[tz] Elsie.nci.nih.gov--a bituary.
Arthur David Olson
arthurdavidolson at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 17:28:54 UTC 2015
Elsie.nci.nih.gov, best known as the long-time hostess of the time zone
database, reached end of life on 2015-09-10; Elsie was 34 (or 457 in human
Around the time of Elsie's 1981 arrival, the Laboratory of Carcinogen
Metabolism at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland,
was renamed the Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis; Elsie was named
for the initials common to the old and new lab names.
Elsie began life as a Digital Equipment VAX running BSD UNIX,
reincarnating once as a Sun SPARC running Solaris and then again (in
declining years) as a Dell Optiplex running Windows.
Elsie's early career was in image processing; a software package for
analysis of images of two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels bore Elsie's name.
As the first computer in the lab, Elsie was the family head of (and
file server for) a herd of several dozen computers, all named after cows;
they most notably included Daisy, Flower, Millie (adopted from Australia)
and Abunga (adopted from Hawaiʻi).
Elsie was an early participant in the dial-up UUCP network, net news,
and the Internet, as well as a prototype HTTP server within NCI.
After an unprovoked 2011 attack, Elsie withdrew behind a wall, but
remained active in that more limited sphere.
The lab having been disbanded, there are no survivors; since there is
no longer a server, there will be no service.
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