Dalla rete dell'Università alle reti civili e commerciali: i 'Miners'
From University to civil and commercial networks: the 'Miners'
Stefano Quintarelli
  • My introduction to telecommunications was triggered by a memorable event and a person.
  • The event was the snowfall in January 1985 that blocked traffic and communications over half of Italy.
  • The person: Gianni Degli Antoni.
  • I lived in Verona and studied Information Science in Milan. I flunked an exam because I didn't arrive in time to register at my faculty terminals, in the university library.
  • This gave me the idea, since modems already existed, to logon remotely to the server.
  • I didn't know how to go about this, I spoke … with the janitor… who sent me to the librarian Giancarlo Dalto … who sent me to the Department Supervisor: Gianni Degli Antoni.
  • He said, "Go for it!" and wrote an invitation for other students to join in and help with the project. After one week we held a meeting, ten of us.
  • The first university IT association was born: the "Miners".
  • In this short space I can only give the briefest outline of our work.

Milan Network Researchers and Students

  • Results achieved
    • Remote registering for exams, library bookings, software for thesis papers.
    • IT Laboratory for resident students, BBS Fidonet.
    • Store and forward email network (with support for instructors!).
    • Technical participation and provision of services (the first such) to student bodies (until then within the exclusive remit of the political word).
    • Promotion and participation at European student conferences and support for ERASMUS students abroad.
    • National collaborations: Bocconi, IULM, EARN.
    • International collaborations: with S. Chang, J. McAfee and K. Bostic for BBS and development of antivirus, with G. Pearson for porting of MNP software.
  • At the start the group consisted of just a few more than the "steering committee": me, Vittorio Piceci, Roberto Negro, Alvise Doglioni Majer and Francesco Caridi.
  • At the end there were almost 500 of us, and we had well developed contacts with external groups: from the interface with the Olivetti SEVA network to sysop support for the explosive market of networks.
  • Here our story intertwines with another: the Internet boom in Italy.
  • In 1994 I founded I.NET together with Marco Negri, Franco Groppi and with help from Roberto Galimberti (Etnoteam), our Business Angel.
  • But we owed it all to the unforgettable Miners!
Happy Birthday ISOC