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What happened to gatekeeper.dec.com?


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The FTP archive on gatekeeper.dec.com, later to become gatekeeper.research.compaq.com, first went on-line in the late 1980's. It was assembled from spare parts and brought to life by Paul Vixie. Located at Digital Equipment Corporation's Western Research Laboratory (DECWRL) in Palo Alto, California, it was maintained by a handful of volunteers from Digital Corporate Research. The spare parts were eventually replaced with production hardware.

In its heyday, gatekeeper was a prominent Internet FTP site. Just about any public domain software package you wanted or needed could be found on gatekeeper. One of gatekeepers' primary functions was to give Digital software developers, living on the DECNET based internal corporate network, access to public domain software available from the Internet. (The Digital internal DECNET host, DECPA::, mounted the gatekeeper FTP archive via NFS.) Gatekeeper was also used by Digital product groups to provide software updates and patches to Internet customers.


Over the years, acqusitions, mergers, and business needs have changed the role of gatekeeper. Early in 2008, gatekeeper.dec.com and gatekeeper.research.compaq.com were redirected to apotheca.hpl.hp.com, a shiny new server at HP Labs in Palo Alto, California. ftp.hpl.hp.com is also directed to apotheca.

Apotheca doesn't mirror any of the public domain software repositories that were mirrored on gatekeeper. Now days, there's plenty of Internet sites that do a fine job of serving those bits. This is why you'll find ~ftp/pub rather sparce, compared to what you use to find on the old gatekeeper.

The legacy content from the Digital and Compaq research labs is available in ~ftp/gatekeeper/ .

Richard Schedler
Gatekeeper Archive Administrator 1993-2007
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