Happy Birthday Nelefa.org!

So, set the way-back machine to June 1996. A hairy, bearded, UNIX nerd sits in the back office of Cyberia Cafe on Hanover Street in Edinburgh. He’s been writing these games and, as he hosts web sites for a living, he reckons he should actually have somewhere to distribute them from.

So he sits and ponders. A year or so previously, he’d been absorbed into the Yoyo Collective Consciousness – that mystical circle of ill-repute which attracts the lonely, lost, broken and damned sysadmins of the world and rolls them into a single glittering gestalt. So, web space was there, all that was needed was a domain to point at it.

Hence ‘nelefa.org’ was chosen, and to this day people struggle to pronounce it. It’s “nelly-fah”. It’s how someone who can’t say “Elephant” might pronounce it if they were being cute.

At the time, Nominet (can’t quite remember if they were actually called Nominet at the time – I think that came later) were charging £100 + VAT for an org.uk domain, so I went straight to InterNIC (while they were still selling domains on their own) and got the .org for a third of the cost and a fraction of the paperwork.

And so nelefa.org was born. It was originally hosted on the first incarnation of the Yoyo hardware then moved onto my own Sun ELC (which went by the name of Little Nelly) – a beautiful little machine consisting of a 33MHz sparc v7 on a single board with 16Mb of system RAM and an external SCSI drive. The O/S used was NetBSD as it was tiny and fast and didn’t object to having bugger all memory.

Nowadays, nelefa.org lives on a virtual machine hosted by Xeriom Networks, who I am happy to unashamedly pimp as they provide an awesome service, but the links to yoyo still run deep – the only reason it’s been moved to its own machine is because I don’t want to hog the yoyo bandwidth with the ridiculous amount of traffic I get.

So, over the years there’s been many iterations of the site and a lot of the earliest content has been lost in the mists of time. For the past few years it’s been running wordpress and there is content from as far back as 1998, so please feel free to join in the birthday celebrations and have a dig through the post archive just for the lols 🙂

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