Originally, back when IRC channel
s only could have a numeric ID
by which they were separated from all the other channels, +42
gained fame as the real home of Jarkko Oikarinen
, the developer of IRC. The channel was created and hosted on the server
s of oulu.fi
, an University
in northern Finland.
The choice of name manifests itself from the book Life, Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams. In the book, the number "42" was thoroughly worshipped as the super-computer solved answer for the meaning of all existence and mortal, as well as immortal, life.
As time passed and the network (EFnet, later IRCnet) evolved, +42 eventually mutated into #42 (as forced by the new, although now obsolete, technical-specification RFC 1459). Bit later, if not quite simultaneously, the IRC user-count was rising month after month and the number of newbies seemed to explode. At this point #42 chose its way of becoming a channel of limited membership with an +i, invitation only policy.
Those unfit for membership, accused the channel of becoming the home of wannabes looking for an instant ego-boost - while the people personally on the channel, figured it had become the home of the absolute elite of the network.
It should not be left unmentioned that the channel is Finnish - the nationality of Jarkko Oikarinen is probably to blame for that. Would you wander there unwantedly, unavoidably would this lead to these Elite (or Wannabes) accusing you of being a genuine peelo or performing Matrix-like KICKiatory action at the exact location of your virtual buttocks.