Surfers was created using ew-too code in 1993, first booting up on 2 December 1993, and was the first internet talker to have 1,000 users logged on at the same time. Founded by Ian "Roosta" Dobbie, it is currently run by Mike and Furry.
The talker is run on surfers.fysh.org on port 4242, in reference to The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Its former address, surfers.org 4242, is used as the example for how to telnet to a talker in the Usenet alt.talkers FAQ, where it is also one of the three "recommended talkers".
It is regarded as important to the history of ew-too, and hence to the history of talkers, both as an early popular talker and because the ew-too code that was publicly released was Surfers' version. It is the primary focus of LiveJournal's spod community.
- "Talker History". NetLingo the Internet Dictionary. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
Marble Madness was never opened fully at the surr.ac.uk site, but over the next few months it was developed extensively, until in November 1993 Surfers came into being, running at muscle.rai.kcl.ac.uk 4242 thanks to Ian Dobbie (aka 'Roosta'). After Surfers was made public, there was a shift, European users started to use Surfers whilst American users continued to use Foothills by perference [sic]. Both talkers boomed, Foothills remaining the busier always, due to it being the oldest, and first thought-of, and also having the quicker link for the more numerous American users. Then, after 2 and a half years of relative secrecy, the code for 'Elsewhere' talkers was released. Neil Soveran-Charley (aka 'Athanasius') placed the source code for surfers on an FTP site, and suddenly they were everywhere! First of the new talkers on the net were Vineyard, Underworld, Resort, and Forest. These talkers enjoyed moderate success, but never as much as Foothills and Surfers. Then came a time when Foothills and Surfers both had serious problems with crashing, and continual down-time, and suddenly there was a demand for a talker. The lucky talker that got the users was Resort. Since then, Resort has grown to be the biggest talker on the internet, only rivalled by Foothills for size. Over the months, Foothills and Surfers both regained their stability, and some of their popularity, but from that point on, Resort would always be the biggest.
- "Alt.Talkers FAQ". alt.talkers. 2008-08-31. Retrieved 2010-04-13.