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The Halcyon Days of USENET

prezzey asked whether anyone still used USENET, and it reminded me that by interweb standards, I'm a USENET oldbie (kindasorta). I caught the tail end of ARPAnet c. 1987, when I started reading rec.games.ultima and rec.games.hack. I used to post in rec.arts.books.tolkien and rec.arts.sf.written (and read rec.arts.sf-lovers before that).

I can't say as I've ever used the binary groups much, with the advent of P2P file sharing (Kazaa Lite K++ and BitTorrent/Azureus), but crypthanatopsis has, to apparent good effect.

So, show of hands: who here has been on USENET, and who's still there?

Hey, hey, 16k,
Banazir

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
sze
Jun. 15th, 2005 06:52 pm (UTC)
did you hear? google has the rights to every imaginable post that was ever made on usenet. http://groups.google.com/googlegroups/deja_announcement.html

http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/pressrelease48.html

it's a little scary but exciting.
i was on usenet alot in the good old days of the 2800 baud modem. not anymore. :)
banazir
Jun. 16th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC)
Deja News, Google Groups, and 2400 baud
did you hear? google has the rights to every imaginable post that was ever made on usenet.

http://groups.google.com/googlegroups/deja_announcement.html
http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/pressrelease48.html

it's a little scary but exciting.

I'm indifferent to it. I stand behind all of my two thousand or so posts over a dozen years (on and off; I don't think I posted a single thing to USENET in the year 2004), but obviously, most of those are not worth archiving. Some I'm not proud of, as they are silly, spamfloody, clueless (especially back in the day), or otherwise mindless.

i was on usenet alot in the good old days of the 2800 baud modem. not anymore. :)
Now, this is interesting. What would you consider the good old days of the 2400 baud modem (I assume you mean 2400/4800/9600)? I had:

  • a 300/1200 external on my Mac 512, Mac Plus and Mac SE from 1986-1988

  • a 2400 internal on my 286/12 AT desktop from 1988-1993

  • a 9600 internal in my 486/33 desktop (later upgraded to 100MHz with a ZIF socket upgrade) from 1991-1995

  • a 28.8K internal in my first Pentium desktop, purchased in 1995

  • a 28.8K internal in my Pentium II-366 ThinkPad 600E, 1998-present

  • a 56K internal (I think; it my be 33.6K) in my Pentium III-800 ThinkPad T21, 1999 model purchased in 2004

  • a 56K internal in my Pentium IV-1.7GHz ThinkPad A31p, 2002-present

  • a 56K internal in my Celeron 2.8GHz COMPAQ Presario SR1010NX, 2003 model, purchased in 2004


So I'd call 1985-1988 the good old days of 2400. It was exorbitant in 1985 and cheap by 1988, when a 9600 might still run over $100. By 1986 my uncle had a 9600 bps Gandalf and I gaped at it a lot when I went to visit him at CMU.

Hey, hey, 16k,
Banazir
Re: Deja News, Google Groups, and 2400 baud - gondhir - Jun. 16th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Deja News, Google Groups, and 2400 baud - sze - Jun. 16th, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Deja News, Google Groups, and 2400 baud - sze - Jun. 16th, 2005 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
400 bucks for 28.8! - banazir - Jun. 16th, 2005 04:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: 400 bucks for 28.8! - sze - Jun. 16th, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Maui - banazir - Jun. 28th, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Maui - sze - Jun. 28th, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
twinofhugin
Jun. 15th, 2005 06:52 pm (UTC)
giganews for the win

(I don't actually use it, but it's in use by a bunch of pirate friends of mine. yahaaaar matey)
banazir
Jun. 15th, 2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
Yarr, matey!
I do need a jolly roger and/or POTC icon, and that's a fact.

--
Banazir
Re: Yarr, matey! - twinofhugin - Jun. 15th, 2005 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yarr, matey! - banazir - Jun. 16th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC) - Expand
wiliqueen
Jun. 15th, 2005 08:15 pm (UTC)
Yes on one, no on two. Though I was always more of a listserv girl in any event, once there were such things. Before that, the occasional direct-dialup BBS. Could have had access to usenet in college (87-91), but seldom visited the computer labs and wasn't aware of it. Did MUSH a slight bit.

Once I was online in earnest (circa 1993), I hung out on rec.arts.theatre for a while, but mostly it was all about FORKNI-L and HIGHLA-L. Until broadband happened (1997, in our house), and everything went web-based.

