Sad to see it go
My first internet connection, used for many years. RIP.
Pondering how to fill your days? Fear not – if you're still using the Demon sub-domain for your email address, you'd best start telling your contact book that changes are afoot. Vodafone confirmed last year that ye olde UK ISP Demon Internet was for the chop, and it looks like it is now the end of the road for demon.co.uk. In …
brains.demon.co.uk former TAM account here - but senility has driven my beloved IP from the memory tubes - I think the mercury leaked away into our third cell phone company ...
However a memory of the free website still exists a couple of decades later: https://web.archive.org/web/19990203165101/http://www.brains.demon.co.uk/
Quote: "However a memory of the free website still exists a couple of decades later: https://web.archive.org/web/19990203165101/http://www.brains.demon.co.uk/"
That's awesome, I just had a look through your Computing Sites list, and managed to find myself! You gave me 3 out of 5 lol :-D
Unfortunately none of the pics seemed to have been saved on my site, so it looks a bit of a mess! (Never even crossed my mind to go looking for my old site on web archive!): https://web.archive.org/web/19970416013258/http://www.boothy.demon.co.uk/
Classic late 90s handcrafted HTML!
"Classic late 90s handcrafted HTML!"
Yep - - early/mid-90s for me. There were no books on HTML or online tutorials when I started. I took the BBC website source and deconstructured how it worked. I knew I had arived when I got my first tables to look half decent.
Sorry about only 3*. It could have been worse!
Turns out my old site also got three stars (and you slightly mis-spelled my name). Many of my images have survived in the archive and I keep wondering about re-creating the virtual tour with higher-resolution versions of the images. Ahead of my time there.
There's a lot to be said for handcrafted HTML :-)
They never did archive images back then so a lot of my early stuff is now gone, although some text is still there, e.g. http://web.archive.org/web/19970821205517/http://maidast.demon.co.uk/finder/postgres/index.html
Ah those were the days when you only had a text editor to create anything...
"They never did archive images back"
They appear to have archived mine. Perhaps it depends on whether your addressing was relative or absolute.
Just went back a few more years to when we did some very primitive online computer component sales. Feast your eyes on our prices and images for those specs (which were very competitive at the time):
Happy memories, filling in and sending off a form in the back of a book to set up my demon account, waiting to get the account details through the post, excitedly typing them in to my Windows 95 PC with my USR modem connected to the phone line, then... nothing.
Then finding out that I also needed a "web browser", so going out and spending £50 to buy Internet Explorer (as part of the W95 Plus! pack)
My first ISP too, 1998-2014. eridani.demon.co.uk, 126.96.36.199 and later 188.8.131.52 on ADSL. Sadly even by 2014 they were just a shadow of their former selves so when I moved house in 2014 I got VDSL with PlusNet, paying their one-off fee for a static IP. In 1999 I bought my own .co.uk based on my Demon domain, originally it forwarded to my Demon email but later on ADSL I self-hosted and continue to do that to this day. I even wrote a couple of tools targeting their systems, including pop3clean which made use of their *ENV extension to the protocol to delete spam from the mailbox prior to downloading (which I deprecated and removed when they moved to a Microsoft platform as the facility was gone).
So long, Demon, it's been a hell of a ride.
Hi the company I co-owned selling NetManage Chameleon in the very early 90's used demon and email sent using ka9q - if memory works all their DNS servers were named after the devil - clutie - was one I can remember - they also were my personal ISP from 1996 until their shafting. Vodafone only contacted me about demons demise and their own offerings - after I had already moved because of their, by then, totally useless support. I actually received email from Vodafone after demon had ceased trading!! i moved my SMTP feed and its associated domain name to another service provider as I never used the .demon.co.uk handle.
When I became a housing association IT lead and system admin I used demon exclusively hosting our websites with them and implementing an early VOIP over ADSL for all the care homes for the association.
Do I miss them - you bet - their attitude, until about 2012, when given a support problem could not be beaten so here is a much belated thank you to all the business support team from 1993 on - ta Demon - GOoD B'YE!
