Back in 1992 there was hardly any Internet access for anyone here in what is now know as .nl

Most computers at home were standalone units and at best the user called a Bulletin Board System to interconnect with others.

At companies is was not much different although many used Novell Netware to share files and printers via a local network, Tokenring mostly but innovative people on a budget used ethernet.

In those days there was a pesky little magazine called Hack-Tic which published ways to use technology in alternative and innovative ways. There was also a yearly “tradeshow” called “HCC Beurs” in Utrecht where nerdy computer people grouped together to look at the new or cheap stuff all the vendors had bought.

The magazine had a stand as well, selling old issues and electronics. But in 1992 all this changed. There was a new “workgroup” called Hacktic Network and its mission was to provide people with real internet access at shared costs.

This was done by getting our own leased-line to the backbone provider NLnet and hook up a public unix to that to which people could dial in. That unix system would go by the name XS4ALL.

However without any money this is hard to do, therefore a money collecting scheme was thought of. The sales magazines and electronics would go to cover the costs of the magazine but we would also sell floppies with goodies and the earnings of those would go directly to the founding of the HackTic Network.

Dial-in speeds where 9600 or 14k4 at best. The bandwidth of a 1440 or 720 Kb floppy was enormous. We curated an interesting collection of goodies and put those on floppies: A collection Digital Hacker Magazines (Phrack etc) spanning 10 disks, PGP, Waffle and Unix password hackers. The two bestsellers where no doubt the “Virus Construction Kit” with sources to build your own DOS virus and the Novell disk which featured the “knock.exe” tool by Itsme which guaranteed gave you sysadmin access to any Novell server.

We also ran a complete set of 386BSD disks; not sure what happened to those but all those curated “Hacktic Collection” disks have been sitting here in a box-in-a-box-in-the-closet until last week. Coincidentally I also had an old 1U server sitting around with a floppydisk in it. And guess what. They all still were 100% readable.

I remember days and nights of floppy-swapping with my Atari 1040-ST to master all those floppies for the HCC Beurs. After the first day we had to master even more as some of them sold like crazy.

Imaging these floppies to harddisk was done in less that 20 minutes, zipping it up and uploading was done in minutes.

I hereby present the Hectic Collection, with the HEU-GW-MASTER thrown in as an extra. It was the KA9Q setup we used for the first public gathering the HEU

Have phun.

Download the Hack-Tic Collection