SUSE Reviving Usenet

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711 Spooky Mart

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Sep 29, 2021, 10:03:25 AM9/29/21
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I've heard many times that Usenet is dead. I never stopped using Usenet.
I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered it dead.
It's obscure because most people are mesmerized by social media, reddit,
and the like. Let the proles and zombies have their addictive behavior
modeling distractions. As for me and my net, we will serve the ASCII.

Anyone can set up a news server with their own hierarchies. In fact some
organizations still do just that. I am considering how to run my own
NNTP rig on a VPS with sci.crypt on the roster. I also am thinking of
how to set up a Bitmessage <--> Usenet gateway that mirrors Bitmessage
chans as Usenet hierarchies.

It seems SUSE realizes that Usenet is a treasure.

[quote]
[https://events.opensuse.org/conferences/oSLO/program/proposals/3028]

Reviving Usenet
Presented by:
jsevans
from Suse

I'm a training engineer and open-source enthusiast at SUSE in Prague.
No video of the event yet, sorry!

I am located in Prague Time zone: CEST

Abstract:

The Big-8 newsgroups are those that begin with comp., misc., news.,
rec., sci., soc., talk., and humanities. They have been the backbone of
much of the Usenet since the 1980's.

These newsgroups are maintained by the Big-8 Management Board. In 2015,
a new board was voted in. The term for a board member is 18 months. By
late 2017 the entire board had either resigned or let their terms
expire. Since then, no new news groups have been created, no abandoned
newsgroups have been removed, and no other maintenance have been done.

This was surely a sign that Usenet is dying.

In late 2019, two openSUSE members came together on Reddit and began
working with the former board members to put in a new board and to draw
attention again to the benefits of Usenet. There is no reason for it to
die. In fact, it should be protected as one of the most important living
artifacts of Internet history. Not in a museum, but a living active
organ of the internet.

This is our story to bring back the Big-8 Management Board and to breath
new life into Usenet.
[/quote]

--
███████████████████████████████████
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█░░███████░░█░░████░░███░░████░░███ [chan] 711
█░░░░░░░██░░█░░░░██░░███░░░░██░░███ spooky mart
██████░░██░░███░░██░░█████░░██░░███ always open
██████░░██░░███░░██░░█████░░██░░███ stay spooky
██████░░██░░█░░░░██░░░░█░░░░██░░░░█ https://bitmessage.org
██████░░██░░█░░██████░░█░░██████░░█
██████░░░░░░█░░░░░░░░░░█░░░░░░░░░░█
███████████████████████████████████

Rich

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Sep 29, 2021, 10:44:09 AM9/29/21
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In sci.crypt 711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:
> I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered it dead.
> It's obscure because most people are mesmerized by social media, reddit,
> and the like.

It is also obscure because:

1) many (most?) ISP's began dropping NNTP feeds as part of their
provided package of features when one purchased an account. If
one's ISP did not provide NNTP, and the person signing up did not
already know of Usenet and also know how to buy separate access,
then there was limited to no discovery on the part of new people
on the 'net' of Usenet

2) the growth of "the web" began over time to overshadow many of the
older 'net protocols, to the point that many users today think of
"the web" as "the internet". And again, for much the same reason
as #1, if the new user did not alreay know of Usenet, they had
little to no possibilty of discovery

3) around the same time as #1 and #2 were happening, Usenet was also
massively overrun by spammers hawking everything imaginable.
That, combined with the trolls, likely led some who were using
Usenet to switch to other forums (web forums, etc.) which promised
some level of "filtering" out of the trash. Yes, real newsreaders
provide kill/score files, but for a new Usenet entrant, having to
deal with building out over time a kill/score file to filter the
small bit of signal from a large amount of noise meant that of the
few who did discover Usenet in one way or another, only a subset
of those new folks remained around after some short length of
time.

The spam problem has largely gone away (mostly) -- due to the users
also going away, if all the users came back, so too would the spam
likely follow.

