Teen Programmers Unite!
HCOOP traces its earliest roots back to a group of youths who frequented the USENET newsgroup rec.games.programmer. On July 29, 1996, one Matthew Busigin made the following post:
Say, there are a bunch of us teen programmers! Why don't we get to gether and form a mailing list (i'll host it) We can share info, and maybe, heaven forbid, create a game (-: If you are interested in this indeavor, mail me. Matthew (14)
In classic USENET style, the first response came from Fabio Bizzetti:
Get a life. Fabio (3).
From this inauspicious beginning and the flurry of responses that followed, both positive and negative, an association called Teen Programmers Unite was conceived. Over the course of its existence, TPU has consisted of various mailing lists, websites, and chat rooms with several thousand participants. A more detailed history of TPU can be found at http://www.hprog.org/fhp/TpuHistory, and the current TPU website is still at http://www.tpu.org/.
TPU underwent a series of reinventions, and meantime many of its original members were no longer "teens." One long-time member and TPU webmaster, Adam Chlipala, began a number of other projects. Among these were the Software Developer's Locus and the Fellowship of Hobbyist Programmers.
The Internet Hosting Cooperative
In 2002, a small group of TPU members, led by Adam Chlipala, joined together to purchase a server affectionately named Abulafia and hosted on the devlocus.org domain in an informal cost-sharing arrangement. As time went by and more people chipped in, Adam formed a larger goal of creating a nonprofit cooperative providing a wide range of hosting services. Abulafia was moved to the hcoop.net domain, "Fyodor" became the main machine, and the group became known as "The Internet Hosting Cooperative." Membership grew, both from other former TPU members, by word of mouth, by IRC, and via the web. Various ideas for incorporating or otherwise filing for formal legal recognition were kicked about, but nothing much happened with regards to organization. Adam legally owned all the cooperative's assets and operated as the informal leader, frequently polling the membership for decision-making purposes. In the meantime, by January 2005, the cooperative grew to about 40 members, and Adam had automated many tasks with custom software written in SML.