The Zets are an informally organized social group with no particular purpose. We were founded on January 30th, 1986 and have used computer systems to communicate from the beginning. We are not an underground cracking organization.
The organization is really defined by its members. Here is what some of the membership has to say about the Zets:
Why do Zets have those silly nicknames?
Those nicknames are "Aliases" and were originally easy to remember entries in an email address book. The group started as a computer mailing list of friends at the University of Pittsburgh. In those days email addresses at Pitt were hard to remember for two reasons.
do315622while a typical VMS account name was
20732_104136. Yuck!! To send email from the UNIX system the the above VMS address one had to address it as
20732_104136@cisvm2.UUCP. Now try to imagine trying to remember this for a group of 30 people.
To get around this, the early Zets used a feature of the UNIX email
system called the
.mailrc file that allowed a user
to have an address book consisting of "aliases" for email addresses.
They kept a master copy of this file consisting of the aliases and
email addresses of all of the members and shared this file among
each other. It was natural for these students to pick fun nicknames
rather than use their real names for these aliases. The use of aliases
has continued to this day as useful usernames to our computer systems
and indexes into our email forwarding and webpage forwarding services.