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Thread: FREE-DC Begins Operation 12-25-2001

  1. #1
    Ancient Programmer Paratima's Avatar
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    Smile FREE-DC Begins Operation 12-25-2001

    Surfing around on Christmas Day, 2001, I noticed that a bunch of my buddies on the Ars Technica forum had Gone Missing! After a bit of searching, I found this new thing called Free-DC and there were my buds, including Dyyryath, IronBits, Jammy, Marc_1, Chinasaur, ColinT, JTrinkle, Guru, Richard Clyne, FoBoT, pointwood, rcoulter, Supp, ulv and probably others that I can't remember. Many of us had been in situations where a lot of pressure was put on crunchers to produce. We believed that everyone should be able to change projects, to crunch or not crunch, as the mood moved them, even to crunch for another team(!) without undue harassment from their peers. Hence the name "Free-DC". It was a nice change. We did preserve the smiley, but we keep it light - much more fun without the pressure.

    I believe the first server was hosted by Marc_1. Dyyryath wrote the first stats engine. IronBits helped everybody, all the time. A small burst of us joined immediately and more followed as word got around. It grew in both forum members and team crunchers from all over.

    Here we are, nine years later. People come and go. Interests, priorities and circumstances change. I do miss many of the old team, especially IronBits, FoBoT and Dyyryath. The upside is that we have gained some great new people over time.

    Still, good to see *some* old-timers still active. The important bit is the fellowship. Crunching for the team is appreciated, but distinctly optional. Merry Christmas 2010 to All and Happy Anniversary, Free-DC!



    If anyone has additions or corrections to what my admittedly faulty memory has been able to supply, please feel free to pitch in.
    HOME: A physical construct for keeping rain off your computers.

  2. #2
    Administrator Bok's Avatar
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    +1

  3. #3
    =>Team Joker<= LAURENU2's Avatar
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    That same spirit drew me to Free-DC I was harassed in my last team for lending some of My power to another team member
    It seemed so Petty to me but others took it on like I was a Troll I was almost band from the forum for defending myself
    Me I own and pay to Feed my herd so I feel I should have the Right to point it where I want Or Not
    We all poke others to help But that as far as it go's here

  4. #4
    almost retired the-mk's Avatar
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    Wow, that reminds me how long I have been to Free-DC. Only a little more than a year after this date I joined and still produce some nice numbers to my favourite project: distributed.net OGR
    Am I an old-timer now?
    I like this place where I can do what I want
    the-mk

  5. #5
    Wow, time goes by pretty fast.

  6. #6
    Free-DC Semi-retire gopher_yarrowzoo's Avatar
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    Yeah Paratima I was in Ars too, Richard was to blame for that and he was also the one that dragged me here, for my sanity.. I can't crunch as much just now due to HDD issues - I need to figure out if it was just bad luck (3rd 500Gb HDD to go bad on me) or BOINC / Defrag doing my disc in. I'm still crunching on something.. Yes I love the atmosphere here, the fact I can still help out even if it's not crunching.. I can help keep the stats site clean and fix forum themes and stuff.
    I do miss some people too...
    Stats at the time of reading

    Threads:26,032
    Posts :142,008
    Members: 7,563

    Not bad for 9 years.
    Semi-retired from Free-DC...
    I have some time to help.....
    I need a new laptop

  7. #7
    Ancient Programmer Paratima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-mk View Post
    Wow, that reminds me how long I have been to Free-DC. Only a little more than a year after this date I joined and still produce some nice numbers to my favourite project: distributed.net OGR
    Am I an old-timer now?
    I like this place where I can do what I want
    Yes, the-mk, you may just be the youngest "old-timer" we've got!

    Some places today, sticking around more than 6 months qualifies for the title.

    gopher, I remember you being in the earliest group to switch over. Had forgotten that Richard was the motive force.

    Your help with the stats & forum is great. I'm envious! I never learned HTML or the other languages that make the 'net run. My specialty was dedicated (private - non-internet) communication systems for police and fire/rescue agencies - not much help on the 'net.
    HOME: A physical construct for keeping rain off your computers.