For me it's mostly about where the people I already know are, and then I branch out from there.
ladycalliope
Jun. 15th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, no way! I was on rec.arts.theatre around then, but left for rec.arts.theatre.musicals when the newsgroup split. I think I stopped reading it in the late 90s.
(no subject) - wiliqueen - Jun. 16th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
FORKNI-L! - miyeko - Jun. 16th, 2005 12:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: FORKNI-L! - wiliqueen - Jun. 16th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
ladycalliope
Jun. 15th, 2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
I'm still on usenet. Using trn, even.
banazir
Jun. 16th, 2005 01:52 am (UTC)
Woah! Hardcore!
I used rn from 1986-1993 (mostly 1989-1993, when I had my own Unix accounts) and nn from 1994-1999. In the Golden Age of teunc (1999-2002) I started to use Google Groups.

For brief times in the period 1988-1990, I got USENET feeds from WWIVnet and FidoNet. Time was, you didn't even need to pay; you could just take syndication from someone with broadband. Times have changed! (Or not; I suppose someone running a private blogging service could take RSS feeds from certain newsgroups now.) And so it all comes full circle. Home again, home again, Episode 6.

--
Banazir
Re: Woah! Hardcore! - gondhir - Jun. 16th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC) - Expand
I wouldn't take USENET for FREE! - banazir - Jun. 16th, 2005 04:17 am (UTC) - Expand
prolog
Jun. 15th, 2005 09:40 pm (UTC)
Yo!

Not much anymore. I was pretty regular on rec.games.roguelike.nethack/adom at one point, but since I haven't played any of those games much in the last two years, I haven't been posting much. That might change.
banazir
Jun. 16th, 2005 04:24 am (UTC)
Roguelikes!
Dude, do you realize that we have passed from the "younger generation" of tronkies into the elder just by being of the Roguelike persuasion. I still remember the Nethack distribution FAQ and how they'd warn you about making sure you could receive those big huge 600K attachments (ha!). It was back in 1991-1993, and it seems like yesterday.

It looks as if 1995-1996 was my flourishing period in rec.games.roguelike.moria and rec.games.roguelike.angband. Wow; I can't believe it's been almost 10 years. It seems like yesterday.

--
Banazir
Re: Roguelikes! - prolog - Jun. 16th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
crypthanatopsis
Jun. 15th, 2005 11:02 pm (UTC)
I can say without reservation that usenet is the richest source of free music and pr0n in the world. I don't know how it stacks up against P2P services for stuff like movies or television shows, but it definitely provides a good amount of that, too.

I also used to post in AFT and RABT, way back in the 2000.
banazir
Jun. 16th, 2005 01:59 am (UTC)
USENET as a file-sharing mechanism and AFT/RABT
I can say without reservation that usenet is the richest source of free music and pr0n in the world.
How does that work, anyway? Anonymous remailers?
I mean, how do posters get away with using news relays (many going through universities) openly and publicly?
Or by "free" do you mean non-DMCA-regulated?

I don't know how it stacks up against P2P services for stuff like movies or television shows, but it definitely provides a good amount of that, too.
I can tell you that it is definitely easier to grab an episode of Lost using BitTorrent (which I've done, of course) or download The Return of the King (which I haven't done, seeing as I have both the Special Edition and Widescreen Theatrical DVDs) than to piece these together from a many-segmented series of posts. What's the size limit on those these days?

I also used to post in AFT and RABT, way back in the 2000.
I remember your mentioning that when you first added me. 2000 was a fairly active year on USENET for me, and I was around until early 2003. I think my most prolific year, in terms of number of posts, was 2001, though the Red Songbook of Westmarch was mostly written in 1999 and early 2000.

--
Banazir
gregbo
Jun. 16th, 2005 04:11 am (UTC)
I've used USENET since 1983. Actually, as early as 1981, I participated in ARPANET digests and mailing lists that were gatewayed to USENET, but I didn't actually start posting directly until 1983. I still use it (mostly via Lynx, sometimes via Google Groups).
siocled
Jun. 16th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
Was on usenet from 1996. Didn't psot much the past 2 years due to time constraints. Haven't been on it since March due to no newsserver right now, will probably go back in force when I get per-minute internet again when I move.
angharad
Jun. 17th, 2005 06:54 am (UTC)
Me, I've always been a lurker on USENET. I've posted less than ten times over the past 15 years, I think. Over this last year, I've checked my newsgroups more and more seldom, as I got more into livejournal. Last time I tried (last summer?), my school's server (and two or three others I tried) didn't carry my groups. Basic things, too, as I recall, like rec.arts.int-fiction. Haven't bothered to try again recently. And, no, I sure as hell wouldn't pay for it. That's like paying to receive email. Gah. Oh, and I use Gnus (EMACS!).
grain_king
Jun. 18th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
I'm a lurker:
comp.lang.c++.moderated
comp.security.*

Sometimes I'll read a few posts in other groups, but I don't really have much time for it nowadays.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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