About the Mud Connector

The Mud Connector was created in the fall of 1995 with the intention of providing a consistently updated mudlist listing descriptions for each of the Muds as well as the standard connection info.

The site was first developed on the graduate assistant’s Linux box at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, mainly because it was the only public webspace that I had control over. Later that year the server’s hard-drive crashed and everything was lost, including (I thought) the Mud Connector. At the time I assumed the site was lost and I had no intentions of restarting it from scratch.

Several months later I was working on a school project with classmate Jay Crews and he stumbled upon the Mud Connector page saved in a Netscape cache file. I had no idea these cache files even existed at the time, but I took this as a sign that I should put the site back up and continue working on it… So, the Connector was reborn, and is still kicking 10+ years later.

The Connector has since grown dramatically due to the many mud admins out there that find the service useful (Thanks to all of you). In its present form the text-based mudlist offers 1341 mud listings The Mud Connector also offers an automated submission process, making it easy for mud admins to submit their mud, a random mud-link generator, a dynamically generated Big List of all the Connector’s listings with connection status checked daily, a variety of discussion forums, a social network, and a comprehensive search engine to help users find a particular mud or type of mud. Links to everything mentioned above can be found on this page, I hope you find this service useful.

Icculus is one of the nicknames for Andrew Cowan who grew up in Smithtown, NY and Ridgefield CT, where I attended RHS high school and graduated in 1987. More info is available on My Webpage.

Guitar Playing:

At a very young age I fell in love with music (mostly rock) and it has been a big influence in my life. I have been playing acoustic/classical and electric guitar since I was about 12, I still love to play and have been experiencing some G.A.S lately ( Gear Acquisition Syndrome ). I have recently added a custom Fender Strat, Vox AD50VT, GR-33 Guitar Synth and BR1200 Digital Recording Studio to my collection. More info is available and you can hear some of my songs at my guitar website.

Musical Interests:

The first music I recall really enjoying consisted of Kiss, Iron Maiden and The Beatles (strange, eh?). In 1986 I was introduced to the Grateful Dead and have been a very big fan ever since. I was fortunate enough to see them perform live a dozen or so times before the death of Jerry Garcia, and I must say I agree with old adage: There is nothing like a Grateful Dead Concert. For those of you who haven’t had the chance go to your video store and rent the Dead Movie, a must see for anyone who likes music and psychedelia. I still mostly listen to the Dead, Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers and old Rush, although my wife (Suzanne) periodically introduces me to new music that I also enjoy.

My wife has succeeded in introducing me to alot of great music (new to me), the following music is included: Radiohead (not much to say, these guys just rock), Elbow (interesting sound, mix of old floyd with possibly some Radiohead influence), Doves , Beck (Sea Change is a fantastic album), Gomez , Elliott Smith (probably my favorite singer/songwriter, very much a shame that he is gone) , The Charlatans (they have been around for forever and have alot of great stuff), Ride (no longer together, cant seem to find a website).

Education:

After numerous friends convinced me that college would actually be fun I decided to attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where I majored in:

  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Accounting
  • And then settled down with Economics (which I hold a BA for)

After finishing my degree requirements and finding out I still had 20 or so classes to take for graduation I decided Computer Science would be a fun elective to try. After just one course in Pascal programming I decided this was the end of the line for me and I had found the one career I enjoyed. Upon graduation in 1987 I found the job market to be quite pathetic for Econmists so I enrolled in the master’s program in Mathematics with an emphasis on Computer Science. Do any of you know what it is like to awaken each day with the urge to jump of a building? I hope not, but I had the pleasure of experiencing this everyday for a year while I endured the make it or drop out courses in Math Analysis. I am surprised that I survived it, but am glad nonetheless that I did.
Teaching:

During the Christmas break of 1993 I received a call from the math department head informing me that I would be teaching two courses in college algebra. Keep in mind that I wasn’t due to teach for 6 more months but one of the other grad students kindly had his butt removed from the program, and they thought I was the next logical choice. I must say that I really did enjoy teaching, plus it gave me an outlet for my love of comedy (afterall, you have to have a sense of humor to study Mathematics). I have to admit though, teaching algebra with the tone of a standup comic doesn’t really help to get the point across, which my students will probably attest to. Congies to all of my students who actually learned enough to make it through calculus!

