September 11 Digital Archive

Jonathan Abbey


Jonathan Abbey


The following is a public log of the silverChat online chat system in Austin, TX. silverChat is a member-limited custom-built chat system frequented by a far-flung community of friends that goes back well over 15 years on various boards and chat systems in the Austin area. silverChat itself goes back to 1994. Most regular users are living in Austin, but silverChat has members across the country and abroad.

This log starts on the morning of September 11, just after the first news reports of the WTC attacks appeared on TV in Austin, and ends early in the morning of September 12. The log includes real-time, on-the-scene reports from a couple of long-time silverChat members living in the New York City area, including josh in Manhattan's lower east side and paddy in Brooklyn. All times in the log are US Central Standard Time.

A few notes on the silverChat system for those reading this log: silverChat has a system of 8 auto-messages, where any chat member can leave a public note for people to see. These public notes are printed to the screen when they are entered into the system, and again on a rotating basis every 15 minutes.

Everything users say on silverChat is prefixed by their port number (#'s 0-99), their channel (C0 for this log), and their current handle. Users can and do change their handles at whim to suit themselves, but port numbers are fixed so long as a user is logged in.

User #99 is JoeBot, an automatic greeter bot that welcomes users as they log in, with blissful ignorance of current events.

This log was saved for posterity by Glenn Evan Copeland AKA the Cyberspace Buddha, whose handle in this conversation is 'cb'.

The following edits have been made to this log:

Personal phone numbers have been replaced with ###-####

Information on silverChat may be found at

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