Net.Legends Roll Call:

1.0 Let's start with the "good guys", chief amongst which is:

Kibo (You're allowed. -- K.):

Perhaps the single defining hallmark of genius is to do something that noone else has ever done before, or even thought of doing, and make it look blindingly obvious afterwards. James "Kibo" Parry, confronted with the vast reality of UseNet, decided to begin `grep'ing his entire newsfeed for posts containing his middle monicker, "Kibo", in order to look them over and see if they were worth replying to. (Actually, he now uses `agrep', and I do not know if he started out on `grep'.) As a result, any post mentioning Kibo became suddenly apt to generate a followup from the Great One, or at least email from him. As his art was refined, he started also grepping for "xvob" ("kibo" in rot13 encryption) and anti-grepping for "ski boots", for obvious reasons (but not for "kibosh"...). He has become a UseNet term, derived from this activity: grepping your entire newsfeed is "kibozing", and one who does so is a "kibozer" (or, depending on how you feel about them, a "kibozo"). Reference has been seen on alt.folklore.computers to an operating system (not UNIX) having to "kiboze its hard disk" to find files...

He has his own newsgroup, alt.religion.kibology, which is also his own religion (Kibo is a genuine net.god, along with tale and Shub-Internet (q.v.)) where odd posts happen (including regular postings from John_-_Winston (q.v.) and, formerly, Lewis Stiller (q.v.)); alt.exploding.kibo (newgrouped by Kevin L. McBride), its counterpart alt.imploding.kibo (a Carasso [tm] product), and alt.politics.kibo also exist, at various levels of activity. Rec.kibo.hunting, proposed by Joel Furr (q.v.), was never allowed into the RFD stage by tale (q.v.)... Most people and subjects are Allowed to post or be posted about on a.r.k . He has an imitator and opposite, xibo (q.v.); he has a dog, named Spot, who (along with xibo and a few others) is Not Allowed [he's Just a Dog, dammit!]. He has what is probably the canonical example of a supremely warlordable .signature; however, he rarely uses it, preferring the terse " -- K.". Don't ask to see it unless you *really* want to know.

Several other people have adapted or re-invented the newsgrep technique for purposes of their own, including Serdar Argic (q.v.); Larry Wall, the creator of the language perl (who does it, using Perl, to answer Perl questions); Peter Trei (q.v.), who greps for Freemasonry references, and Daniel J. Karnes (q.v.), who apparently does it to inflict himself on newsgroups talking about him. (Reportedly) the National Security Agency was doing it long before Kibo ever thought of it, so watch out...

If you have ever received email from Kibo, your official Kibo number starts out as 1; if you have not received email from anyone whose Kibo number is < n, but have received email from someone whose Kibo # is n, then yours is n+1. Fractional Kibo numbers are imposters (i.e., ted frank (q.v.)); Kibo's own Kibo number is 0. Posts don't count for Kibo number purposes, only email. (A few others have had Kibo number zero as well, earned in various ways; Kibo can also assign a number to you, and came in 2nd in the "most evil net.personalities" vote, so watch it.) Thom Grace claims credit for originating these numbers. He's even been featured [Kibo, not Thom] in a White Wolf gaming supplement (for "Mage"), and in Playboy (no pictorials yet though)... His titles include "Great Leader" and "He Who Greps"; discussions about Kibo tend to attract his attention unless specific precautions are taken (e.g.: Quibeau [doesn't work, don't bother]), and such precautions, in general, don't last very long... Kibo has no real "haunts" other than his group(s) and UseNet in general, but *does* read alt.folklore.computers; HappyNet is ... not yet implemented. Kibo celebrated September in 1994 by having his own death faked by members of his newsgroup, possibly unbeknownst to him... Contrib. post:

< I do not read a.f.c any more that I read other groups;  HappyNet is
< implemented, it's just that YOU'RE not connected to it because YOU have
< a wimpy site!  a.r.k is just about the only group I read *all* the
< articles in, except maybe control.  No, I'm kidding about control.
 FAQs for a.r.k, Spot, and HappyNet are available, as well as an a.r.k IAQ;
a.r.k is archived on in /pub/alt.religion.kibology, along with
Kibo's .sig and Kibo's McElwaine and Plutonium archives, of which he is very
proud. Posts from (James "Kibo" Parry).
< Also posts from other places and names, but they're secret and you can't
< figure out where they are, la la la.

tale (... is an unmoderated newsgroup which passed its vote for creation by ...):

David Lawrence spends time and energy selflessly to maintain order in the news.* hierarchy. He moderates news.announce.newgroups, and has effectively net.god status, in that sysadmins everywhere look for the tale seal of approval on newgroups for the Big Seven hierarchies. Gods help us if he ever has a stroke from holding in criticism of Dave Hayes (q.v.) too long. A man who knows that silence is usually a *very* effective strategy; speaks only when there's something important to say (entirely unlike the rest of UseNet). Posts, rarely, from (David C Lawrence).