Now we have a problem that few folks younger than X even know of
Usenet, or if they do, they only know if it as "that place where one
downloads binaries via NZB files". And with #1 (few ISP's carrying it
anymore) it is hard to gain new folks joining up to discuss anything.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Sep 29, 2021, 11:30:03 AM9/29/21
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On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:04:16 -0500
711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:

> I've heard many times that Usenet is dead.

There is a branch of USENET that's alive and kicking that funds a
number of commercial NNTP servers with enormous retention times (multiple
years), a large catalogue of binary groups and some very odd posting
arrangements. But that's not really USENET it's file sharing by NNTP.

I keep getting tempted to run up a text only server here but
managing misbehaving users is a PITA.

--
Steve O'Hara-Smith
Odds and Ends at http://www.sohara.org/

Jason Evans

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Sep 29, 2021, 11:56:36 AM9/29/21
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On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:04:16 -0500, 711 Spooky Mart wrote:

> I've heard many times that Usenet is dead. I never stopped using Usenet.
> I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered it dead.
> It's obscure because most people are mesmerized by social media, reddit,
> and the like. Let the proles and zombies have their addictive behavior
> modeling distractions. As for me and my net, we will serve the ASCII.

I'm glad you liked my presentation. I've been trying to get more people
to use it. I've written a couple of "for newbs" tutorials and I've gotten
some good feedback.

I'm hoping to do some more projects in the future to shed light on Usenet
as something more than just a file-sharing platform.

__
JE

Kerr-Mudd, John

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Sep 29, 2021, 12:22:58 PM9/29/21
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On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 15:56:34 -0000 (UTC)
Jason Evans <jse...@mailfence.com> wrote:

> On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:04:16 -0500, 711 Spooky Mart wrote:
>
> > I've heard many times that Usenet is dead. I never stopped using
> > Usenet. I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered

That's not really "using": or maybe it is - like drug-user; purely consuming.

> > it dead. It's obscure because most people are mesmerized by social
> > media, reddit, and the like. Let the proles and zombies have their
> > addictive behavior modeling distractions. As for me and my net, we
> > will serve the ASCII.
>
> I'm glad you liked my presentation. I've been trying to get more
> people to use it. I've written a couple of "for newbs" tutorials and
> I've gotten some good feedback.
>
> I'm hoping to do some more projects in the future to shed light on
> Usenet as something more than just a file-sharing platform.
>
> __
> JE


--
Bah, and indeed Humbug.

Jan Panteltje

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Sep 29, 2021, 1:39:37 PM9/29/21
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On a sunny day (Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:04:16 -0500) it happened 711 Spooky Mart
<7...@spooky.mart> wrote in <sj1rna$144n$1...@gioia.aioe.org>:

>I've heard many times that Usenet is dead. I never stopped using Usenet.
>I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered it dead.
>It's obscure because most people are mesmerized by social media, reddit,
>and the like. Let the proles and zombies have their addictive behavior
>modeling distractions. As for me and my net, we will serve the ASCII.
>
>Anyone can set up a news server with their own hierarchies. In fact some
>organizations still do just that. I am considering how to run my own
>NNTP rig on a VPS with sci.crypt on the roster. I also am thinking of
>how to set up a Bitmessage <--> Usenet gateway that mirrors Bitmessage
>chans as Usenet hierarchies.
>
>It seems SUSE realizes that Usenet is a treasure.

I sure hope it is nit an covered up attempt to censor Usenet,
We Need No Control

Youtube is canceling channels with 600,000 subscribers...
https://www.rt.com/news/536068-rt-de-youtube-channel-deleted/
https://www.rt.com/news/536174-youtube-bans-anti-vax/

AND soon you will all need to be chipped like your pet dog to do anything.
Big Brothel will follow and control you, and issue the KILL command if you do not comply

My newsreader still works, see headers, but libforms has changed, so much for Suse.
Running Slackware

Secret message: baaaah

plaintext: <if all else fails use smake signs>

Branimir Maksimovic

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Sep 29, 2021, 6:32:11 PM9/29/21
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On 2021-09-29, 711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:
> I've heard many times that Usenet is dead. I never stopped using Usenet.
> I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered it dead.
> It's obscure because most people are mesmerized by social media, reddit,
> and the like. Let the proles and zombies have their addictive behavior
> modeling distractions. As for me and my net, we will serve the ASCII.
>
usenet is not for average JOE. It is for open minded people, and
Google make it accessible which is WRONG, and it's BUGGy client
makes it WORSE.


