university compsci clubs in the 90s: we host our own IRC server, email infrastructure, ftp, shared UNIX computer, NNTP...

university compsci clubs in 2022: google suite is too hard so someone here has a Discord you could join if you know who to ask

@victoria i wish that my cs department/student orgs used irc. it's a lot harder to be racist all the time when you can't just drop in the "plausible deniability racism" images into your messages

@violet @victoria i don't recommend irc as like, the Main Chat you Should Be Using because obviously irc kinda sucks for that, but like,,, surely for a _computer club_ they could do irc no????

@violet @victoria gonna start a ham radio club except instead of actually transmitting stuff we'll just hook up our equipment to Discord Voice Chat :^)

@haskal @violet @victoria bridging a frequency to a discord server does sound very "ham radio club" tbh

@haskal @violet @victoria Isn't that how digital mobile radio is used these days?

Initially you used your radio to talk to repeaters and those repeaters are interconnected via the internet. Then folks started running their own little repeaters at home. Now everyone uses their radio to talk to an access point in the same room, that talks to other access points via the internet.

@haskal @victoria it'd be a hell of a lot better than a poorly set up and barely moderated discord server full of crypto-fascists with discord nitro

@violet if there's anything my CS education taught me is that most of today's CS students do not *care* or are already far beyond salvation

@victoria mfw it describes accurately my whole compsci engineering school :anna_chocked: :frederica:

@Julia @victoria You guys get online?
A few years ago my compsci class consisted of learning Delphi on offline computers from a teacher who didn't know how to code OOP despite Delphi being exactly that; or how to put two lines in one function as he "always uses the (wysiwyg) editor, not the code".

My brain still hurts.

I had delphi in first year, then java. And that's why when I left uni I decided to never code again..... You are not alone with the brain pain. I didn't even start to grok OOP till a friend explained it, and I found a decent book on the theory.
@Julia @victoria

@victoria at my university (circa 2009), the gaming (lan party) society were the last holdouts for IRC. the compsci society experimented with IRC but nobody except the games people already on irc could be bothered with it

from what i recall of the time, service providers were starting to explicitly forbid running irc servers (something about ddos/botnets?) and the university itself didn't want students running that kind of stuff on their network either

@candle @victoria I remember when I worked for an ISP around 2000/2001 we were always getting ddos attacks because of beef on our public irc server - if anything, I’m surprised there were still some left by 2009

@victoria that's not even the worst of it, I'm a software dev student and some of my classes are literally on discord

@victoria At least it's slightly better than MS Teams which my last school used

Or, well, sometimes it is

@victoria I founded a linux club and suggested we move to irc, but the other people decided to stay on discord because using irc would be "gatekeeping'

@victoria the linux clubs are where you have to go for that level of effort
just make sure you find one of the gay ones not one of the foss or cryptobro ones

@victoria I blame companies offering gratis services. There are still a few left but they are grossly underfunded. Admin doesn’t understand the value in those sorts of things.

Setting up an IRC server nowadays is EZPZ, these clubs have no excuse. I don't even have any background in this shit. I just followed instructions.

@coin you think CS students can follow instructions?

@victoria In the 1950's, the car manual described how to change the piston rings on your engine. Now the car manual has warnings to not drink any of the fluids that the car needs.

@victoria @vautee It's probably because these day people grew up with a different kind of technology. When I started out doing computer stuff I used mostly old handed down hardware. I didn't have a good internet connection, so I hardly had access to ready made instructions to make stuff work. I had to tinker if wanted more diskspace or a better graphics card.

These days folks get mainly exposed to locked down hardware that doesn't allow for much of that. It either works or it is e-waste.

@victoria @vautee @sebastian It's similar to software. Nobody is willing anymore to setup software to requires configuration and customisation to work well. It either works out of the box with all the bells and whistles, or it is considered broken. That's their experience for most of the tech they encounter.

I'm not saying it was better back then, it was just different fostering a different set of skills and expectations.

@victoria I wish my College's CompSci club was like that in the '90's. First meeting they were setting the agenda and it was things like "How to Build a PC".


As someone who tried to run a computer club with a server at his university, we also had to deal with the idea that running a server was a form of hacking, that unix shells were "illegal tools", etc.


I have to imagine these ideas came from administrators who have no clue how reality works. I'm prepared to be disappointed.


No, these came from the students who ran club organizing.

In the 90s, terms like "unix", "shell", "irc" and "nntp" were only cool if you were at a school known for its engineering.

If you were at a school known for its school of internation studies and other soft arts/sciences, where most of the students were non-technical, then these things sounded like evil stuff you saw in the movies.

My request for a server was denied, though I did found/run the Linux club, for a short time.

As soon as a student sees a command terminal the inevitable question: "teacher, are you hacking?"! ;)

@victoria 90s: “…and we do it all on beige boxes we pulled out the trash and hid in the ceiling tiles.”

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