is a multipurpose Linux
-based server which is operated for the benefit of the individual account holders. The original host name of this system was sakima.octoraro.org, which was established on the Internet
in September, 1995
. The host is still reachable by the original name and recently celebrated 10-years of continuous service. 'Sakima
' means 'Chief' in the language of the Lenni Lenape
The first sakima machine was a Dell Pentium 100 with 8 megabytes of memory. Full Internet services including e-mail and web hosting started in September, 1995. The machine ran the Slackware distribution of Linux. Like most Linux machines of the day, the Internet connectivity was courtesy of the dorm-room Ethernet access, in this case in room 222 of Killinger Hall of West Chester University in West Chester, PA.
Sakima quickly proved to be popular among the students at West Chester. The campus-wide e-mail messaging platform at the time, MS-Mail, was a horrible system and often messages sent to outside destinations via SMTP would take several days to be delivered. In many cases snail mail was faster than the MS-Mail system at West Chester. MS-Mail also had no remote access capabilities, requiring students to use the often crowded PC labs scattered around campus.
Sakima's services were much simpler and efficient; mail was delivered on average within seconds to remote machines or universities. The use of simple  (later ssh) and Pine as a mail client was very popular, as this combination allowed easy remote access to mail and information. Many users also ran Eudora with sakima's new POP3 server.
The primary DNS server for octoraro.org was sakima itself, and with assistance from the Computer Science department at WCU, a couple of DECstation ULTRIX machines served as secondary nameservers.
Within a few months there were close to 100 students using sakima for primary e-mail, simple web hosting and file-server services via SAMBA. When it came time for Christmas vacation and the dorms were set to close, special permission was sought and granted from the West Chester University Residence Life department to permit the machine to remain turned on during the break. This allowed students to continue to use sakima services, even while other WCU computer services were turned off, disabled or otherwise unreachable.
Sakima was granted membership into IvyNET
in the fall of 1995. IvyNET was a similar, but larger, student-run computing services community from Penn State University
. As both sakima.octoraro.org and various IvyNET hosts became popular, sakima eventually started to serve as a secondary, and later primary, DNS
server for the Ivy.NET domain. The primary hostname of sakima changed from sakima.octoraro.org to sakima.Ivy.NET the same year. Eventually sakima would inherit primary MX
mail delivery for Ivy.NET, as well as hosting the [www.Ivy.NET] web site
Summer of 1996
With sakima gaining popularity among a large community of users, and with the impending closure of the dormitories for summer break, it became necessary to find some sort of temporary hosting for the services provided by sakima.
While rummaging through an old closet in the Computer Science department at WCU, a NeXT Cube workstation was found next to some unused laser printers and stacks of ULTRIX manuals. After a fair bit of encouragement the machine was coaxed into booting from the NeXT magneto-optical disk and quickly named 'nutiket.octoraro.org'. Nutiket was then placed in the corner of a lab in the WCU Computer Science department, where it looked like it had been there forever performing very important duties. In fact, it became the summertime home for sakima and IvyNET.
Nutiket functioned well as a temporary home for sakima users. The MO disk was painfully slow and once in a while someone turned the NeXT machine off, but in all the services were respectably available.
Fall of 1996
In the fall of 1996, sakima was moved to a dedicated machine so that the original Dell Pentium 100 could be used for more academic purposes, such as playing DOOM
. The new sakima machine was a generic clone 80386
/33 with 8 megabytes of memory, two 10baseT ethernet cards and two huge, heat-spewing 90 decibel full height 20 gigabyte Micropolis
hard drives. The machine ran the Slackware
distribution of Linux
and also functioned as an IP Masquerade
) router and IPX
bridge. This enabled sakima to continue the underground IT services, and allowed game playing and web surfing on the Pentium 100.
Throughout the 1996-1997 academic year, sakima continued to quietly support a community of users at West Chester and across the Internet. As the spring of 1997 approached it became clear that dorm-room connectivity would no longer be an option in the fall of 1997.
A new sakima was built, this time much larger, heavier and official-looking. This 4th Generation of Sakima was an 80486 DX2/66 with 16 Mb RAM and multiple hard drives connected to an EISA hard drive controller. With permission from the Computer Science department, the machine was placed in the labs in Andersen Hall, in the same corner where the NeXT cube had served the year before. From here sakima would run for two and a half years until the fall of 1999. It is doubtful today that anyone could freely colocate for 30 months a personal machine at a university.
In January 1998 the 80486 was retired and sakima was upgraded to a DEC Multia
with a 166 MHz 21066 CPU. Sakima continued to operate from the same location at West Chester. At this time the switch was made from Slackware
to Red Hat Linux
on the Alpha platform.
October 1999, sakima said goodbye to West Chester University
and was moved to the Philadelphia
datacenter of DCANet
on Church Street in Old City Philadelphia
In the summer of 2001, the Multia was retired and sakima was moved to a DEC AlphaServer
AS1000/200. This DEC machine previously served as the main machine for Philadelphia's LibertyNET
. Sakima continued to serve e-mail, web hosting and multipurpose UNIX functions for several dozen individuals. The AlphaServer ran Red Hat Linux
The Spring of 2003 saw sakima transition back to Intel
architecture. Due to an unfortunate minor fire involving the hard drives inside the AlphaServer
, it became necessary to quickly assemble a replacement machine to serve as sakima. A Dell PC, equipped with a 450 MHz Pentium
II CPU was pressed into service and services were restored. The new sakima ran Red Hat Linux
9 and continued to be located at DCANet's Philadelphia facility.
2004 was a busy year for sakima. While career transitions were being made by sakima's caretaker, the machine was unfortunately turned off with no prior warning and taken out of service by the hosting provider, and was no longer welcome to be located in the facility. The resulting outage of approximately two weeks was the longest sakima service disruption in history.
While sakima was out of service, some time was taken to refresh the hardware, software and prepare the machine for life in a future home. Redundant disks were installed in a RAID, memory upgraded and the system cleanly installed to Fedora Core 3. The Dell PC was still the base system.
Sakima was then moved to the home of IvyNET, located in New York City, where the original IvyNET Minister has graciously provided power and connectivity to the machine. Ironically the IvyNET site in New York City had an SDSL circuit from DCANet, which allowed the IP addresses sakima used in Philadelphia to be re-routed to the New York location. Sakima was moved to a new location but did not have to renumber.
After moving to New York City, sakima also was assigned its first IPv6 Internet address.
In 2005, sakima was forced to renumber its IPv4
interface due to unfortunate difficulties encountered with the DCANet SDSL
circuit and a DDOS
attack which had an adverse effect on other DCANet customers.
Ten Years of Service
Sakima continues to serve a community of computer and Internet enthusiasts. Anyone who has ever had an account on sakima can still use the e-mail address and shell account. Several sakima users have been using their accounts for primary e-mail for 10 years, and will continue to do so in the future.