--

7-77-777
Evil Sinner!

Michael Trew

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Sep 30, 2021, 1:44:04 AM9/30/21
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On 9/29/2021 10:44 AM, Rich wrote:
> Now we have a problem that few folks younger than X even know of
> Usenet, or if they do, they only know if it as "that place where one
> downloads binaries via NZB files". And with #1 (few ISP's carrying it
> anymore) it is hard to gain new folks joining up to discuss anything.

Ah, but there must be a few stand-outs.. I've been lurking in various
text newsgroups for years, and posting in a few as well. I'm 26 years
old, for the record.. :)

711 Spooky Mart

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Sep 30, 2021, 9:17:24 AM9/30/21
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On 9/29/21 10:25 AM, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:04:16 -0500
> 711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:
>
>> I've heard many times that Usenet is dead.
>
> There is a branch of USENET that's alive and kicking that funds a
> number of commercial NNTP servers with enormous retention times (multiple
> years), a large catalogue of binary groups and some very odd posting
> arrangements. But that's not really USENET it's file sharing by NNTP.
>
> I keep getting tempted to run up a text only server here but
> managing misbehaving users is a PITA.
>

Indeed. That's why I am hesitating to set up a open NNTP
server--managing the rabble is a tedious job. I really want to set one
up, but I really do not want to commit to all the daily janitorial work.

If we had Usenet hierarchies that could require proof of work from
clients, sort of like Bitmessage does, or imposed post limits based on
signing keys that require a long time to generate one signing key, that
could mitigate a lot of the spam and trolling.

But then we get into the need for re-factoring client software and all
the associated boondoggle.

711 Spooky Mart

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Sep 30, 2021, 9:22:17 AM9/30/21
to
A slick and highly secure client interface that abstracts away some of
the "clunk" might be a good draw. These days people expect things to be
"appified.

Automatic threading for replies, like text boards and reddit do, would
greatly improve the reading experience, and eliminate the debate about
top posting and bottom posting, since the client could format
automatically and make it fool proof.

Keep plugging away!

711 Spooky Mart

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Sep 30, 2021, 9:23:33 AM9/30/21
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On 9/29/21 11:22 AM, Kerr-Mudd, John wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 15:56:34 -0000 (UTC)
> Jason Evans <jse...@mailfence.com> wrote:
>
>> On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:04:16 -0500, 711 Spooky Mart wrote:
>>
>>> I've heard many times that Usenet is dead. I never stopped using
>>> Usenet. I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered
>
> That's not really "using": or maybe it is - like drug-user; purely consuming.

Semantics, shmantix.

711 Spooky Mart

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Sep 30, 2021, 9:25:26 AM9/30/21
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Google knows how to make a simple thing three orders of magnitude more
complicated.

Rich

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Sep 30, 2021, 9:27:33 AM9/30/21
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In sci.crypt 711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:
> Automatic threading for replies, like text boards and reddit do,
> would greatly improve the reading experience, and eliminate the
> debate about top posting and bottom posting, since the client could
> format automatically and make it fool proof.

Oh ye of little faith.

Don't you know that once you make something "fool proof" that the world
goes and creates a better "fool".

Andreas Kohlbach

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Sep 30, 2021, 12:25:55 PM9/30/21
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I'm reading and posting for 25 years now, which is more than half of my
life (is that what you call "Half Life? ;-).
--
Andreas

711 Spooky Mart

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Sep 30, 2021, 1:57:21 PM9/30/21
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I see, said the blind man. True words.

It's as if the gremlin knows a problem has been solved and so it creates
two new ones.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Sep 30, 2021, 2:30:05 PM9/30/21
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On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:58:04 -0500
711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:

> It's as if the gremlin knows a problem has been solved and so it creates
> two new ones.

<raises lightning rod>

Gremlins evolve like everything else.

