Phishy Chat Network::A Phishy History
What was to become Phishy started towards the end of June 1998 as a joke.
It started when the shell account we were running a trivia 'bot on decided to no longer allow 'bots. In the process of looking for a new shell account we found a company that would allow us to run 'bots and also an irc server. Our intention was to run the 'bots and possibly have a go at running the irc server purely as a technical exercise, to see how it worked, to get to know what was involved on the technical side, that kind of thing.
We invited a few of our friends from other irc networks, from places we'd chatted on, to come and visit us. It was a single server, with a single channel (#PhishTank) and that was all there was. We added services like ChanServ and NickServ, again purely to see how they needed to be set up, how they worked.
Within a couple of weeks word had gotten out, we're not sure how, probably word of mouth as the best advertising is and we started getting users we'd never known before coming over and hanging out. Many of these people were from other networks where they were sick of the administration in-fighting and abusive users that were on their existing networks. Totally out of the blue we had a link request from a server located at a small internet company in Wales, the admin of that server (Oli) had an irc server and thought it would be an interesting exercise to see what was involved in linking, as neither of us had any knowledge of what was involved. It took us some effort, some working in the dark over C/N/H/U lines as almost all irc networks are loathe to pass out any information on how these things work, but we managed it. Within a couple of days we decided that the network needed a proper domain name, at the time the international domain names were still $100 for two years. Terri (XMorpheus) and I had long discussions on whether we could afford a domain name, and in the end we actually emptied the "penny jar" that had contained our loose change that we'd accumulated. The total came to enough to register the domain and phishy.net was born. Contrary to popular belief, Oli was the first server admin to join the network, a network that consisted of Delirium and Hubble (eventually re-named to Troll).
Death.Phishy.Net followed next, run by a long time personal friend of Terri and I and became our first English server.
Scott (Scomps) joined the network as a user and shortly after he and his partner mentioned that they were running an NT server on a cable-modem line. As there was a Win/NT version of the server software we talked about whether they would like to link to see if a cable-modem irc server would work. It did, and Desire.Phishy.Net was born. Desire brought with it a small but loyal number of users, some of which are with Phishy to this day as either ircops or server admin. One weekend while Terri and I were away Scott linked with another cable-modem user and Penna.Phishy.Net was born, with Gedit as server admin. Coming back from a weekend and finding another server we'd known nothing about was a surprise to us, but we decided not to bother removing it and the network grew to five. We now had Wales, England, Canada, West Coast US and East Coast US, quite a mix of locations!
Moving through several changes in servers, we come up to date in 2004 with a major update to the Phishy network. All the servers have been upgraded to offer recent features such as hostmask cloaking. Services have been re-designed around SQL to allow us to (eventually) offer more features such as checking and sending MemoServ memos from the website.