MUDs and Modems

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When will/why doesn't ProgSoc have modem lines?"

This question crops up frequently on the mailing list, and is a dream of the majority of ProgSoc members. At a ProgSoc meeting held in September 1996, the question was put forward again, and Raz patiently explained the situation. This is my vague recollection/paraphrase of his monologue:


As it looks right now, ProgSoc will never have modem lines. Make sure you understand this. Never never never. The reasons for this mainly come back to the Information Technology Division (ITD) of UTS. As the name implies, ITD handles all of the communication facilities at UTS. This includes phone lines, data lines, 'UTS-Net', and the Big Plug that connects UTS to the outside world. Any requests for anything of a communication bent goes through ITD. Now part of the policy of ITD is that for any requests to be approved, they must have some academic/educational merit. Electrical Engineering get modem lines because students need access to files. Computer Science the same. ITD get lines because, well, they're ITD and they can do as they please.

Enter ProgSoc. If we want the phone lines for modems, we have to ask ITD. The first thing they'll ask is "What academic merit will this have?" The first ProgSoc member to think of a valid reason we can give to ITD will probably have a machine named after them and will be in free beer for the rest of his/her days. So far, no-one has thought of a valid reason, much less a valid and convincing reason. This is why we can't get the lines.

Secondly, the fact that ProgSoc has a totally open access link to the outside world is amazing in itself. Think about it; we have (by common standards) a mind-blowingly fast, unrestricted, (almost) un-monitored connection to one of the fastest Internet hubs in Australia. We get this - free of charge - care of the nice people at ITD (keep smiling, everybody's happy...). Not only that, but do you realise how much bandwidth we consume of UTS' supposedly academic-only link?

ITD have graciously given us a link, and we've since pummeled that link into the ground. For ProgSoc to ask ITD for anything else would be seen as impolite at best. Better to smile when they walk past, speak when spoken to, and keep a low profile in the hope that They won't get mad and pull the plug on us. ProgSoc already had a close call when Queensland University complained to UTS about someone doing nasty things to their machine. It got traced back to a ProgSoc member. We can't really afford to get on the wrong side of ITD again.

So in summing up (and to make this clear I'll write in dirty great big letters):

PROGSOC. WILL. NOT. GET MODEMS.

Matthew Estela (last edited May 2003).

Multi-User Domains

Multi-User Domains are virtual spaces where people can meet to work, play games, or simply chat.

Unlike IRC, MUDs, MOOs, MUSEs and the like offer an element of physical interactivity, and also the possibility of user <-> server interaction.

These are the servers currently maintained by ProgSoc members:

Forest, a talker with its own Web page. Forest is (was?) run by forest@progsoc.uts.edu.au. Currently (and probably forever) dead. Here is a list of allocated ports:

03000 - Forest (last edited 2005/08/04)

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