Kremvax was originally a fictitious Usenet site at the Kremlin, named like the then large number of Usenet VAXen with names of the form foovax. Kremvax was announced on April 1, 1984 in a posting ostensibly originated there by Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko. The posting was actually forged by Piet Beertema of CWI (in Amsterdam) as an April Fool's joke. Other fictitious sites mentioned in the hoax were moskvax and kgbvax. The actual origin of the email was mcvax, one of the first European sites on the internet.
In fact, it was only six years later that the first genuine site in Moscow, demos.su, joined Usenet. Some readers needed convincing that the postings from it weren't just another prank. Vadim Antonov, the senior programmer at Demos and the major poster from there until mid-1991, was quite aware of all this, and referred to it frequently in his own postings.
Eventually, he even arranged to have the domain's gateway site named kremvax.demos.su, thus turning fiction into truth and, according to one account, "demonstrating that the hackerish sense of humor transcends cultural barriers". Antonov also contributed some Russian language material for the Jargon File.
- ^ Beertema, Piet. "The kremvax hoax". godfatherof.nl. http://www.godfatherof.nl/kremvax.html. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- ^ Novak, Asami (24 March 2008). "10 Best: April Fools' Gags (the Web Is Closing for Spring Cleaning!)". Wired. http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/magazine/16-04/st_best. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- ^ Raymond, E. S.: "The Jargon File", Kremvax entry, 2006
This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, which is licensed under the GFDL.
- History of Moscow
- Science and technology in Russia
- April Fools' Day
- Internet in Russia
- 20th-century hoaxes
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