The History of the SCCS

The Beginning: 1991-92 Academic Year


The SCCS was founded in the Fall of 1991, by a group of Swarthmore students. We obtained an official charter from the Budget Committee for the Spring, 1992 semester. The SCCS was founded, in part, to support the activities of students in Dana and Hallowell who had decided to create an Appletalk network by stringing phone cable between rooms. Approximately 32 Macintoshes on 4 floors (3 in Hallowell, 1 in Dana) were on the network, as was one heavy-duty laser printer. Gobs of time was spent diagnosing the many network outages that occurred on an almost-daily basis (usually due to cables being clamped by window frames) but it was fun. Of course, this was two years before the College network came into being...

Founding Members

The 1992-93 Academic Year


In the beginning of the spring semester, the SCCS sponsored a well-attended talk by Marc Dumic from the Computing Center about the new telephone system and computer network. As a result of Spring Budgeting, we obtained a Quadra 800 to be shared with the Phoenix.

Later in the spring, the student body was told that the general student UNIX access would be removed that summer. After much bickering, a compromise was reached, and the SCCS's role as a Unix server provider began. In July, the old student UNIX machine, Hemlock (a Decstation 5000/200), was donated to the SCCS by the Computing Center and was named Raptor. In August, Raptor was set up by its initial sysadmins: Phil Brandenberger '94, Geoff Noer '95, and Jim MacLeod '96 (formerly '95). Also that summer, Robert Richardson '95, Geoff Noer '95, and Dan Wells '96 (formerly '95) attended MacWorld Boston.


The 1993-94 Academic Year


In the fall, Raptor went online for the first time. By the end of the year we had several hundred users. Initial services included acting as a login workstation, a mail server with POP facilities, etc... Set up were several mail and news readers, most of the GNU software, and system-wide mailing lists through Majordomo. Late in the fall the NCSA World Wide Web server was set up, quickly becoming a very popular service (especially noteworthy were the pages created by Justin Hall '97 called "Links from the Underground" which went online in January).

Samuel Weiler '96 and Dan Wells '96 (formerly '95) attended MacWorld Boston.


The 1994-95 Academic Year


People were too busy to do much in the fall besides keeping Raptor running. In the Spring, extremely heavy WWW usage caused raptor to crash several times. In addition, Raptor had over 600 users by this point and was struggling from increasing loads. In hopes of alleviating the problem, the SCCS went in search of new hardware. We ended up purchasing a Dec Alpha 3000/400 from Prof. John Boccio using money from President Al Bloom and the Student Budget Committee. The machine was named Condor.

Very late in the year, we had a meeting to restructure the SCCS. The new constitution, still in draft form, is available for your perusal. Most importantly, the number of oficers dropped to three, and a Unix policy board was formed.


Note that this year, due to a small number of nominations, officers were elected by a vote of confidence.

The 1995-96 Academic Year


This is the first year under the new constitution. Organization was much improved by the exstence of several executive boards. The Policy Board proved indispensible for the resolution of sticky issues. Webmaster was made an official SCCS position. It's membership included three individuals who were not sysadmins.

This was the year when we went to a two machine cluster- raptor for serving web pages, and condor, our new alpha, for logins and all other services.


Although there were several nominees for president, Ross was the only nominee for treasurer and secretary. Winning both races, he chose the position of treasurer. The secretary position was filled in the fall.

Fall semester policy board representatives were:

Spring semester policy board representatives were:

The 1996-97 Academic Year


Early this year, the SCCS was immortalized as a permanent institution. Sadly, our first machine, Raptor, suffered a fatal motherboard flame-out. Although this was tragic and represented the end of an era, we recovered and subsequently strengthened our position, showing that we aren't, ultimately, just a bunch of geeks attached to an old DecServer. Raptor was replaced by a 200 Mhz Pentium machine running Linux, which we named Kestrel.

Officers this year are Ross Dickson, President and Aaron Marsh, Treasurer. The sysadmin staff are : Matt Reed, Evan Dorn, Jordan Hay, Colin Schatz, Aaron Marsh, Elaine Huang, Justin Paulson, John Rieffel, and Allison Marsh. Webmasters are Evan Dorn, Dave Lewis, and Justin Hall.

The 1997-98 Academic Year


Harken the year of the Aviary. After long debate and fighting, the SCCS was granted a space on the 5th floor of Parrish Hall. After long hours refurbishing and getting this room in a condition for the SCCS, the space was finally ours. As we awaited our move, construction delays left our machine in the Papazian sub-basement for one more summer. This would be the summer from hell. Condor, during the Summer of 1998, was victim of an extended power outage that left it practically crippled. It is at this point the new staff returned to campus to pick up and move on.

Officers this year are: Aaron Marsh, President; Christopher DiLeo, Treasurer; Jordan Hay and Elaine Huang, Secretaries. The sysadmin staff are: Aaron Marsh, Elaine Huang, Jordan Hay, Larry Miller, John Rieffel, Allison Marsh, Dan Wood, Justin Paulson, Christopher DiLeo, Christopher Cutler, and Christopher Fanjul. Webmasters are Dylan Humphrey, Dimitri Levin, Christopher DiLeo, Larry Miller, and Justin Hall.