it took was $2 and the flimsiest of excuses to get an account on picard and yar. At the same time I signed up for an account just so I could help her with any problems - I had no intention of actually using yet-another-UNIX account.

I vaguely knew a couple UPL coords (wonko from dmf; felix had been in my 354 class) before I signed up.

As I mentioned, my first use of the lab was actually using drizzt to write some slackware floppies (that was the first time I had met Craig - I remember being amazed that he'd let me use root on his machine :-)

Within a couple weeks I was in the UPL every day.

m_turner Michael Turner   Bee line (egads does that bring back memories). It was Parot or one of his siblings (any old bee liners might be of help) that I was in Math 221 with who pointed out the UPL. Then seeing some of the people who I knew from the bee line gatherings (cappy) at which point I got the account.  
nevyn Nick Wagner   My "how I got there" was basically "I wandered in one day because of thepictures on the windows." I'm not exactly sure how I became a coord because my unix knowledge was pretty basic -- but I was quite willing to explore. I think it's mainly because I was there during the day and willing to do office hours -- at the time, the lab seemed to be open a lot more at night.  
oblio Bruce Hearn m_turner

Bruce (oblio)'s presence in the lab can be tracked back to me also. Apparently I am part of the tree for Edgewood types. Bruce happened to be my locker partner senior year.

One evening after freshman year (or it might have been in the summer before, but I'm leaning to a year later), got a phone call from Bruce in which he asked me "what do I need to do to get a CS degree". He showed in in the UPL shortly after that.

orn Rudy Moore  

I actually tried to bring in other bee-liners and most of them didn't stick around. It's all in a taste thing, I guess.

I was just a walk-by.

wonko: A surprising number of beeliners came along later though. Felix, gulfie, jester, theo... There's a disturbing overlap between the beeline tree and the UPL tree.
psilord Peter Keller dac Dave Carely introduced me into the UPL. I met him in the Pop's club basement while writing C on a crapintosh with Think C.

hartmann: Yeah, but you didn't move in there until we were in Math 22x together and started talking about crazy-assed transforms. You had all that code written out on paper, and I told you to come back to the lab and make it happen.

psilord: I remember you were working out sweep algorithms at the time too. Eventually, my cube rotated correctly, and you got terrifyingly fast in the sweep game you made.

will: And he hasn't changed a bit - pete still talks about crazy-assed transforms (and meta-meta-language-compiler compilers) and still blocks on typing. Speaking of which, where's your cave, bitch?

qsilver Jeff Obarski  psilord And pete subsequently brought me in. We were on the same dorm floor (second florr Sellery, aka hell) and we happened to sit next to each other during the 'get to know each other' meeting the first week. We were suposed to tell the person next to us where we were from and some thing we did over the summer was. Pete told me he was from near Lake Geneva. I told him I had gone to Gen Con that summer. Both of us had a smile slowly form on our faces. And thats how Joe Bayer and I gained our second room mate our first year. (Lake Geneva is where TSR, who at the time produced Dungeons & Dragons, was located and Gen Con is a big gamer convention)  psilord: I remember that. :) Cool. Actually, Jeff, it was the second year that I slowly moved into your and Joe's dorm room. The first year I lived with a friend, but he got kicked out at the end of that year, the second year I got put with an evangelical fundamentalist christian and so basically moved in with Jeff. Think about that for a minute...
stroker Mark Stokosa  lunatic  Peter Bierman (lunatic) introduced me to the UPL.  
will  Will McDonald  302 TA / epaulson

My 302 TA worked in one of the soon-to-be-annexed 13xx offices. After I decided that I needed to do an honors project to keep from killing all the stupid people, he took me to the lab and paid my $5.

That aside, epaulson helped keep me there and become a coord.

And I'm very proud of the fact that I introduced hupp to the UPL and nominated him as a coord. If I wasn't going to do anything useful, at least I could bring in someone who did.

jeffreyp: I sat next to Will in that 302 class and I wandered in about the same time and stuck around enough to become a coord that december when it was decided that Besh! wasn't going to be showing up anymore and there should be a body to fill the space.
zimage Tim Nowaczyk stroker  My first year at Madison was Fall 97. I was in the marching band and somehow met stroker during the first week or so. When he found out I was a CS major he told me to come to the new user meeting for the free pizza. We missed the talk because of band practice, but the pizza was good.

I signed up for an account a few days later with the goal of writing a usenet reader in X similar to Agent since `rtin` was pissing me off. This project never got off the ground due to the intimidation factor of the coords talking _way_ over my head. The only coords that stick out in my mind from that time are gus, keller, and stroker. I'd read the X11 books a little, read some email, then leave. I was too shy to get involved with their conversations but had a great respect for the guys there.

A few years later, I noticed blinky[1] and was quite impressed with it. I thought it was hard to read, though, since blinky was only an 8x8 grid and it used a fixed-width 8x8 font. I figured I could hack Zach's code to do variable-width fonts. I walked in, intruduced myself, and got a copy of the code. A couple days later I was done and then got involved with the hardware SIG. I think this was all early 2000.

[1] blinky, if you don't know, was a scrolling LED marquee that was driven off of a computer's parallel port.