Hello! I'm Nick Leverton, and Warren was my first personal dial-up Internet
host. Welcome to this archive of Warren's web pages, a copy of those originally hosted on
Demon's server, to give 24 hour access to them even when Warren was off-line.
On Warren's pages here, you can read some background on its history, its family tree
and its Internet software, as well as a load of
useful information on configuring and using KA9Q.
In late 1991, the Internet was just starting to rise in profile
amongst computing and networking professionals. Cliff Stanford of Demon
Systems Ltd (suppliers of modems and networks to the gentry) floated the
idea on CIX of a
group of people clubbing together to buy their own link to the Internet,
which as far as the uk was concerned was then the preserve of
Academia and of a few large companies with private Transatlantic links.
I was one of the Founder Members of Cliff's "Tenner a Month" service,
being one of the 130-odd people who paid a year's subscription in
advance to get Britain's first public link to the Internet off the
ground. It was a brave venture: at the time of taking the decision to
go ahead, Cliff had fewer than half of the commitments he needed to
As it turned out, Warren remained in daily service after the
fledgling Demon Internet - hosted on
a single Apricot 486 with eight modems and connected via what was then
Pipex's transatlantic leased line - answered its first phone calls in
June 1992, right up until I changed ISPs around year 2000.
Why "Warren" ? Well, an old friend used to call me
"Leveret", and I rather liked the nickname. And I used to live on
Warren Avenue, so the lapine connection amused me when I had to choose a
demon.co.uk hostname. Unfortunately I'd forgotten at the time that
hares actually live in scrapes, not warrens ... but only one person has
ever pointed out the error !
Warren's Family Tree
- 1992 - Warren the First
- An ICL PWS Model 80 - a 20MHz 386DX with 8Mb of 32-bit memory and
two slow 80Mb ST506 disc drives. This machine still exists, and is
still configured, albeit it has no permanent modem and only one working
drive and indeed is rarely powered up nowadays.
- 1993 - Warren II
- An AST Premium 386 - also a 20MHz 386DX with 8Mb of RAM, but a
nice fast 100Mb ESDI disk, which made it much faster than Warren I
despite both having the same processor speed. Unfortunately this
machine no longer exists as some bastard stole it in an office
break-in, so Warren Mk.I was pressed back into service.
- 1994 - Warren III
- An ICL 486SX25, my desktop PC at the site where I was working
(I'm a contract programmer). Using this machine I could keep myself
up to date with software and hardware developments. I learned a lot of
information about the powerful range of Unix utilties and I made a lot
of use of them for my job. Withdrawn when I left, naturally, and once
again Warren 1st was resuscitated.
- 1995 - Warren IV
- An ICL 486DX2/50. Not much to say about it, it worked, until it was
upgraded to ...
- 1996 - Warren v
- a Fujitsu/ICL
ErgoPro x Pentium, 75MHz, 16Mb RAM, 519Mb PCI disc, built-in
16-bit sound card and pci-bus ati Mach64 video. All plug-and-play,
which seems to work surprisingly well. a nice little machine - if only
it was my own ! (And if only I could persuade the boss to pay the
very reasonable cost of OS/2 Warp
version 4 for it ...)
For most of its life, Warren has been running ms-dos, connecting to the
Net via Phil Karn's shareware KA9Q package, as heavily
customised for use at Demon. This provides good, fast, reliable Usenet,
email, telnet and ftp and is excellent for use on machines of any class
or age. I've always run it under Windows, using an old freeware version
of wincron to dial automatically and collect news and mail in the small
hours, thus minimising phone bills and maximising transfer rates on
lightly loaded systems.
Warren Mk.I was also configured for Windows access via winsock, until
the drive with Windows on it went west ...
ran OS/2, v2.11, which I found to be an excellent operating system, and
which knocks Windows (even Windows 95) into a cocked hat in terms of
speed and reliability. OS/2 had all the features of Win95 over two
years earlier, yet the computer press is only now raving over their
inclusion in Microsoft products. And suddenly everyone who pooh-poohed
their utility in OS/2 finds that after all they are useful, even
essential, features. Unfortunately W95 users still don't get the
stability, the memory management, the object orientation, the built-in
Java, the integrated voice
recognition or the performance that users of OS/2 Warp
are used to. But hey, that's the power of Microsoft marketting for you.
Prime candidates for being first against the wall when the revolution
When I used KA9Q for dial-up Internet access, I wrote a few notes based
on my and other people's experience with configuring
and running KA9Q.
Where Else ?
Please also see my current personal
home page. I no longer maintain the Unofficial Uk.Singles Home
Pages or the uk
Railrover Ticket Summary.
Links on this site:
- KA9Q - the Demon Internet version of
Phil Karn's eponymous tcp/ip software
- Textwin - KA9Q with console mode
windows for telnet, ftp, etc
- Upscripts - initialisation script
hints for KA9Q and Textwin