A Brief History
Every Redbrick member has their own personal history of the society, and together we have a collective personal history of events. The society independently has it's own history rooted in facts, developments, events. Whether we can accurately describe all these views of our beloved society in true glory (with warts & all, for better & worse) remains uncertain, and we each develop a view of the history the more we learn and the more involved we become. Given all this, here's a loose overview of things anyway. Maybe we can work with it. Add or change bits that you know about, if you can!
"In October 1995 a group of friends got the ball rolling on the idea of a computer network in DCU, run by students for the students". These immortal words have been on every society website since 1998, and still capture what redbrick essentially is (friends, vision, education, cooperation, proactivity). The first Redbrick machine was a personal computer of drjolt, dubbed 'Nurse', named after a Therapy? Album. It was originally put on the network in the School of Computer Applications, hidden under a desk at the back of the LG01 computer lab, but first went online from under a desk in QG07 in the Business School (Computer Applications were unwilling to extend the temporary arrangements up to this point). This was early 1996 when Redbrick was switched on for the first time. Soon after, Redbrick was granted a 'subnet' (136.206.15.X) from the wider college organisation, DCU Computer Services (CSD), giving the society more official status within the university.
The first event took place in Fibbers (now Bacchus) of Parnell Street on October 17th, organised by some users in the chat room. The first event organised by the committee however, dubbed "The First Fiddle", took place in The Mean Fiddler, and also was the first Intersocs event. A more renowned event was held at Christmas however, the month after the First Fiddle, in the Jolly Beggarman pub (now Kitty Kiernans) on Collins Ave, just down the road from DCU. This event has become legendary for stories of thayl climbing & falling off a nearby phonebox, and further trouble at a house party later on where uninvited local ruffians ("scumbags") were dealt with by some of the society's more intimidating early members.
Redbrick as a system for users consisted of a Bulletin Board System (BBS), which were popular at that early time of the Irish internet. These were systems that people could dial into from home, post messages to, chat, all in a purposely-designed program on a text based terminal. Redbrick's BBS had a popular chat room area and a strong newsgroup culture. Many famous discussions and posts took place, and the BBS system is remembered fondly as an easy to use central hub for society members to communicate.
In 1996/1997 both the BBS and the social events started gaining notoriety, and the society grew gradually as a result. Justin Moran (cain) joined the BBS as a journalism student to write an article for An Tarbh which captures some of the spirit at the time. A popular part of the BBS was "Redbrick House" (developed by pooka), a custom style chat area in the style of a house, with different rooms. Every member joining the chat gained a certain "level" depending on how many hours they had spent, which gave a certain level of 'epic'ness to the whole thing! Overall, there was a good social spirit to the society, which centered on the BBS and newsgroup, as well as the events of the time and even a "table" in the canteen that would regularly be be populated by Redbrick or STOCS people throughout the day.
Growth & Momentum
Early society growth, the spock tenure, membership cards, Alt Rag Ball, huge fresher events, dyed hair Redbrick was physically housed at this time, into the open CSD computer labs in the Henry Grattan building, housed in a single rack (spray painted black) which was dubbed "The Monolith".
DCU's Biggest Society
By this time, Redbrick had grown to over 1,000 members, officially becoming the biggest society in DCU. Powerful systems, powerful influence. Awards & accolades. Recognition.
Website/webgroup project, the network grows, clusters, IPv6, contributing to technical projects in Ireland like SAGE-IE and ILUG.
Potential infights post-success, Kamili, Drusilla tenures, society happenings around this time? Later Angelkat's chairship, more infighting and the robby incident. Attol too.
The first time the associate presence becomes sizeable, the effect on the society's dynamic
Living in the Redbrick room, consolidating the network, Wavehunt, Techweek
Anniversary organisation, the event, the collage, the general spirit, associate meetups, the death of drjolt
The first system was a single computer (Nurse), an Intel 386 with 8 MB RAM and 800 MB of disk. A few months later this changed to 2 x 4.6 GB disks. "Mother" replaced this system a year later (Dec 1997). "Enigma" arrived a year after this (October 1998), running FreeBSD. Up to now the systems had been stored in CSD, Henry Grattan Building. A move of the systems took place in September 2000, to the Publications Office in the Hub. A desktop computer donated by CA was used as dax.redbrick for CTYI kids, set up in February 2001. A Sun E450 system (largest donation to a student society in DCU, from Sun Microsystems) arrived in April 2001 and went online as "Prodigy".
Several years later, Redbrick was running on a Sun T2000 donated by colmmacc, and a pair of Dell Poweredge 2650s. A pair of encom disk heavy boxes were both during 2007, one to take over login, and increase users quotas, and one to finally replace enigma, running backups (although, the only original bit of enigma at that point was the case.). The year after, a pair of sun boxes (morpheus and daniel, named after dream from sandman) were bought, one to take over primary services, and one to allow users to play with VMs. A pair of dell poweredge thingies (that's a technical term) were also bought off adverts.ie to do localbackups (when not refusing to boot) and adminy stuff respectively.
Helpdesk tutorials, Open labs, System Adminstrator & Webmaster tests, helpdesk webpages & wiki, student projects (CA class)
[ In progress page by kpodesta - due to be finished August 2006. Stick in whatever you want though! Word. ]