Welcome to Hyperreal

Hyperreal's Mission Statement

Hyperreal is a resource and a home on the Internet for information and activies surrounding the memes of music, dance, art, altered states of consciousness, and experimental ways of expressing those memes over the wires. Information like this doesn't want to be free, it NEEDS to be free, and it needs a place to be expressed independent of any overriding responsibility to a larger institution.

This is a home for projects involving topics and ideas that don't have an appropriate home on an educational server or tied in with any company.

What is Hyperreal?

In 1992 I started an email-based mailing list focused on the San Francisco rave scene, called "SFRaves". Shortly after that I was granted access to a spare Sun Sparc 1 sitting in a closet at Stanford, where I was a part time sysadmin, as a host for this mailing list. The Internet was just starting to be used as a transport mechanism for different types of media (music, images, etc) - FTP and gopher were king, while HTTP was something a lot of physicists out at CERN were making noises about. I decided it would be cool to set up an archive of information related to this mailing list I had started - so I collected some flyers and scanned them in, digitized some of the music related to the scene, put up the archives from the mailing list, and suddenly this really cool (and popular) resource came into being.

This machine at Stanford, "techno.stanford.edu", also soon became a home to a number of other mailing lists, such as the Intelligent Dance Music list, and the archive was expanded to include information about all things rave- and techno-related. About the same time I created a couple of accounts for certain folks such as Mike Brown, who were interested in helping develop different areas of the site.

In 1993 Stanford decided they wanted back control of their Sparc 1, which had become totally engaged in traffic from these lists, and I decided it was time to go out and get my own server and set it up on the net. I was working for Wired Magazine at the time, maintaining their web server, so I was able to get permission to set up my own server on the same subnet, connected to the Internet at T1 speeds. Since that time I moved on to HotWired, and then on to a company I cofounded called Organic, where this machine now rests. Hyperreal.com (the name comes from a "Shamen" song) is a Pentium 90 running BSDI 2.0, with 6 gigs of disk space and 96 megs of ram, for the gearheads out there. :)

Techno.stanford.edu was a great machine, but it prevented me from doing something I really wanted to do, which was distribute the workload of maintaining the site among a larger group of people, and serve as a home for others in the culture to spread awareness of their ideas too. This was mainly because disk space was limited and because I couldn't create more than a couple of accounts. Hyperreal is a much different situation - I have a lot of disk space for archiving and I can give out as many accounts as I want now. Woohoo!

As you look around Hyperreal, keep in mind that the vast resources here now have all been contributed by people in their spare times. It's a little rough around the edges, but many of us like it like that.

Update Fall 1997: Hyperreal is now hyperreal.org, to reflect the fact that we're not a for-profit outfit. Also, Hyperreal's hardware has been upgraded to a Pentium II 266 running FreeBSD 2.2, with 256MB of memory and 10G of disk. Whee!

Last modified Wednesday, 31-Dec-1997 19:19:18 PST by
Brian Behlendorf, brian@hyperreal.org