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Nemesis startup on a DECstation 2100 with 28Mbyte RAM - see also
Barny, a computer science student,
brought the so-called GameDriver with the original MudLib (both see
About section) with some castles (areas coded by
wizards) on a tape(?) from the UK to the
Technische Universität München
(Technical University of Munich, TUM).
While digging in some archeological bits in November 2016
this logfile entry was discovered:
Thu Jan 24 17:59:58 1991 Game shutdown by barny(scheibenkleister)
This oldest log entry - found in the GAME_LOG - is from the full tape backup
Snake did in
January 1994 -
see also photos of the tape, its 'twin' and
the story about it.
And we assume that there have been further successful attempts to start
(and shutdown) the game before. We treat this as the
"first and earliest documentary evidence".
The hostname of that DECstation Nemesis lived on was
fully qualified "dszenger9.informatik.tu-muenchen.de".
Ask your favourite search engine about "dszenger9" -
the old MUD-lists from the 1990s still exist on the internet :-D
The hostname derived from DECstation no. 9 at the
By the way the reason Barny gave for his
shutdown - "scheibenkleister" - means in English "Sugar!"
or "Sheesh!" ;-)
February 1st 1991:
Nemesis got international access. Players (we prefer the name
adventurers) from all over the world log in.
February 4th 1991:
The first wizard who played the MUD in Munich was born: Ringo later known as
Ringo the Icemaster
(the untouchable Viking)!
This information was also found while digging in the old bits of the
backup from January 1994 done by
Here are the first lines of the old log file SPONSOR
(the name to the left is the sponsoring - supporting - wizard and the
right name is the new born one):
barny : Ringo Mon Feb 4 00:23:23 1991
ringo : Glen Fri Feb 8 05:04:20 1991
ringo : Snake Fri Feb 8 20:38:14 1991
ringo : Morath Tue Feb 12 01:38:32 1991
ringo : Kiri Wed Feb 13 12:27:29 1991
kiri : Storm Wed Feb 13 13:11:41 1991
"The MUD in Munich"? Yes, this was the era when Nemesis
was not called Nemesis but the "the MUD in Munich" or - for
a very short period of time - "TUMMUD" (or
"TUMUD"?). The name Nemesis came a little later - but this is
another very unclear story ... ;-)
Sometime between February 22nd and April 1st 1991:
Someone - a player or more likely one of the fresh
wizards - presumably from Munich - suggested the name
"Nemesis". Most probably
Kiri discussed the proposal in a pool hall
in Munich and agreed on it: "Nemesis" says so much,
ancient Greek goddess of divine retribution and vengeance, the English
meanings archenemy, just punishment & retribution, doom & decay.
Snake says he had heard about the
hypothetical star "Nemesis"
first at that time and Storm
remembers that he stumbled over the word "nemesis" via the
lyrics of the song
Marillion and looked it
up in the Brockhaus
- not in Wikipedia ;-) And there is
Isaac Asimov ...
But why "between February 22nd and April 1st 1991"? Well, when
we aggreed on the name "Nemesis",
Junky was a wizard already and he
"wizzed" on February 22nd - from the ancient
kiri : Junky Fri Feb 22 18:47:39 1991
And an email on "Arki's MUD Server Mailing-List" (by
Joseph Wisdom aka Arki) of April 1st 1991
("effective date", update no: 37) listed Nemesis as
Nemesis at the host "dszenger9.informatik.tu-muenchen.de".
email was posted to the
NetNews group rec.games.mud
a few days later.
This seems to be the first appearance of Nemesis - with and without this
name - on any mudlist.
Nemesis quickly throve and prospered becoming famous as one of the
largest MUDs in Germany, running at the Zenger Institute (chair of Prof. Dr.
Christoph Zenger), TUM.
Players (many of them are students) connected from all over the world, day
and night, first having fun playing and then, being wizards, learn the
principles of object oriented programming (OOP) with LPC.
Special Features of the Nemesis MudLib:
More or less hidden developments are a complete new
combat system by lynX and
Junky and lots of generic objects for easier
coding of shops, pubs, etc. (mostly by lynX).
