Re: Circle History Lesson

From: Vaughan Williams (
Date: 06/23/99

Why not tell a story.

The first time I ever played a MUD was, yes you got it CircleMUD ( 2.0 )
only back in 96
when I was studying technology at college here in Australia. We had no
Internet access for
students at college and I had not even been on the Internet at the time..
Then one day a friend
of a friend gave me a phone number for his shell account at his UNI. Well I
had just bought my
first Modem a 28.8k (super fast modem:) and dialed the number unsing an old
win3.1 terminal dialin prog.
 Wham up pops a termial windows with a few comments for students to move
around the server
(no PPP and only restricted SLIP access). I remember doing a list of the
avalible server at the UNI,
(man I had no idea what I was doing at the time) when i saw a name that for
some reason interested me
from a Forgotten Realms book I had read about a dark elf named Drizzt ( I
used to love AD&D and the
lord of the rings stuff ) " 4000". I worked out
how to use telnet and telneted to
that address (man I did not even know that 4000 was a port number:)) and
BOOOOOOMB there it was the
login screen for ArtemisMUD. I Logged on as Warder cos I could not think of
a good name and from that day on
I played that mud until  4am and 6am almost every day until i reached
immortal level (31)..
Because of that MUD I become interested in the Internet and even before I
left college I had gotten a job as
a Assisstant Systems Admin for a new ISP just starting of.
Within two weeks I had my own CircleMUD 3.0 ( bpl8 I think) stock standard
up and running. within two months
we had one of the best MUD's in Australia at the time with over 100 levels,
8 races, 8 classes etc etc etc etc..

So I really like CircleMUD and have not really played any others (much:)).

The old ArtemisMUD is not there anymore.. Pitty:(.

Well thats my story..

----- Original Message -----
From: Zeavon <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 1999 11:49 AM
Subject:  Circle History Lesson

> > On Wed, 23 Jun 1999, Andrew Ritchie wrote:
> > > I was wondering what the "Circle" means in CircleMUD. I
> > guess Jeremy would
> > > be the best person to answer this. Does it possibly mean
> > the no-start
> > > no-finish type (philosophy?) that MUDs and circles have in common?
> > >
> >
> > The name of the machine that Circle first ran on before
> > Jeremy released it
> > as a codebase, was, thus the name "circle".
> >
> My interjection: Good thing it wasn't called trapezoid or something
> hard to type.
> The following is directly from Jeremy Elson from March 1997
> --------------------------------
> For more history than you probably want, see,
> near the bottom there's a link that says "Historical Background".  But,
> here's a somewhat shorter version of how Circle got its name.
> When I was a freshman in the CS department of Johns Hopkins in '91, the
> undergraduate workstation cluster was a bunch of old DECstation 3100's
> that had strange names (poincare, syzygy, hull, whatever, emanon, and a
> few others).  A couple of the undergrads at the CS department (Justin
> Chandler and Dave Reed) experimented with running a copy of DikuMUD
> September of '91.  Since they ran it on the DECstation named "whatever",
> they called it WhatMUD.  WhatMUD was the first MUD I ever played, and
> pretty much the only MUD I've ever played as a mortal.
> Afer a couple of months, WhatMUD died due to a series of hardware
> failures.  Before it had died, though, I'd started tinkering with the
> itself, mainly because I found the world files and a bunch of
> documentation in Justin's directory and realized that I could get the
> stats on any object in the game just by decoding the world format ;-).
> (This was very exciting to me at the time!)  Also I'd found the code
> itself fascinating, and was able to predict how the game would react to
> different situations because I could just look at the source!  What
> power!!  My friends were amazed.
> Around December of '91 WhatMUD was completely dead and I needed a MUD fix
> badly.  I got someone to send me a copy of DikuMUD (it was very hard to
> find at the time) and tried compiling it myself.  I remember not being
> able to sit still while the thing compiled for the first time - I was
> bouncing off the walls, running around, pacing in the hallway outside my
> dorm room because seeing my VERY OWN MUD actually COMPILE FOR THE FIRST
> TIME was just so damned exciting!!  (I guess I was easily excited back
> then.)  Of course, since it was on a DECstation 3100, it was quite slow
> and the agonizing wait was like 30 minutes.  And, since it was compiled
> with GCC v1.x which didn't work very well at the time, the thing was
> constantly spewing out hundreds of assembler errors.  (I remember being
> excited when gcc v2 came out because the MUD actually compiled without
> assembler errors for the first time!)
> Now, I had not (of course) secured any sysadmin approval for running a
> MUD, so I had to run it covertly.  The CS department had just added a new
> DECstation to the cluster -- called "circle".  Since the name was new,
> none of the users knew it existed yet and the machine was usually idle.
> So I ran the MUD on circle.
> Now, some of my freshman friends heard that I had a MUD running, and we
> spent all that night in the computer lab killing things to our heart's
> content, with me loading billions of weapons for everyone except this one
> guy who we didn't like.  When we finally went home, one of my friends
> (Naved Surve), said to me, "So, do you think you'll open CircleMUD to the
> public?"  He'd called it that because the old JHU MUD, which had run on
>, was called WhatMUD -- so it seemed only logical that
> the MUD running on should be called CircleMUD.  And the
> name stuck.  Thanks, Naved.
> (the machine) was finally decomissioned a few months
> ago.  The whole DECstation cluster was replaced with a single Sparc 20
> about a year ago (, and the DECstations that were still
> alive were turned into X-terminals.. until they died.  Which, by now,
> of them have.
> still has an IP address.. but, if you ping it for old
> time's sake, no one is home any more.  Sniff.
> So, anyone else want to share their stories of how they started in the
> world of MUD impdom?
> --------------------------------
> --
> Zeavon Calatin, Spear of Insanity
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