20 years ago — December 1994 in Doctor Fun
The Persians used to celebrate a festival of fire called Sada or Saza at the winter solstice. On the longest night of the year they kindled bonfires everywhere, and kings and princes tied dry grass to the feet of birds and animals, set fire to the grass, and then let the birds and beasts fly or run blazing through the air or over the fields and mountains, so that the whole air and earth appeared to be on fire
From Part VII: Balder the Beautiful: The Fire-Festivals of Europe and the Doctrine of the External Soul.The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion by James George Frazer, D.C.L., LL.D., Litt.D., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Liverpool. 1919 edition.
20 years ago today, we officially announced (and made public) a special skunkworks project that we had begun in late summer 1994 here at ibiblio. We had invented, largely by cobbling together available resources in a unique way, simulcasting live radio.
We chose ground-breaking UNC station, WXYC, largely because of the good relationship that Michael Shoffner (one of the leads on the project along with David McConville) had at the time — and because, unlike say a classical station, it was difficult to determine whether the stutters and gasps of the audio flow were artifacts of the original recording or of network delay.
The whole story was written up pretty well for the 15th anniversary during which WXYC offered a music download compilation here (with broken or non-existant links to additional material).
An earlier story, on an earlier WXYC site, from the 10th anniversary has mostly working links.
Listening to radio online? Thank Michael, David, WXYC and ibiblio.
Wikipedia entry for Internet Radio (history) also has good links and a great shout out to Carl Malamud‘s great internet-only Geek of the Week radio show.