The Zets

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.

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.