Many changes are made in the GameDriver (GD, the "WorldSimulator",
the game engine)
like new efuns (shortcut for External FUNction)
and the Nemesis multi-port feature: the GD listens on different TCP/IP
ports and - controlled by an object of the MudLib - results to different
actions, like ports for gaming plus other
services - e.g. see below here and
- Weather with
day/night cycle (speeded up) throughout the
entire world (developed by Dixie) as well
as weather effects such as "wet torches"
during rain (and drying again later).
- The World of Nemesis (see Map of the known
World) consists of numerous islands connected by a dozen ships on
different lines with time tables (Junky
designed the deep-sea navigation, in 2016 revised
by Wastl). Adventurers have to actually
travel (not "jump").
Both a gopher
server (still available, by
Junky) and a
SMTP server (gateway between internal mail in Nemesis and
SMTP internet mail), were developed (still active, incoming mail by
Snake and outgoing mail by
Junky), both in LPC.
E.g. for outgoing email the GD again got a very special new feature:
non-blocking outgoing TCP connections - also implemented by
Nemesis was down for 1 month due to a disc crash.
April 23rd 1993:
A population census took place. 1249 active players/wizards from at
least 15 countries all over the (real) world - see
The development of
triggered to the (probably first?) implementation of a HTTP server in
LPC - again coded by Junky. The
advanced version of it is still up.
January 21st 1994:
As the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (Leibniz
Supercomputing Centre, LRZ) was (and still is) managing the internet
connection for universities etc. in Munich,
Nemesis was shut down at the
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
because the adminstration of LRZ claimed Nemesis was using too
Here the online version of the
original newspaper article "Zauberreich aus Bits und Bytes"
(German, "A magic realm made of bits and bytes") from
DIE ZEIT or an
ASCII-version (also German) from the
NetNews about Nemesis
going down and MUDs in general, as well as a
commented English version of the newspaper article from
Note: Snake says:
"Of course it was NOT 'del *.*' I typed, but 'rm -rf',
and of course after I did a full tape backup."
(see also photos of the tape, its 'twin' and
the story about it).
Addendum: After digging in some archeological bits
in November 2016 we can say Nemesis has gone down at the
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
on January 21st 1994 - almost exactly three years after
July 8th 1999:
After a test version was started on its own dedicated machine,
it was planned Nemesis would go back to Nemesis's former home,
Unfortunately the machine was not good enough.
The machine the test installation was running on had hardware problems.
Nemesis was completely down again.
A new (incomplete) test installation was up and running again.
End of March 2001:
The new system was completed - again on a different machine, only this one was
more genuine: The new machine was also a
DECstation like the original machine
Nemesis was running on at the TUM.
Of course that machine was much faster and had more memory
(a DECstation 5000 instead a 2000 for the
it was also running a much more modern OS (NetBSD instead of Ultrix).
September 14th 2001:
Wizards and domains can have their own homepages from within Nemesis:
The discs of the Nemesis server (still the
DECstation 5000) died after a
power loss and could not be revived again. Alternative plans for getting it
running again were not successful, as the code was not really portable to a
modern compiler and OS environment.
Based on a joke by Hans Franke, a computer collector, oldschool gamer and
organizer of the annual Vintage Computer Festival
Europa, the Nemesis wizard
Metall had the idea to present
Nemesis and talk about MUDs in general at the 2015 event.
And she wanted to have a live demonstration, too. Reason enough to get things
fixed again :-). The backup was on a DLT tape this time, but no working DLT
drive was available! Digging at Ebay solved this problem. After porting the
code to make it compile on a current OS and compiler, Nemesis came
up for a two week testing period.
February 7th 2015:
Nemesis was moved to a new server running under virtualized FreeBSD at
a computer centre and is completely up & running now, including Web and
FTP server (and also MTP, if you know what it is ;-)
For those of you who love German town names: the computer centre near Munich
is in Unterschleissheim (fully correct: Unterschleißheim).
Everything else is documented in the News section.
About former hardware you get some details via the
Imprint / Impressum