Mudding:

I began mudding on and off during my last years as an undergraduate and during my first year of graduate school it became more of a constant (which probably helped me shrug off the abuse that the analysis courses inflicted on a daily basis). My muds of choice at this time were JediMud, Hidden Worlds, Rivers of Mud and Burning Dikumud. Having been an AD&D® player most of my life I was very much taken with Dikumuds, so I jumped on the chance of playing the next generation, which was at the time called DikuII (maintained by Michael Seifert). During my short stretch (2 years) as a teacher mudding became more than a hobby, it was a way of life. Keeping office hours meant more mudding time so I practically lived in my office, although when students dropped by they had to wait for me to finish slaying the (dragon/wizard/goblin/snake/etc) before I was willing to help. In 1993 I was asked by Michael Seifert ( from Dikumud ) and Brian Clark to co-admin ‘Valhalla MUD’ while Michael was finishing his master’s degree in Computer Science. This turn of events ended up drawing my attentions towards mud management and design, and from that moment on playing just wasn’t as enjoyable to me as designing/creating.

On a side note. For those of you wondering, the name Icculus comes from the Gamehenge songs created by Phish (In the story Icculus is the god of the lizards and author of the helping friendly book). The following songs are highly recommended for understanding the story behind Gamehenge: Colonel Forbin, King Wilson, Sloth, Famous Mockingbird, McGrupp, Divided Sky (more for your listening pleasure since there are no lyrics). Most of these songs can only be found through live shows and bootlegs, search the net for some Phish fanclubs and you are bound to find people willing to make copies of some taped shows.

GlobalMedia Design:

A few months after delving into mud administration I received a call from Brian Clark (Cabal@Valhalla – fellow mud admin) instructing me to learn HTML, CGI programming, and the Perl language. Afterall, how could I offer anything to the construction of GlobalMedia Design, Inc. without a knowledge of the business. This was the beginning of my journey into the world-wide web, which I am still travelling and probably won’t leave until a new medium captures the world’s attention. I am now a partner in the firm (along with Brian and Tammy Kearns) and the head of applications development, which really means programmer. I have developed a number of internet and WWW applications since the inception of GMD, check out Radiation: Intelligent Systems for a detailed list!

Birth of the MUD Connector:

In January of 1995 I posted a question on some of the mud newsgroups asking if there was a demand for a more complete mudlist. The only response I received was from the person maintaining Doran’s mudlist on the web notifying me that there were several lists already available, yet wishing me success nonetheless. Having been a user of Doran’s and Scott’s lists I wanted to create something which went beyond listing the names of muds and their addresses. And so the MUD Connector was born, which gave me a good testing ground for my new knowledge of HTML. The Connector has gone through numerous changes and ups and downs, including a period of being _lost_ due to harddrive failure. After locating the pages in a Netscape cache file, updating the look of the site and adding a search engine things started to look bright for the site as a whole. After winning a few awards including the prestigious Cool Site of the Day and being listed in several internet publications the site’s traffic started to skyrocket, and has been growing steadily ever since. It is my pleasure to keep the site going, expanding and improving and you can be rest assured that as long as there are multi-user games to be played I will be here to list them.

My Wife, Suzanne:

Lastly, I’d like to acknowledge my better half, Suzanne L.B. Cowan. I met Suzanne during my first semester of college and have since been officially off the market. She is persistent in her desire to never mud, having seen the addictive effects flourishing with me for so long. Though I never did get her try a mud, she did enjoy playing EverQuest with me for a short while.

Suzanne and I were married on November 18th, 1997 – in celebration of our 10 year anniversary of dating (yeah I know, she wondered why it took so long also). We now have two wonderful children, Ashleigh Abigail who is now 3 and Zachary Sebastian who is 2. Blissful family life for me now, no complaints here. 🙂


Posted

in

by

Tags: