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Erlkönig: Group Talisman

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Group Talisman, also known as Talisman Research, was founded in 1986 or so by Alex North-Keys and David Weinstein at the University of Texas at Austin initially in just an attempt to gain access to more disk space than the 1 MB currently allotted to the average user at that time.

In the following years, four more people joined, and several others were associated with the group.

Our members created several interesting pieces of software, including

  • Ytalk - a more-than-two-user talk program.
  • X++ - a complete reimplementation of the client side of X in C++.
  • Talisman Color Database - 10762 named colors in RGBi for X11.
  • Xcmdpanel and Xcmdmenu - part of the BSDI distribution.
  • Xancur - a cursor animation program, also in BSDI.
  • An 1.8 million word password cracking dictionary for use with:
  • Password - which hamstrings attempts to use Crack.

We also made extensive investigations into security problems with the coöperation of the University of Texas Computation Center Unix staff.

As a complication, other Internet-connection organizations had since taken names based on the same base word, hence our registration of talisman.org to work around these:

  • Talisman (domain talisman.org), which is us.
  • Talisman Dynamics (domain tal.com)
  • Talisman Group (in Colorado) (domain talisman.com)



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Walk without rhythm and you won't attract the worm.
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alexsiodhe, alex north-keys