Thanks to some detailed investigation, aided by editor newwave, we are able to present photographs of the hardware that powers the largest human edited web directory in existence. Behold...

This is the main machine, a TRS-80 Model 4, with an 800KHz Z80 processor, 64K of RAM, and two 5 1/2 inch disk drives for storage. The awesome power of this machine ensures editing can be done without the frustration of slow performance, by up to three editors.

This slightly less powerful machine, a TRS-80 Model I, with 4K of RAM, powers, and is responsible for the search feature. It is thanks to this powerful hardware that the "The Open Directory search is currently under a heavy load. Please try back later." message appears so infrequently, supporting up to two concurrent users.

This machine, a Sun E4500, which can take up to 14 CPUs, 28GB of memory, 21 SBus cards, and 12 PCI cards, is used to host staff's Quake games. According to one staffer, "It should have all of the horse power that DMOZ needs for a long time to come.", and apparently it does indeed handle Quake 3 just fine.

The Machine Room

An investigation into the machines behind the project wouldn't be complete without looking at where they are kept. Here we are able, for the first time, to show our exclusive photograph of the machine room. Air conditioned through holes in the side, and rain resistant, this room provides an ideal environment for the servers.

The Internet Connection

We've also been able to get hold of a photograph of the equipment used to connect to the Internet. Giving performance up to an impressive 10 characters/second, this cutting edge device ensures users and editors alike can access the directory and retrieve bits.


Producing an RDF from the ODP's data is an intensive process, and as such a machine is now dedicated to it. The installation of this PDP1 allows an astounding 3 hours of catmv time per week, by cutting RDF generation down to just 6 days and 21 hours.

Last updated: 26th Februrary, 2002 by rpfuller