It was created as an extension of the Honeyboard BBS talker that itself was the result of a challenge from the Computer Unit sysman Rob Ash (immortalised as Rotash Burt the mobile in AberMUD1) that you couldn’t do it because there was no IPC.
So folks (I think Alan, Leon, possibly Jim, not sure as I hadn’t discovered them then) decided to create an IPC mechanism out of shared files.
And thus a legend was born, and a number of degrees ruined.
You could argue that without AberMUD 1 Linux would be in quite a different state these days.. 🙂
Alec has an article about his first experience of AberMUD when it was still part of the talker of HoneyBoard on the Honeywell L66 at Aberystwyth.
For those who’ve seen early AberMUD sources the reasons that rooms had numbers was because they started off as talker channels which you could go to for a chat with someone away from the hoi polloi of channel 0. 🙂
From a personal point of view without that experience in using and programming on a big multiuser system, and the people I got to know both inside and outside of the Computer Unit, I would not be where I am now, having fun with big Linux clusters!