Likewise (catsoft.demon.co.uk) - they were a good ISP for many, many years until malice and incompetence combined meant that they got borged. First borging wasn't too bad - it was the second one (from memory) that lead to me moving to a decent ISP (first IDNet then Zen).
The final straw was ringing the Helldesk (to fix a recurring fault with my line) and, upon asking if we could skip all the prelims having the drone at the other end scream at me and then put the phone down.
I remember the original switchover - we were warned then that there was a limit to how long the emails would last.
I ported myself to a nice little .org domain two years ago because I swear that there was an announcement that the emails were closing. I also moved to a new provider shortly afterwards, so it might also have been triggered by the closing of the Demon service itself. But I ported the emails over first to make sure there were no issues.
Either way, there was a drastic improvement in service and utility in both email and internet. It is almost as good as the original Demon setup, before Thus and Vodaphone got their hands on it.
Why is Blighty's ISP past worth bemoaning ?
I'm all for respecting the past, but we're talking about an email address here, from a time when your email practically had to be hosted because having your own domain and managing your own email was a much greater hassle.
Today, you can have a domain in five minutes, with ten mailbox addresses for free, administered with a spam filter, backups and a 24/7 guarantee for a pittance.
Really not worth moaning about.
So, how does "ten addresses" compare to "infinite addresses and you can run your own mailserver, in fact you have to, here's one we configured for you: all the configurability you could possibly want"
Really worth moaning about (not that any of that good stuff survived the Vodaphony takeover).
Don't forget that back then, there were few ways of getting online to the internet - lots of walled gardens that tried to pretend the big bad internet didn't exist, and if it did then you really didn't want to go there - but few offerings for real, raw internet. From memory, most of the alternatives meant being a university student or staff and being sufficiently in the good books of the tech people there for them to let you have access via them. Ah, the magic of dialling up with my (by then) 9600bps "screaming fast" modem and waiting for the kick to their mail servers to spew the mail to you by SMTP - this was BP (Before Pop) days.
They really were pioneering days back then, and you had to have both patience and a bit of technical nouse.
I remember they used to have graphs of subscribers. If you knew their early history, then you could look at the graph and for each of the flat spots followed by a further climb, you could say "that was when they did ...". As I remember it, they wrote a lot of the software they used - they had to because a lot of it hadn't been invented at the time.
Kids of today, don't know they're born.
Icon because, when many a time I'd like to have bought one for the guys at Demon.
I used Demon from the early to mid 90, (on an Amiga! Years before I ever got a Wintel box) I can remember them providing a web page, personal FTP site, proper email, newsgroups (except binaries ;-) ), IRC etc etc. What I'd class as a Real ISP!
Modern ISPs just basically provide a connection to the Internet, not really any actual services!
I even made some real world friends through Demon support IRC channels (demon.ip.support.amiga, disa for short), as Amiga users, we basically needed to support each other. We even arranged the occasional real world meet up for a few beers!
I remember having to pick between POP and VPOPs to dial in, the VPOP was a local number, so a cheap call (for the time), but was quite slow, the POP was in the closest city to me (Leeds in my case back then), and was much faster, but cost more as it was a couple of telephone zones away.
I only switched away from Demon late 90s as NTL rolled out 'super fast broadband' in my area (a whole 64kbs, but was 24/7 and no dial-up costs), and it was basically the same price per month as Demon at the time, (as long as you also took the cable TV service, which I planed on doing anyway).
Realising my email address would change with the ISP, I switched to using Hotmail (before MS took over), and never used an ISP provided email address again (eventually getting my own domain, and resigning the hotmail address to a dumping ground for web site logins etc, which I keep far away from my 'real' email addresses).
That reminds me of Freeserve back in the day. Got BT HomeHighway and used cisco 2503 to connect (and ensure line got dropped every 59 minutes) 128kbit/s, effectively permanent, connection. Eventually Freeserve stopped allowing bonding of B-channels which was hardly unexpected.
Sometime later NTL brought out the first cablemodems, that made the ISDN setup redundant.
... and then Vodaphone came along and invited me to partake of a compulsary upgrade from 32 static Demon IP addresses to *1* Vodafone static IP address.
