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12:15pm on Sunday, 19th October, 2008:

Old Stuff


I went to the 30th anniversary MUDmeet yesterday. I'll put the pictures in the usual place once I've had time to process them — they're probably not going to be a lot of interest to anyone but UK MUD2 players, although we did have people come across from Sweden, Spain and the USA for it.

This time, Roy Trubshaw came along. In the past, he's usually been working at weekends, but now he's an independent consultant he was able to get away. Here's the proof:

Roy brought with him a box full of MUD stuff. This included some of the first map designs he did to seed version 2 of the game. These date from 1978:


He had a listing of the resulting program, too. I'd guess that it was the final copy it that he made before he began rewriting it from scratch to give version 3 (now known as MUD1). I had a copy of this myself, which I gave to Stanford University Library in 2003 (MUD's 25th anniversary year), but I'd written stuff on it; Roy's version is pristine.

Roy also had a log of someone (almost certainly me) playing MUD1. Here's the opening:

This is the earliest MUD log I know to exist; it's a few weeks older than the oldest surviving log I had myself, which was dated 4th November, 1980 (and is also now in Stanford University Library's collection). We had loads of these logs back in the day, but would recycle the paper by writing on the back of them (usually programs or program designs). I remember one Personal Computer World show in the mid-1980s where we decorated our stand with logs of games, we had so many of them. We regarded them as ephemeral, though, and didn't think to keep them; it's a surprise that these two copies survived. I do wish I'd kept the log of version 1 that I used to have, but I remember throwing it out in the 1990s (or, more precisely, I remember throwing out the box of rubbish listings that I didn't want and then, a few days later, recalling that my MUD version 1 log was in that box).

Roy also has a listing of MUD version 3 from the time he handed over the reins to me. This is the earliest MUD1 print-out I know of — my own earliest print-out is dated 1985 (I did have an earlier one but I gave it to Simon Dally to give to CompuServe and I never got it back).

Oh, with regards to the actual date of the creation of the first version of MUD, Roy couldn't remember the day of the week he did it, so the 20th is still our best guess. It could have been any time from the 15th to the 20th, though.

Before we left the MUDmeet, we were given presents by Foddy and Karya, who operate MUD2 in the UK now. Here's a photo of those presents:

Those little sashes the dragons are wearing read: "celebrating 30 years of MUD".

Is that classy or what?

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).