derkeiler.com was created to fulfill a simple personal need: The archiving of a few mailing-lists.
The first server
Back in 2001, someone gave me an old SUN Sparcstation 10, which previously controlled a magnetic resonance tomograph.
Like every tech who get’s a new computer I reinstalled the operating system. Because the Sparcstation has neither a floppy nor a cdrom drive, i installed RedHat Linux via bootp.
Unfortunately, the graphic card needed a special driver, which was impossible to get at this time.
So … afterwards it was quite a bad idea to re-install the os, and i had a sparc with a nice sun keyboard, optical mouse and monitor which could only be controlled with a serial cable.
The first home
At this time I worked in a datacenter in Frankfurt/Germany, and had the chance to place the computer there.
Now i had a tiny old server on the internet (which looked quite funny beside his much bigger and faster brothers and sisters).
At the same time, I started reading some security mailing lists. I thought it would be cool to archive the posts (to search for vulnerabilitys), but noticed very fast that a mail client is the wrong tool to achieve this goal.
After some experimenting I found that storing mails as html works quite well, so the first archive was created.
A colleague of mine (Lars Eufinger) gave my server its name: der-keiler.de.
DerKeiler was born.
If you wonder what this name means: It’s a german word play on Keil (my last name) and translates to The wild boar.
Although the mailing-list archive was only created to archive my personal mailing-lists, it became relatively fast a popular and reliable site for many people around the world (even though it looked quite ugly at this time).
In the following years I added lots of mailing-lists and newsgroups which cover topics I’m interested in, like UNIX and programming.
In this way, a personal site became one of the biggest usenet archives on the net.