  8. #8
    Free-DC Semi-retire gopher_yarrowzoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paratima View Post
    Yes, the-mk, you may just be the youngest "old-timer" we've got!

    Some places today, sticking around more than 6 months qualifies for the title.

    gopher, I remember you being in the earliest group to switch over. Had forgotten that Richard was the motive force.

    Your help with the stats & forum is great. I'm envious! I never learned HTML or the other languages that make the 'net run. My specialty was dedicated (private - non-internet) communication systems for police and fire/rescue agencies - not much help on the 'net.
    I don't know mate private networks can be done over wider areas now and still remain private just involves a bit more like a decent pipe for the VPN's - Company do camera monitoring for has VPN's set up between it's head office and sites, all sites have their own router but it's vpn'd to Head office much easier If we need anything computer related done we have to go ask them to go ask their IT to remote in and do it or come install, real pain.
    HTML is easy to learn heck I don't know all the ins and outs of it and HTML 5 is coming out and it looks good and will make it simpler or so they say, I'm can already see MS implementations of HTML 5 / Apple has it's Safari which they show case 5 on but wait only if you have Safari... Gee..
    Stats and the forum is just prettiness.
    Semi-retired from Free-DC...
    I have some time to help.....
    I need a new laptop

  9. #9
    Ancient Programmer Paratima's Avatar
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    The intent of this thread was to celebrate the founding and continued wonderfulness of Free-DC, not to debate the mechanics of networking. I'm sorry I let my geek-speak slip and was imprecise.

    I erred in using the phrase "private networks", when I should have been more precise and said, "non TCP/IP-based private networks". In the U.S., there is no single network used by police. There are the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) and NLETS (National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System), both run by the FBI. NLETS uses so many acronyms, there's even a published dictionary! Google is your friend here.

    Every state (and the Coast Guard and the Secret Service and the Border Patrol) connects through NLETS. Each state uses its own protocol internally and does conversions when talking to NLETS. The states' internal networks may be anything: Burroughs Poll/Select, IBM 3270, Sperry Univac, etc. There are about seven protocols in use. Some of them are quite primitive; some are fairly sophisticated; some use a TCP/IP backbone; many don't. My specialty, before I retired, was to know and be able to interface all those weird protocols and the maze of options on each one. My work took me to about 20 states. Most police agencies have a portal to the Web, but police communications, as when an officer looks up your license plate online, do NOT use the internet. That is what I meant by "private networks". This is the simplified view, by the way. The reality is even more amusingly complicated.
    The stories I could tell...

    I am aware that today, the *only* smart way to build a network is to purchase standard building blocks, both hardware and software, link all the pieces via TCP/IP, and if you need a "foreign" protocol, to layer it on top of TCP/IP. Most problems can be solved by "add another router". However, it was not always thus.

    I am from the era *before* the Internet. I am a dinosaur, technologically. I retired because I could afford to and because I didn't think I could survive getting retrained. I'm quite happy, selling the occasional photograph and learning to play the piano, thanks very much.
    HOME: A physical construct for keeping rain off your computers.

  10. #10
    almost retired the-mk's Avatar
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    youngest old-timer - sounds funny
    but without wirthi I would not be here... back in those days I went to school it was cool to do some distributed computing. watching the "snake" of Distributed Folding and see the results on stats... ok, I'm a little stats whore
    BTW: can we have some of the old smileys back? and looks awful and almost similar
    the-mk

  11. #11
    Free-DC Semi-retire gopher_yarrowzoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-mk View Post
    youngest old-timer - sounds funny
    but without wirthi I would not be here... back in those days I went to school it was cool to do some distributed computing. watching the "snake" of Distributed Folding and see the results on stats... ok, I'm a little stats whore
    BTW: can we have some of the old smileys back? and looks awful and almost similar
    I'll see what I can do..
    Semi-retired from Free-DC...
    I have some time to help.....
    I need a new laptop

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