Tom's FreeBSD blog I'd rather be doing something than writing about it.

June 14, 2007

SDF Public Access UNIX System Celebrates 20 Years!

Filed under: FreeBSD — tmclaugh @ 5:04 am

“It was on June 16th, 1987 that the SDF-1 received its first caller at 300bps. This little Apple ][e BBS of the late 80s turned into a Public access UNIX System with the demise of “” during the Operation Sundevil” raids. Since then it has grown to become the oldest and largest continually operating PUBNIX on the planet.

Over the years SDF has been a home to 2+ million people from all over the world and has been supported by donations and membership dues. SDFers pride themselves on the fact that theirs is one of the last bastions of “the real INTERNET”, out of the reach and scope of the commercialism and advertising of the DOT COM entities…”
(read more)

About five years ago I was out of college, my school email address was going to expire, and I didn’t have an ISP. I hate webmail and just wanted simple pop3 email access. I remembered back in high school having a free shell account from some system I couldn’t remember and went searching. Most of the google hits I found were service providers with monthly fees (I wasn’t paying $5 a month just for email) or had no email access. Eventually I stumbled on SDF. It was a $2 donation for a permanent account. A full unix shell account for $2! Just couldn’t beat that and it hasn’t been a bad decision. I’ve always liked the fact that SDF is a non-profit and is paid for by donations and while run by volunteers. It’s nice to know there still exists a place which just provides internet services for the sake of just providing those services to anybody that could use them.  By the way, they’re also active NetBSD supporters.

1 Comment »

  1. wow. killer. hadn’t heard _that_ string in 20 years or more.

    At one point all of North Texas was pumping its email and news through that little machine.

    We’ve come a long way …


    Comment by Mark Linimon — June 16, 2007 @ 4:44 am

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