On July 5, 1996, Winternet, (Minnesota's largest Internet Service Provider), was the object of a hostile takeover. Mike Horwath, our System Administrator, as well as owner, has been ousted by his erstwhile silent partners. The entire staff is reputed to have walked out in support of Mike, at least according to the new management. (More reliable sources indicate that the entire staff was fired outright.) This is not a case of any mismanagement on the part of the Winternet staff, they are widely seen as one of the finest technical support crews in the nation today. Coincidently, our main authentication server just went down. Rumour has it that the 'new' owners powered it down without first running through the shutdown procedure, fearing reprisals from Mr. Horwath.

What's the point of all this? Frankly, I'm pretty pissed off. I've been a customer of Winternet since the early days, and have watched Mike Horwath & crew pull off some amazing work during the growth of this company. An Internet Service Provider is more than a pile of high-tech equipment, it's built from the interaction between the userbase and the ISP staff. Confidence is low, my friends, and the Doc is bumming.

Those of you who are interested in keeping up on this struggle can check out this excellent archive maintained by our own RadParker. Thanks Al, we all really appreciate the work you're doing on this one. Al is also maintaing mail links for our ousted Winternetters, as well as a constantly updated log of all Emails relating to this struggle. Hey, I promised you guys a little graphic you could use to show your support, here it is...

I'll recomend you set this up as a link to "http://www.visi.com/~rad/" for easy access to Al Iverson's updated situation report.

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