This page essays to detail, in a relatively brief but interesting-to-read narrative, the OOC history of TOS TrekMUSE from its creation until the present day. As such, this page will always be under construction. People are welcome to add facts to it, as they are to all wiki pages. If the wiki is the history of TOS TrekMUSE, then this is the story of that history.
Table of contents
The beginning (1992-1995)
The very earliest stages of TOS TrekMUSE are shrouded in mystery and controversy. Most of this information has been gleaned by Wilco from all sorts of publicly accessible sources, but there's plenty of data that's missing or probably just plain wrong. Therefore, of course, correction is essential.
TOS TrekMUSE is the brainchild and former passion of one of the more unique individuals ever to roam the halls of the Internet. MacGyver is one of the few guys out there who can really claim to have "done it all". He worked on HTTPTunnel, a handy little thing for those who do that sort of thing. He was named one of Chicago's most eligible bachelors (really!). According to his official website, he likes sailing, and has worked with a lot of companies that you should be able to recognize. But, on that nice little resume, the players of this little game are likely to name his creation of TOS TrekMUSE first and foremost.
Today, anybody running a computer with Linux, Windows, or MacOS X, and a reasonable broadband Internet connection, can zip over to pennmush.org, download a tarball, and be running the bare bones of their own MU* in about fifteen minutes. But TOS TrekMUSE went up in February of 1991 or 1992, depending on who you believe, and that was a different era. Windows 3.1 was in its infancy, NSCA Mosaic was still on the horizon and neither Netscape nor Internet Explorer were even shining in their creators' eyes yet. The grand old girl of modern MUSH, MUSE, and MUX, TinyMUD herself, was less than three years old. In the first days of TOS, you didn't just install the latest version of PennMUSH, you made your own damned codebase. And that's just what MacGyver did.
TOS TrekMUSE began on TinyMUSE 1.3, but the MUSE we know and love was borne the old-fashioned way, with original code, some of it allegedly in assembly, all of it kept tightly secured from the public eye. The codebase shared a lot of concepts with TinyMUD, but the old concept of "wizards" was replaced with "Directors". A Star Trek MU* starting up today might simply install ASpace, but if ASpace even existed in those days (it didn't), TOS sure as hell didn't use it. There wasn't a thing in the codebase that could be traced back to any external source, partially because MacGyver steadfastly refused to release his code, but mostly because it was all so new, so original, that it was hard to imagine it having been lifted.
When TOS began is a matter of debate. It has been stated on old Usenet posts (back when flaming TOS was basically what rec.games.mud.tiny existed for) that TOS started as early as February of 1991, which would make it very, very old. A reasonable guess, based on some very persuasive-if-not-forged evidence available on Usenet, that TOS TrekMUSE started in February of 1992, but one year is mere semantics when one is talking about a MUSE that is at least 13 years old, or older than some of the players who have connected to it over the years. Either way, TOS TrekMUSE is the second-oldest TinyMUD descendant* currently running, behind only the seemingly immortal TinyTIM. (TinyTIM has been around since March, 1990. Another old MU* is that of MuseNet which has been around since at least December of 1992.)
* - "TinyMUD descendant" is a catchall term describing MUSHs, MUSEs, MUXs, MUCKs, and other such things clearly inspired by ol' Classic. This way, we avoid having to argue over whether British Legends counts as the original MUD and such agonizing little minutae that distract from the main point.
The MUSE begins
The first site known to have hosted TOS TrekMUSE was at Weber State University, icarus.weber.edu port 1701. The earliest form of TOS was...well, who can tell? In the early days, TOS was apparently enough alike the old TNG TrekMUSE (now defunct, to the sorrow of none) that some TNG admin could accuse MacGyver of stealing their stuff, but comparing the two is impossible now that TNG TrekMUSE is dead and TOS TrekMUSE has moved on from infancy. At any rate, even if one could grab the vintage 1993 TNG database, TNG's accusations of theft seem to have carried little weight outside the ranks of TNG TrekMUSE zealotry.
Some things, we know where different. The Directors were active, getting a young game up and running. There were four empires at the beginning: the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, the United Federation of Planets, and the...Orion Syndicate. Yes, the Orions were an original part of TOS, for some unknown reason that must have seemed awfully good at the time. Everybody's favourite greenskins were a longlived part of the TOS oeuvre, but not as an independent empire: they joined up with the Klingons and later the Federation, to be replaced by the Tholian Hegemony.
The earliest directors included the codesmith Jo, the rocking Tholian Cornwell, Klingon menace Izick and his successor K'tohk, and the ICly ill-fated Natua. The face of the MUSE was different. TOS Space was an entirely different animal in the early days, lacking any sort of combat to speak of. In 1995, the defense console came about, the earliest incarnation of combat arrived on TOS TrekMUSE. Its name was the defense console, and it allowed military vessels to blow up any foreign vessel that incurred on their territory. End of story. You pressed the button, the other guy went boom with no chance for a countermeasure or any hope of survival. In short, motivating somebody to use the defense console against you was an incredibly bad idea. As a result, the four empires naturally avoided territorial incursions against each other. The console is only known to have been used once, when the USS Yorktown shot a Klingon cruiser all to shit.
The glory years (1995-2002)
to be written
The Original Series: The Next Generation (2002-present)
to be written