... and their salespeople kept calling me about ten times to ask me why I didn't want to upgrade.
So I had a great deal of fun migrating all my servers over to Virgin before the Demon deadline cut me off.
Like others, Demon Internet was my gateway from Bulletin Boards to the Internet. Firstly on the Amiga and then on my first PC.
Oddly, I've just thrown out the receipt and info for "Turnpike" which was the DOS-based email/news client that Demon recommended and was quite good for the era. I still have some of the email and news from that time in an archive folder set on my current email service. Has been transferred several times. Occasionally useful to look far back in time.
Thankfully, I realised early on that relying on ISP domains was going to be a problem and so registered my own domain.
I started with Demon in the early '90s, but left them in the early noughties when they refused to support any services other than under my original assigned name. No good, because I wanted to run two independent websites, and this would have required them to host a second domain name for me.
So, I moved to UKFSN with my domain names and associated redirection services hosted by my domain registrar. The two websites and mail handling were run by UKFSN until it went titsup a few years ago.
I'm now with Zen - they handle my mail service and host my websites, with the domain names and redirection service remaining where they were.
Yup, I'd used a few direct dial bulleting boards initially, but then got a Demon account, and was also on an Amiga.
Even wrote some AREXX tools to help with configuration of Amiga Miami TCP/IP stack, and for dialling in to Demon. I think these even ended up on Aminet at some point!
Seems strange these days to think an OS would need a separate network stack installing, and that this would be provided by a 3rd party, not the OS vendor!
I was an early Demon customer, I remember following their getting started instructions for dial-up on my US Robotics thing. It involved a Telnet to a host in a US university. I did it and I could barely believe it was what it claimed to be, so amazed was I.
Then I ran their DOS applications. It shelled out lynx browser with uuencoded images, and usenet reader (was it Tin?) My first few months on the internet was almost all usenet. Then netscape and mosaic.
I always wondered if a Pipex account was a posher version of demon, what other magical things it might have.
Good times, no viruses.
to see the last of it go.
I remember the good old days when demon ran gaming services... made some good friends there while blasting them on team fortress classic ( counter strike was for the more immature audience :D )
In fact.. it was (collapses into incoherant burbling about life in the good old days.... )
Just over 5,100 Demon customer still active under the Namesco umbrella.
I believe that it did ultimately come down to both VF wanting to get rid of ties to the Demon domain, but also wanting a literal ungodly amount of money for it and rejecting all offers that were made to purchase it by Namesco.
Reading that ( no personal interest) this sounds just weird.
The cost of a domain name registration can't be that high. It's of no use to anyone else. Presumably the users, if they want the address will be paying the cost.
How is a email@example.com addy more difficult/expensive or valuable than a Namesco package for £3 month including the bits and bobs.
And why would the current holder demand more. Once it's closed it has a value of 0
Better a small income or low cost sale and a bit of goodwill than no income and pissing off 5000 people for no useful reason.
I just don't get it.
I'd really like a reason - I do hope that vodafone don't in some way depend on a component of demon that they don't want to release.
The fact that namesco offered to extend lease and/or buy the domain off them and they've refused suggests someone else with deep(er) pockets wants to buy it off Vodafone maybe ?
I was my first ISP and they were the best at the time as they had techies you could talk to. I upgraded from dial-up to ADSL with them and the service was always good. But, once I had access to FTTC, Demon, by that time part of Vodafone, said they could not offer me a service so I skipped to Zen where I have been ever since. It was obvious the Vodafone were slowly winding down the company having taken the parts it wanted. Sad to see them go....
There's some old names re-surfacing here: Turnpike and Freeserve being two. No mention of the early Netscape browser, which surprises me.
I cut my teeth on Prestel (going back a long way) and then various BBS's, until, eventually I had accounts with CIS and CIX amd then Telewest and their Blueyonder service (essentially early broadband via cable - a pre-cursor to Virgin nowadays).
BY gave easy and free access to many Newsgroups (inc binaries - I was most interested in shareware programs as CDs given away with magazines were always very limited, though a few "useful" full and unrestricted versions of some programs could be had on cover-mounts ).
