So it Begins
From: David Parter <dparter>

The UPL was founded in 1986 (maybe -- just maybe, 1985). Bart called a meeting, and a bunch of people showed up.

The first 2 computers were HP "bobcat" workstations (HP 200s). They ran a horrible thing called HP-UX, based on Unix System III. They were named batman and robin. they did not have ethernet, but did have UUCP. They were in the "instructional" machine room behind the lab.

2 3B2's were donated to the CS department by AT&T in 85 or 86. 1 or both was given to the UPL. I have no idea what the names were.
later (the next year?) the UPL moved to the corner "window" room of the gumby terminal room.


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 23:21:37 -0500 (CDT)
From: Erik Paulson <epaulson>

In the begetting Bart created the UPL. Now the UPL was a formless void, and their was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping out from the VAX fans.

Bart said, 'Let there be machines', and their were machines. Bart saw that machines were good, and Bart divided the machines from darkness. Bart called machines 'Bobcats', and darkness he called 'NT'. Evening came and morning came: the first day.

Bart said, "Let there be users." And so it was. Bart made the users, and gave them all accounts, and 1 meg disc quota. Bart called the users "lusers". Evening came and morning came: the second day.

Bart said, "Let there be 12." And so it was. Bart called the 12 "coords."

Bart said, 'Let us make the coords in our own image, and let them be masters of the C compiler, bison (or yacc), all the wild animals (on the cover of the O'Reilly books) and all the spammers that creep along the ground.'

Bart blessed them, saying to them "Be fruitful, multiply (but not in the lab), fill the discs and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the C, the rules of sendmail and all the living users that ssh in." Bart also said, 'Look, to you I also give root, so that you may manage the lab.' And so it was. Bart saw all that he had made, and indeed it was very good. Evening came and morning came: on the sixth day (days 3-5 were spent at Berkeley whacked off scoobie-snacks, while on sabbatical)

Thus the UPL was created in all it's disarray. On the seventh day, Bart completed the work he had been doing. He rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. Bart blessed the seventh day, and made two hours a week holy because on those two hours a coord marveled after all his work of creating.

Such was the story of the UPL as they were created.


The Fall

Now, a recruiter was the most subtle of all the wild animals that Bart had made. It asked the coord, "Did Bart really say you were not to graduate?"

The coord answered the recruiter, 'We may leave for the summer on internships, but of the Real World posted on the board next to the elevators Bart said, 'You must not touch it, unless it is an Industrial Affiliate.'

Then the recruiter said, 'No! You can look at the board! Bart knows in fact that jobs in the IT sector are so plentiful that the day you look at the board you will be like gods, or at least earning more money (with stock options) than most professors!' The coord saw that money beat the hell out of the 8.50 an hour they were making for CSL, and that it would be paying come May yet as well. So the coord took a job, as did 5 others Then the eyes of all 6 were opened, and they realized that they were poor as shit and living in a dump, buried under student loans. So they took their new jobs, and bought fancy new cars with their new money (well, not Isaac, because hell, even the recruiter knows better than to give a job to a theory guy, so the best he can do is grad school)

The coords heard the sound of Bart walking in the lab in the cool of the day (after the A/C got fixed), and they hid from Bart among the binary trees of the UPL. But Bart called the coords. 'Where are you?' He asked. 'I heard the sound of your "cd / ; find . -name foo -print" across the discs', the coord replied. 'We were afraid because we had graduated, so we hid.' 'Who told you that you were graduated?' Bart asked. 'Have you been looking at the board I forbade you to look at?' The coord replied, 'It was the touchtone lady The touchtone lady asked me if I wished to graduate, and I said yes.'

Then Bart said to the Touchtone lady, 'Because you have done this, accursed be you of all registration systems. On an NT cluster shall you live, with AIX backends running Peoplesoft and multiple single-points of failure and no way to report a major to a department. I shall put enmity between you and the student body, and force DoIT to try and prevent another inevitable screwup of gigantic proportions.'

But to the coords he said, 'Go forth then, and make your money. Thank you for you service here, and remember you shall always be welcome, especially if you send back money for us to buy cool stuff with.' And he elevated them into the database, where he set the friend bit. (Of course, he secretly laughed at them because they soon have to start a life where they have to get up every morning, and go to work, usually well before 11AM.) And so, the six coords went forth, and began to make some Real Money (TM).


But all was not well in the UPL. The loss of 6 coords left a great disturbance in the force. Lines were drawn in preparation for the fierce battles of succession that always follow the end of a semester, and the UPL ran red with the blood of coords wounded in the massive fire fights soon to envelope upl@cs.wisc.edu.

And the beast shall come forth surrounded by a roiling cloud of vengeance. The house of the unbeliever shall be razed and they shall be scorched to the earth. Their tags shall blink until the end of days.
-- The Book of Mozilla, 12:10


So begins the time that we have been preparing for over the last 6 months - the Great Graduation and Replacement of 1999.