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9:52am on Friday, 5th October, 2007:

X Marks the Spot


They're doing some construction work at the university:

They ripped out some old computing labs and are replacing them with shops and other retail experiences. OK, so the labs weren't needed any more (they were moved some time ago to where the old mainframe used to be), and it will probably bring some life to Square 2 that it is otherwise lacking, but still, it's a little sad for some of we old-timers.

Here's why:

You see that passage there, leading to the new social science block? That was knocked right through the middle of what was once the Interactive Teaching Laboratory, or ITL. This is a place of fond memories for me, because it's where we did most of the work on MUD1. Here's Roy Trubshaw working on the code in late 1979/early 1980: you can see ITL written on the top of the monitor:

It's where most people played it, including all those who visited us from outside. Here's Andrew Glaister in the ITL, alongside a more current picture ripped off from Moby Games:


I even have a 3D stereoscopic image of the inside of the ITL here. Yet now, it's all going to be shops.

It feels to me a bit like building a new housing development on an ancient battlefield. It's a shame, but time moves on.

If only it didn't mean that a little bit of history disappeared each time it does so...

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).