Lorry has been my alter-ego for a long time, it was used since 1981 on networks, first as a pure nickname, then, later, as a way of separating my actions from those of Lorry. The history of the character is varied, and can be heard far better from other people than from me.
In 1984, Lorry was responsible for running his first MUD. It was written by him and a friend (Neil Burgess) and ran on a Prime 2250 at Accrington and Rossendale College. The system was called MUCK (Multi User Computer Kingdom) and, with more than 4 or 5 users on, took at least 5 minutes per move. It was not a fast system, but none the less, it was a good start.
By 1987, Lorry had taken over the Essex Systems (MUD itself, and the thing he was to become best known for, MIST) and ran them, and just about every other publically available 'leisure' system on UK academic networks until 1992. Politically, this did me a lot of good, personally, it didn't. Bill Wisner and myself will argue who it actually was who exported MUDs to the rest of the world, I certainly mailed him the first US AberMud distribution, but I reckon that his originally distributing the AberMuds, Diku's and LPMuds makes him far more responsible for this crime against humanity. The only thing I can say I am pleased about is that some, to this day still have a credits list that actually credits the original contributers (that was a sarcastic remark, by the way).
From 1989 to 1995, Lorry had mainly switched to IRC, from the early Eris days (it wasn't worth using, don't worry) going through vast amounts of IRC operators, keeping up the 'top kills' score for months at a time, and eventually, when the environment changed from being hundreds to thousands of users, boring of that and becoming a normal, if a tad outspoken, user, vowing never again to get involved unless someone paid him large amounts of money to do so.
In 1991, I shut MIST down because there was no place for it any more. The Essex DEC 10 was being scrapped and I declined all offers to port the systems to Unix or VMS. The Essex systems were excellent, I would say that to this day, a well managed Essex system would knock spots off anything currently available; but, it was old, it was past its day and, in the true MIST way... Better it die in glory than rot in medioctity.
Lorry, as Lorry is pretty quiet these days, mainly sticking to IRC, and some of the odder aspects of his personality infecting me (Michael), leading the press to cristen me "The Information Superhighwayman" at some point - I guess he was pretty much responsble for the events leading up to the major split of EFnet and IRCnet in 1996 and is still around as a 'user with too many privileges' on IRCnet.
What of the future? Well, who knows, watch this space, maybe?
Michael Lawrie. 27th November 1995. 19th June 1997.