NannyMUD has been around for twelve years now, and it has gone great changes of time. The following is a timeline of some of those changes.
1990 The game was brought to Linköping by Mats on April the 20:th this year and set up to run at the Computer Science Department. First login was by Mats on April the 23:rd. The first machine used where named Majestix, and the game was then called MajMUD. After a quick move to another machine, named Brutalix, the game was called BrutalMUD. Brutalix was a SUN-3, quite a modern machine at the time. The game could be up only as long as Mats himself was logged on to the host. If this name had stuck, the MUD would probably have had quite a different profile today.
The game was, at first, an internal affair for the enthusiasts at the
CS department, but in the middle of May, the game was moved to Lysator
and could be reached from outside. The machine at Lysator was called
Nanny, and for that reason and in memory of Mats the God's
grandmother, the game was named NannyMUD. Nanny was a Sequent balance
8000, with 10 Mb of memory and 12 processors. At most eleven players
could be logged on at the same time, and the driver (version 1.1.2x)
where prone to sudden crashes. An uptime of about one hour was not
1991 During the summer of 1991 the number of wizards increased dramatically. The game started growing as the new wave of wizards started to create things. Inflation became a reality.
1992 NannyMUD moved from Nanny to the machine Lysator, which was a sun4/380 with 32Mb memory. The game shared this machine with other services; and since Lysator was somewhat central to the academic computer society, the game had problems. Lysator moved from the underground facilities called PUL-17 to a small house (barrack) behind house B at the campus in the spring of this year.
1993 This year the game got it's first dedicated machine, Kajsa. It was a sun3/280 with 24Mb of memory, and was shared with only one other service: bsxmud.
1994 NannyMUD moved again, this time to the machine Birka, which was a sun4/280. It had at this time 32Mb of memory, and NannyMUD still shared the machine with Bsxmud. Basically Birka was the old machine Kajsa with a new CPU card. This was also the year of The 1:st WORLD MUD Conference.
1995 The year started with a horrendous crash on January the 23:rd. The discs gave up, and much was lost. The backup was about 3 months old due to a broken tape unit at Lysator. For the first time, we asked for donations from the players to get a new machine. After some work Birka had new (rather, newer) discs, faster disc controllers and more memory. The latter was now 64Mb, all in all. Two more disc crashes occured during the summer, but due to regularly occuring backups, the damage was limited. The big problem was the summer heat in the computer hall, and the age of the discs.
After some hard work and an analysis of the driver, Gwendolyn and Profezzorn managed to fix some severe memory leaks. This, together with the new memory, allowed the game to stay up for days, with a theorethical limit of a week.
In late October, the discs on Birka crashed again. The admin then used what was left of the donated money (and then some) to buy new discs. The game was also moved to another machine, named Lysidor, which could make use of the new discs. Lysidor was a sun4/330 with 48MB memory, 16Mb less than Birka. Even so, the better CPU and the new discs reduced the lag, and uptimes were still a few days. It helped that NannyMUD is alone on the machine; BSXMud was not run on Lysidor.
In Late November the number of players were increased to 50 mortals, 20 wizards and 30 admin. A week later the mortal quota was full again during top hours. The increased attendance reduced uptime to about 2 days.
1996 In the beginning of January, Lysidor was moved from the 30-rack to an 80-rack. Thus the machine could be named a SUN 4/380. Some extra memory were also added for a total of 80Mb. The scarce resource then was the CPU, and after about 2 days uptime the game was ripe for a re-boot.
In the middle of March, Lysidor lost some memory that was needed elsewhere in Lysator, and ended up with 56 Mb only.
In late September, the game was moved to a PC, a P90 with 96Mb of memory. The new machine had about 4 times the CPU power of the old one and could easily be upgraded to 128Mb of memory and a P200 as CPU. The switch was made possible by players (both wizards and mortals) donating resources. There was no appearant limit to the uptime, as memory usage flattened out before using all available memory. The maximum number of mortals logged on was raised to 60.
1997 The beginning of 1997 was truly eventful, alot of big projetcs were completed. The most notable was boards, a new system incorporating both mail and normal boards. But the new Interactive Help system also have a profound impact on the game. Now the help is more easily accessible.
In the middle of February new attack and hunting code was added as well as damage types. This will make the game more versatile with respect to combat. Surprisingly this change made the attack code smaller and more efficient.
During the spring, Qqqq wrote a parser to create HTML versions of the lib, with colour codings, auto-generated links to docs etc. At this time, no other MUD we know of have such a feature.
In the autumn, the quest-system was recoded, after it had been shown that a few basic assumptions in the current one didn't hold. Several systems were extended and improved, including the board/mail and help system.
1998 During the year, several systems within the game was improved. Two new systems were introduced; a better wiztool and a general message system. This allowed many guilds and clubs to be improved. In the autumn, we finally reached 100 quests.
This year we celebrated NanyMUD's eight birthday, with both a cake and party. It seems to have been quite a social year, with parties all over the world related to NannyMUD.
On September 25:th, we replaced the old P200 with 96Mb of memory with a PII-350MHz, with 256Mb of memory. We also upgraded the discs, doubling the capacity. The new discs are a factor three faster, too. This new machine allowed us to increase the maximum number of players on to 100.
1999 Many small projects were completed during 1999, such as the refreshing of many quests. This had to effect that old quest cheats got obsolete, which had rather great impact on the frequency by which they were solved.
2000 This year was dominated by problems. NannyMUD has traditionally allowed the coders to have read access to many things inside the MUD. This year that privilegie was abused to steal the lib code and spread it. This was done by a man from Romania. There was also massive cheating discovered from the same country. At the end of the year, a change was done to the system by which players can become coders.
In the summer, much work was spent on security issues. Also, a system of layered sensitivities was created and replaced the use of properties in this area.
In early autumn, the requirements for quest-points on level was removed. Later, the PK system was revamped, and many guilds were updated.
We had a 10:th anniversary party this year, a great success. It was attended by some 40 people from various countries.
2001 Large changes have been done to the system behind the world. To the normal players, not much can be seen. One notable exception is the help where the firendly system now detects single spelling errors and suggest alternatives.
We had the 11:th Nannyversary this year. Visitors from far places came to Linköping to hunt each other down at the Laser Dome, drink too much and dance through the night.
About the Driver NannyMUD started out in 1990 with a driver by Lars Pensjö (the creator of LPC), and his drivers were what we used for a long time. The last version was 3.1.2 at which point Lars Pensjö dropped the driver bit. It now had mappings as well as sprintf(). The development were then taken over by the locals.
The first to work on the driver were (in arbitrary order) Mats, Padrone, Pell and Lpd. Since then (again in an arbitrary order) the monster has been modified by Oros, Gwendolyn, Milamber, Wing and Profezzorn. Many bugs have been fixed as well as introduced. The driver we have today is heavily influenced by Gwendolyn.
Some famous hacks in Nanny's driver in somewhat cronological order:
The NannyMUD Lib The lib originally came from Genesis, Lars Pensjö's own MUD in Göteborg, together with some castles like Mordenkainen, Kantele and Morgar. Some other areas were later imported too, like Chrisp, Ingis and Akilles. The lib started out as a classic 2.4.5, but of that nothing remains today. About every Arch wizard and High wizard has hacked in the lib at one time or another, but the MUD has never been closed for a recode. It has all been done on the critical system.
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