What Is The Armory?

The Armory is a geek house in Santa Cruz, California, USA. The house Ethernet of this particular geek house is connected to the rest of the Internet via a 1.1Mbps SDSL link through Speakeasy. An assortment of machines resides on the aforementioned Ethernet. Among them is the machine that this web page came from, deepthought.armory.com, a.k.a. www.armory.com. Which brings us to the subject of this web page, because most people Out There who want to know what the Armory is are really asking, What is this machine with all the web pages and users and FTP archives and such? If you want to know more about the house itself and where the name came from, take a look here. As for the rest...

What is Deep Thought?

Deep Thought is an Internet-connected open-access system running SCO UNIX. Open-access means that accounts are provided free of charge to anyone who wants them. Since this system can't support everyone out there who would like an account, we for the most part only create new accounts for local (Santa Cruz area) residents. If that's you, you can request an account by connecting to deepthought.armory.com via rlogin or telnet, or by dialing up the system at 831-423-4810, 8 data bits, no parity, one stop bit. Log in as request. The only general exception to the "new accounts for local users only" rule is for authors of public domain/freeware software packages who wish to have access to a SCO UNIX host with development system so that they can port their software to it. If that's you, request an account as described above and be sure to mention what you are porting in the "extra info" field. If neither of the above describes you, but you'd really like an account anyway, feel free to send mail to explain why you want one.

Who is this "we"?

Actually, "we" is me, John DuBois. I own, operate, administrate, mutilate, and maintain Deep Thought. A couple of others (current and former housemates) administrate the system when I'm away, keep our net link up, keep an eye on the system in general, provide technical assistance, etc.


One of the most common questions I get is "Why do you run this system?" The answer is mostly... because I can. I have the neccessary skill set, have access to an ISP with reasonable rates for a high-speed link, and have free access to the software needed to build a reliable system. It's been up since 1990, and it is apparent that it continues to serve a need unfilled by other options, so I keep running it. More than anything else, it takes a lot of time; time to answer users' questions, deal with the problems they cause and the problems that outside users cause them, do the routine stuff, deal with hardware and software blips and crises, etc. But, it is endlessly fascinating, and often entertaining.

When pressed, I also try to justify the time I spend on it on the basis of what it brings to my job. I'm a software engineer for the Santa Cruz Operation. Before moving to Engineering, I did tech support for SCO for eight years; that's where I acquired the knowledge neccessary to initially bring the system up. At this point, most of my administrative skills, and probably the majority of my UNIX knowledge as a whole, have come from operating this system. Of course, it still helps having access to other Engineers and the Source when trying to resolve problems.

My direct inspiration for creating this system was Jon Luini and the XENIX system gorn that he operated in Santa Cruz starting in the late '80s.


That's all there is to it. The Armory is not a company. There is only one open-access machine here. Most of the web pages here and the users you see logged in have nothing to do with us directly. They're just there to keep me busy and amused ;) And in that vein - if you want to contact the author of one of those pages, you're better off reading this than immediately mailing me, though the latter is more likely to amuse me.
This web page maintained by John DuBois