I would spend a couple of hours over a weekend using Outlook Express to mark any files I wanted to download without being watched over - at that time, large files were split into multiple messages, which could be stiched together and then be saved on a local HDD).
I used an early (shgreware) HTML editor called HotDog, which was great and made i much easier to code website pages - this is in the days of HTML 1.x !!
Ah, such sweet and happy times.
1993 or so - dial up modem. Telnet to Australia to get hold of the necessary Trumpet winsock to get Windows to talk to TCP/IP - if not, tnen using KA9Q. Mosaic, then Cello, Viola, Amaya under Linux. It stuck with me. It got me to using Linux - more than 25 years on here we are. One proper IPv4 address - mail server and smart-ish people at the other end. I wasn't in the first 100 or so but I was probably fairly close to the second wave. Likewise one of my very best friends and colleagues who set up and ran an ISP for a local businessman by bootstrapping our knowledge from Demon. I've now got faster internet than I know what to do with but no trust that they know what they're doing - and no chance of IPv6 or anything usefully technical in the offing. Any good ISP recommendations that will almost match up to 30 years ago?
A&A are where I headed post Demon, and I’ve not regretted it. Well worth the price to have a hassle free connection and all the configuration your geek heart could desire.
But still, after 23 years of having that demon email subdomain, I’m going to be a little bit sad to bid it farewell. Plus, of course, it’s a pain in the nethers to track down all those people and companies who still use it to get in touch with me.
I was a Demon customer for many years, not in the first batch but signed up in the first year. My local exchange back then didn't even support DTMF so dialling in was slow. My old 158.152 address still resolves but to a different hostname now.
As for email, I saw the light on that one back in 2000 when I registered the domain I still use today, which is based on my Demon hostname. I eventually jumped to AAISP because Demon weren't rolling out IPv6 and I wanted to go play with it.
I still ping gate.demon.co.uk as a connectivity test even now, I guess I'll have to stop that.
Vodafone (after taking over Demon)!
First they took away my web-space (without telling me).
Then they took away my web-site (without reducing the price).
Then they forced me to pay for an e-mail service that was supposed to be part of my HomeOffice 8000 package.
Now, in the middle of a Coronavirus pandemic they give me just over a month to re-allocate around 200 e-mail addresses (many over 20 years old).
Like Life itself.
Namesco's take is: "It is important that you make this change as soon as possible and communicate your new email address to important people ahead of time."
Easier just to move to a new email provider. Either oneself via domain [ until ICANN et al decide to charge £100 a year to rent a domain ] or from a proper email outfit
BTW, though I have no complaints against Vodafone at the moment, yesterday I finally discovered why I could not comment via Disqus --- which I kinda loathe --- for a long time.
I decided to log in to Disqus account, and looking at the url found Vodafone has Disqus on a blacklist. No idea why.
Switching to Houston on a VPN, I logged in immediately.
I was one of the early Demon customers. Due to various disputes with the "crack legal team" I ended up buying one of the demon domains and still own it today. So there is a lonely corner of the internet where a Demon server lives on and has a single long-term Demon customer as user and owner.
Hi Giles, if you're out there.
 In spirit there's no implication that the server was ever owned by Thus, Vodafone or anyone other than me.
Another early 90's Demon dial-up user, 184.108.40.206 was my old IP, still using the demon.co.uk address so this is a real PITA for no real reason other than money as has been mentioned.
A little more than 2 months notice would have been nice.
I remeber the good old days, SLIP dial-up, BBS and then eventually Netscape.
I was one of the initial group of people (number 7 if the allocated IP addresses were anything to go by) who had been following the tenner a month Usenet run by Cliff Stanford. I committed to spend the requisite tenner a month and got my first internet connection as part of the very first group. Prior to that I'd been using UUCP. It was a huge step forward for me and now I'm the CISO at an insurance company and I don't think my career would have progressed the way it did had it not been for my first internet connection provided by Demon.
RIP Demon internet, you were great.
What a shower!
I've had this address from the earlest days of the Internet - a considerable investment with listings in print and online - many of which cannot be easily changed.
