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SDF PUBNIX wikipedia entry


Super Dimension Fortress (SDF, also known as is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit public access UNIX systems on the Internet.

It has been in continual operation since 1987 as a non-profit social club. The name derives from the Japanese anime series The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the original server having originally been a BBS for anime fans.


The system currently includes NetBSD servers for regular use (DEC Alphas) as well as a TWENEX system. Besides offering free Unix shell access to its users, SDF provides dialup access and web and Gopher hosting - making it one of very few servers still running the latter protocol.

The system contains hundreds of programs and utilities, including a BBS, chat program, email programs, webmail, and developer tools. SDF allows schools the use of SDF's computing resources for Unix classesTemplate:Citation needed


In 1987, Ted Uhlemann started SDF on an Apple IIe microcomputer running "Magic City Micro-BBS" under ProDOS. The system was run as a "Japanese Anime SIG" known as the SDF-1. In 1989, Uhlemann and Stephen Jones operated SDF very briefly as a DragCit Citadel BBS before attempting to use a Intel x86 UNIX clone called Coherent.

Unhappy with the restrictive menu driven structure of a BBS, Uhlemann, Jones and Daniel Finster created a System V UNIX BBS in 1990, initially running on an i386 system, which later became an AT&T 3B2/400 and 500, and joined the UUCP network. Three additional phone lines were installed in late 1991.

In the fall of 1992, Uhlemann and Finster left SDF to start one of the first commercial Internet companies in Texas, Texas Metronet.

SDF continued to grow, expanding to ten lines in 1993 along with a SLIP connection provided by UUCP was still heavily relied upon for Usenet news and email.

In 1997, SDF (then with about 15,000 users) migrated to Linux. The migration to Linux marked a turning point, as the system started coming under attack like it never had before in its history. Jones calls the Linux period the dark age.Template:Citation needed

In part due to the number of attacks undertaken by malicious users against SDF, in 2000, SDF migrated from Linux to NetBSD and from Intel x86 to DEC Alpha.

Although SDF Public Access UNIX System was registered as an operating business in 1993 according to the Dallas County Records Office, it wasn't until October 1, 2001, that the SDF Public Access UNIX System was formed as a Delaware not-for-profit corporation and subsequentially granted 501(c)(7) non-profit membership club by the IRS. This is most likely due to the fact that SDF was operating under the auspice of the MALR corporation between 1995 and 2001.

Current status

SDF is now composed of more than 30,000 users from around the world. SDF users are diversified, including engineers, computer programmers, students, artists and professionals.Template:Citation needed File:Http://

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