Looking through the backups of the lynx.scramworks.net website recently I noticed
that we've been going since sometime in 1997. So having missed the
10th 21st anniversary
of this lynx client, and it really doesn't seem that long. I thought I'd put
together a history of the client whilst I still have some idea of what's happened. So here for anyone that's interested
is a brief history of this client as far as I can piece together from Archive.org, local back ups,
email and CVS comments.
It is worth noting that through out it's life this lynx client has been a private project which receives no commercial backing of any sort, running private Internet connectivity.
The earliest reference I seem to still have to the lynx client is this section of the 1997
demon.ip.support.pc FAQ V0.28 30/07/97 .... 3) The World Wide Web 3.1) Surfing the 'net from the net prompt The standard versions of net.exe and TextWin do not have built in web browsing capability. However you can still look at web pages by either learning http commands or, more usefully, telnetting to a public lynx client. At the moment the nearest working one of these is bob.bob.bofh.org, there are also two others in the US. Before using a public lynx client make sure that you are running vt102.com or an equivalent before you start net.exe (or use TextWin's built-in VT emulation). bob.bob.bofh.org (login as "lynx" use your email address as password) Two other currently active public lynx clients are at: public.sunsite.unc.edu (login as "lynx"). sailor.lib.md.us (login as "guest").
Sometime between June and December of 1998 it seems according to the persevered copies of that FAQ that
the client moved from bob.bob.bofh.org to lynx.bob.bofh.org.
During that year we also started using a custom
to simplify login
In January of 1999 we started actually trying to record usage statistics (html tidied up):
() represents 2 user
The oldest preserved copy of the web pages can be found from Archive.org, and their November
1999 snapshot, when it seems the lynx client was version 2.8.
Thankfully the HTML has improved since then.
Another name change in 2001 as we move to the current address lynx.scramworks.net and
5 minutes of fame when Lynx Links mention us.
At this point both sailor.lib.md.us and lynx.cc.ukans.edu are still working,
though public.sunsite.unc.edu seems to have died. We're no longer running on dedicated hardware but have added
the ability for users to email web pages back to themselves.
Things seem to have stagnated somewhat until 2006 when things finally get updated to 2.8.6 dev 13,
but the number of public lynx clients dwindles further when public.sunsite.unc.edu seems to stop responding.
Lynx 2.8.6 dev 13
The last of the other public access clients lynx.cc.ukans.edu appears to have ceased in 2008, and we've just
under gone various small updates to the web pages and the underlying setup.
One of our long term users sends Cookies!
Lot of changes, a menu system has been added to allow more flexibility in the clients available,
an ELinks is added, as is SSH access and the ability to save local bookmarks
Lynx 2.8.7dev12, Elinks 0.11.5
After years running on OpenBSD, a change of hosting has seen lynx move to Ubuntu. This was an interesting migration as there aren't many "how to's" on running public access services securely. ( I've since written one )
A failed server upgrade killed the lynx client due to poor document and source control systems. Remember make backups and document things properly.
After a prolonged outage due to a server crash and losing the documentation on how everything needs to be set up, the public lynx client returns with updated everything.
Upgrading to a new major OS release broke a few config files so we were off line for a week or so. E-mailed pages sent from lynx are now DKIM signed to help prevent spam.