A History of Net 134 (Southern Alberta)
By: Michael A. Grant (NC 134) Aug/2003
Net 134 has a long history, stretching back to the 1980's. It once had
more than 150 members. Most of the "old timers" are long gone
now. A few still can be found in the CALGARY.GENERAL internet
newsgroup, but stories of the Net's past are pretty scarce these
days, so I can only rely on my own memory, and what few documents
I have found.
Net 134 used to have a local net policy. Coordinator positions
were elected, and a recall mechanism was implemented. (The policy
recognized that per P-4.07, the RC appoints the NC, so it stated
that NC election results were "recommendations" to the RC.
Besides the usual NC and NEC positions, Net 134 also incorporated
an elected LEC (local echomail coordinator) position. This was
seen as necessary because there was at one time considerable
local traffic in echos that were only distributed within the net.
There were some 31 local echos listed in the CAL_ECHO.LST file.
Here are some names of people who have served as Net 134 Coordinators.
Dates shown are not when these persons took over as NC, but rather are
dates during which they are known to me to have held the position.
Jan, 1988 -- Lloyd Miller
Sept, 1988 -- Kathi Crockett
Nov, 1989 -- Norbert Lange
Dec, 1995 -- Randy Morgan
Aug, 1997 -- Rob Savage
Feb, 1998 -- Jason Low
Oct, 1998 -- John Becker
1999-2003 -- Kevin Klement
Current NC -- Michael Grant
Long Distance Echomail delivery within Net 134 also has an interesting
history. Many older nets used to have Cost Recovery Plans to pay for
the high costs of
LD phone transfers or Internet access, which with the slow speeds of
modems in those days could be quite expensive. These CRP's at times
could be quite controversial, as participation in them was sometimes
attempted to be forced upon a net's members, and accusations often flew
of profiteering on the part of the CRP's administrator.
Net 134 found a unique approach to the problems of high transfer costs
of LD echomail. The sysops of this net formed a association
called the Southern Alberta Sysop's Association (SASA). SASA was an
incorporated body registered with the Alberta Government. Membership
was voluntary, and the association operated on a basis of a refundable
$25.00 deposit required for joining, plus a $5.00 a month fee for
echomail. A treasurer was elected from amongst the members during it's
annual meetings, who's duty it was to keep track of payments and write
the cheques to pay for services and equipment needed. SASA was intended
to be a non-profit organization, and all monies received were used
strictly for the payment of LD charges, internet access fees, and
equipment costs. Any extra monies were reserved in trust for future
A central LD echomail hub was set up on auto pilot at 1:134/1, which
initially provided LD echomail feeds to any SASA member in 1/2 hour per
day blocks, for the $5.00 fee paid by it's members. A member's system
could download all the echomail it could receive during it's alotted
1/2 hour, but if it exceeded the 1/2 hour limit, it would be billed
additional fees. The 134/1 hub connected to a remote FTP site over the
internet, using a DOS-based program called FNOS (previously JNOS) that
automated dial ups and file transfers through the use of scripts. The
FTP feed for several years was provided to Net 134 by Planet Connect,
until June 1997,
when the feed was switched over to island.net, a former R17 Rhub that
was located in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island.
In the year 2000, island.net shut down, and Sid Lee, the treasurer of
SASA and final operator of the 1:134/1 hub, decided to shut down his
system as well. It was decided amongst the remaining members that SASA
was to be wrapped up. The remainder of money held in trust was donated
to charity. Sadly, Sid passed away just a few months after he
transferred the Net 134 LD echomail hubbing duties to myself.