The start of PANIX, the NYC ISP

From: Steven M Jones <>
Date: Sat Jan 15 02:02:35 2005

John Allain and others mentioned PANIX recently on the 90's Internet
Boom thread. I got a response from my friend David Spector, who helped
out with Panix. At the time he was working as a UNIX system manager
and senior systems programmer at NYU's business school.

David identified the systems used as the Mac IIfx, but the IIfx wasn't
introduced until 1990. The IIx was introduced in late 1988. Since he
pegs the time as early 1988, the machines in question must be a Mac II
with PMMU; David still has the receipts somewhere and might verify
this sometime. This period would correspond with the announcement of
A/UX in February of 1998. (These introduction dates are taken from the
book Apple Confidential 2.0 by Owen Linzmayer.)

Here's what David had to say:


With regard to PANIX...

In a nutshell, I helped start PANIX, which was funded by my old friend
Alexis Rosen, by supplying the developer discount that bought a couple
of MacIIfx's. I provided the UNIX expertise to get everything up and
running; they ran A/UX and we used nuBus-based serial cards (name
escapes me at the moment... I'll surely remember it later). At the
time I was the Senior Systems Programmer at NYU's Graduate School of
Business (long before it was the "Stern School of Business."

The original machines lived for a while on my dining room table in my
5th floor walkup on 18th St & 8th Ave in Chelsea and used my spare
lines with a couple of Zyxcel 9600bps modems until we got the machines
configured correctly and did all sorts of hacking on the serial
drivers for those (at the time) very kool (now, they would be
dreadful) serial boards. After the systems were set up we moved
everything to Jim Baumbach's Brooklyn Height's basement where we had
16 phone lines brought in. The MacIIfx's lived on top of a hand-wired
plexus UNIX machine that Jim had liberated from one of his past lives.

At the time (late 80s) the only other interesting dial-up in NY was
Echo (East Coast Hang Out) run by Stacey Horn; I mean there were lots
of BBSes but nothing at all resembling either Echo or PANIX. Echo, by
the way, was considered by most people to be the East Coast equiv. of
TheWell. I had an account on echo for a zillion years... still have
my panix account too, of course..

As an ex-Systems Programmer from Courant (the NYU Academic Computing
Facility) I arranged for Panix to get mail and news from NYU via UUCP
(Bill Russell, a great friend and mentor, was NYU's Network Manager);
the path was ...ihnp4!{cmcl2,acf4}!panix. They didn't get a real
Internet connection until the ARPAnet/NSFNet split happened and the
rules loosened up which if I recall correctly was a UUNet connection
in about 1990.

..ah! those were the days...

feel free to pass on to whomever might be interested in such
historical tidbits.

David HM Spector

Received on Sat Jan 15 2005 - 02:02:35 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:37:44 BST