A Fractured UUPC/extended Fairy Tale

In The Beginning

The UUPC Project

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.

Derbyshire, B.U. (Before UUPC)

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.

UUPC/extended at Kendra Electronic Wonderworks

The Golden Age of UUPC/extended

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.

The Twilight of UUCP

A turning point was reached in 1995. That year we obtained our first dedicated Internet link, a 56K dial up line to a local ISP. Thus began our own email migration to SMTP running on FreebBSD (UNIX) for production mail in place of UUCP, which was completed the year we got our first cable modem in 1997.

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.

Current Status of UUPC/extended

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.

Roses By Any Other Name

And now, a few words about where our names came from.

kendra the Elder

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 for registering.

Kendra Electronic Wonderworks

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 athena, 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 ffactory anyway.

Roll Call

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: