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  • noun The computer or network upon which a MUA runs. Players typically use communications software of some description to link to the host, which does the majority of processing (although some FE activities may take place at the player's end in a client). When MUD2 was first launched, BT placed a series of advertisements using the slogan "the Host in the machine", trying to convey the impression that: (a) the game was welcoming and friendly; (b) a lot of people would be playing it; (c) an expensive ad agency had been involved to produce such a boldly weak and inappropriate pun (on "The Ghost in the Machine", a quotation from chapter 1 of "The Concept of Mind" by Gilbert Ryle). Sadly, to computer-literate (but literature-illiterate) modem owners, this proved merely confusing ("But the host _is_ the machine, surely?"). See carrier loss, comms.

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23rd September 1999: host.htm