Vodafone are being total dogs in the manger over this.
And Namesco, who provide a shit Microsoft based mailserver which appends massive amounts of total crap to the front of each e-mail, aren't even offering any refund for a year's payment just made for two demon sub domains.
Years ago I had one of those CompuServe 'email for life' accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org?)... it wasn't
The fun of trying to explain to helpdesks that I can't click the link to acknowledge the change of email address in the email you just sent me because it is being sent to the old dead address! Oh, and I can't create a new account with you because the system says I already exist!... and I can't delete the old account because the confirmation email.......
Classic tale of hero to zero. Back in the early nineties, there were two UK ISPs - Demon and the also-rans.
I used to run a big Fidonet mail hub, which included gateways between five different FTNs and also had an Internet gateway. KA9Q with POP3 support found on a now long-defunct BBS calling Demon in the wee hours for gated newsgroups and lovely old plain-text email. It worked well, but as the FTNs shut up shop, Fidonet dwindled, and Usenet filled up with crap after Eternal September, I wound it down before finally shutting up shop in 2003.
Oddly enough, I can still remember the last two newsgroups it was carrying - alt.cow.tipping and alt.swedish.chef.bork.bork.bork.
Things seemed to be freer and more fun back then, but yes, I am getting old and creaky.
1. I don't think we were told in 2016 that the transfer of the domain was on a temporary basis.
2. I have 25 years of usage of this email address to now deal with - how do I come up with a definitive list of counterparties who might know me as the old email.
3. Does anyone understand the reason wny Vodafone won't renew the license to namesco or even sell the domain wholesale to namesco for ongoing management ? Why are they killing it off ?
4. This is extremely painful when the email address it relates to is as old as mine
I seem to recall a suggestion at the time that the transfer would only last a couple of years. When nothing happened at that point I assumed Namesco had a rolling deal.
Having killed the Demon brand it does seem strange not to allow Namesco to have the domain. Demon customers were always loyal people.
In spite of the Namesco offer of a free sub-domain - they seem to be coy about how much the "free/discounted" domains will actually cost next year. Their default page for a personalised domain signs you up for .co.uk, .uk, and .com - and you have to untick them unless you want a presumably large annual renewal bill.
Correct, we were not told this, the mail from 2016 actually states "Don’t worry – we’ve got plenty of ways to keep you connected. Including a hassle free way to transfer your existing email address."
"Want to keep your Demon email address?
We’ve teamed up with names.co.uk, expert providers of a wide range of domain and email solutions, to make sure you can keep using your current Demon email address at a great rate. "
"Have you seen https://www.names.co.uk/support/2850.html ?"
Thank you! Perfect.
I think I tried that FAQ link in their email and the page was bounced - but I wouldn't swear to that. They gave more prominence to the link for buying a domain name.
The domain prices quoted surprised me - but maybe that's just the effects of inflation since I last paid for one.
One Year Renewal Costs:
.UK £13.99 ex VAT
.CO.UK £14.99 ex VAT
.COM £21.99 ex VAT
I boycotted Vodafone for removing Demon users' web and email services without giving any subscription discount to offset the extra costs. This appears to be another of their "sod the users" deliberate disruptive changes.
Going round the accounts that are important to me - trying to work out how to move them to a new email address.
1. Sensible ones allow you to nominate several addresses. But they usually have to be live to verify them in the first place - with possibly further verification through your old address.
2. Some only allow one address - so that will have to be switched to a new live address ASAP - while it can still be verified on the old address.
Not happy about switching everything through my emergency gmail account - but don't see any other easy way.
I am loath to give social media services my mobile and/or landline numbers.
I doubt that Namesco will allow a grace period of parallel running of your new and old domain names - even though you pay them for both.
"I doubt that Namesco will allow a grace period of parallel running of your new and old domain names - even though you pay them for both."
Apologies to Namesco. They do have a scheme for parallel running - but with a final cut-off at the latest of 14 June. So a lot of work to do in that parallel running period to get email addresses updated.
The FAQ doesn't appear to say whether you can send emails 'from' your new domain address during the parallel running - or have I missed something?