: Closely net.related to tale, Gene Spafford compiled the non-bogus group lists; his decisions had such influence across the net that, so the saying goes, `if a newgroup isn't "spaf", it won't be propagated'. This issue came up in the SF-reorganization flamewar, as well as in the much less noisy rec.arts.anime reorganization, with regards to things such as fanfic groups, which Spaf would presumably not permit. If there were an actual head of a Net.Control.Cabal, Spaf was *it* (however, see UseNet Rule #0); he taught them all they know and wrote many of the FAQs appearing in news.answers... he's also known as "Emily Postnews". He also only did really useful important things rather than nutty noticeable things, and thus tended to fade into the UseNet background. Unfortunately, he seems to be more faded than usual these days, and it's generally accepted that he resigned and moved on to Real Life things some time ago (a post from him was recently seen on news.admin.* saying that he doesn't even *read* news these days)...

Peter and Stephanie da Silva:

Also in the category "do many many useful things for UseNet and get noticed very little". Provide voices of reason on news.*. Peter apparently maintains some of the Guidelines; Stephanie maintains the List of Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists, and is one of the few people with the ability to slap Kibo on the nose and get away with it... Peter seems to have originated the "that name is a crawling horror from the sewers of hell" Newsgroup Name Objection, according to Stephanie. May be considered to be Cabal-members-if-there- actually-were-such-a-thing-as-a-Cabal (again, see Rule #0). Stephanie posts as (email:, Peter as .

Ron "Asbestos" Dippold and the UVV (The Knights Who Say Ack!):

Contrib. post:
 Since August of 1993, the USENET Volunteer Votetakers --- The Knights
Who Say Ack! --- have conducted polls for close to a gross of groups.
Co-ordinated by Ron Dippold, who has himself handled several dozen
proposals, they have provided a very valuable service to USENET by
bringing quality and consistency to a observably less than ideal group
creation process.  They do their jobs with no compensation but the
feeling that they are contribution something positive to the network
news community.  It's generally a job done without observable
gratitude, and I don't want it overlooked.
 Knights, on behalf of myself and many group proponents, users and
administrators everywhere, I say thank you.  Well done!
David Lawrence, moderator, news.announce.newgroups
-- The UVV has pretty much put an end to the formerly-common flamewars over vote results; biased vote-takers, vote floodings, and other Usenet Big 7 voting rules violations have dropped remarkably since their inception. They will also do straw polls on various subjects, in addition to their usual CFV vote counting, if asked nicely. Ron posts from (Ron "Asbestos" Dippold); votes taken by the UVV usually are done from; see also: news.announce.newgroups ...

The Warlord:

The original owner of the sword that appears in .sig files all over UseNet, in various forms. Left this plane long ago, but passed on his flame of inquiry and satire to George McQuary (of the McQxxx four-line .sig limit), who in turn shared it with the Inner Circle. They've been doling out said flame in drips and driblets ever since, whenever an especially "warlordable" .sig comes along. So be good little .sig designers, boys and girls, or you may find yourself suddenly transported to a.f.w and mercilessly mocked, and possibly have your .sig even animate itself to death. [I'm putting this under the "good guys" for a good reason, ok?] Does not post himself; others do his work for him.

The UseNet Oracle:

Has its own groups, and . Will answer questions if groveled to sufficiently. Querents are referred to the UseNet Oracle FAQ; beware the "ZOT!". One may also mail with the word "help" in the Subject: line to get information, or with "tellme" or "tell me" in the Subject: line if you have a burning question for the Oracle...

What can we say (besides Frink!)? Check out the Frinkquently Asked Questions, in six parts; bring along your grape soda. Several parts lemur humor, lemur poetry, lemurs swinging from ceiling lamps and plotting to liberate grape soda from supermarkets, and frequently saying "Frink!", to one part actual lemur facts and how you can help this endangered species...