Questor

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Sep 30, 2021, 2:36:54 PM9/30/21
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On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 14:44:06 -0000 (UTC), Rich <ri...@example.invalid> wrote:
>In sci.crypt 711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:
>> I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered it dead.
>> It's obscure because most people are mesmerized by social media, reddit,
>> and the like.
>
>It is also obscure because:
>
> 1) many (most?) ISP's began dropping NNTP feeds as part of their
> provided package of features when one purchased an account. If
> one's ISP did not provide NNTP, and the person signing up did not
> already know of Usenet and also know how to buy separate access,
> then there was limited to no discovery on the part of new people
> on the 'net' of Usenet

As I mentioned in another forum, blame also needs to be placed on former New
York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who threatened to prosecute ISPs over
alleged child pornography in binary newsgoups and gave the major ISPs an excuse
to shut down their NNTP servers entirely back in the mid-aughts.

711 Spooky Mart

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Sep 30, 2021, 3:02:40 PM9/30/21
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On 9/30/21 11:25 AM, Andreas Kohlbach wrote:

> I'm reading and posting for 25 years now, which is more than half of my
> life (is that what you call "Half Life? ;-).

Radioactive!

Rich

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Sep 30, 2021, 3:26:44 PM9/30/21
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That did also have an impact. But consider that had NNTP/Usenet
service been seen as a major selling point for folks buying ISP
accounts, or a major revenue center for the ISP, those same ISP's would
likely not have shut it down, even with the bluster of the NY AG.

The ISP's had probably already targeted NNTP/Usenet service for
termination and were likely simply looking for some reason to shutter
NNTP/Usenet service anyway, and the NY AG provided a convienent reason
at the moment. Had he not done so, they would have likely latched onto
some other reason to turn it off.

Carlos E. R.

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Sep 30, 2021, 3:45:00 PM9/30/21
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On 30/09/2021 21.26, Rich wrote:
> In sci.crypt Questor <use...@only.tnx> wrote:
>> On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 14:44:06 -0000 (UTC), Rich <ri...@example.invalid> wrote:

...

> That did also have an impact. But consider that had NNTP/Usenet
> service been seen as a major selling point for folks buying ISP
> accounts, or a major revenue center for the ISP, those same ISP's would
> likely not have shut it down, even with the bluster of the NY AG.
>
> The ISP's had probably already targeted NNTP/Usenet service for
> termination and were likely simply looking for some reason to shutter
> NNTP/Usenet service anyway, and the NY AG provided a convienent reason
> at the moment. Had he not done so, they would have likely latched onto
> some other reason to turn it off.
>

Indeed.

My ISP, for instance, since years does not provide email to new clients,
but fortunately has not cancelled the existing accounts. They also
closed our web pages.

--
Cheers,
Carlos E.R.

Chris M. Thomasson

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Sep 30, 2021, 4:16:50 PM9/30/21
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On 9/30/2021 11:12 AM, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
> On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:58:04 -0500
> 711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:
>
>> It's as if the gremlin knows a problem has been solved and so it creates
>> two new ones.
>
> <raises lightning rod>
>
> Gremlins evolve like everything else.
>


Have you ever fed them past midnight? Ouch. ;^)

711 Spooky Mart

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Sep 30, 2021, 4:58:14 PM9/30/21
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Just be sure you don't feed *me* after midnight!

Unless it's pizza, that's ok.

Dan Espen

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Sep 30, 2021, 5:30:40 PM9/30/21
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I don't remember it quite that way. The complaint was "copyrighted
material" which was all over Usenet at the time.

If someone pointed to child pornography I don't remember it.

All the ISPs dropped Usenet like a hot potato.

--
Dan Espen

Bob Eager

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Sep 30, 2021, 7:36:04 PM9/30/21
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40 years for me, and that's more than half of mine!

--
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org

Dan Espen

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Sep 30, 2021, 8:20:44 PM9/30/21
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Bob Eager <news...@eager.cx> writes:

> On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:25:46 -0400, Andreas Kohlbach wrote:
>
>> On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 01:44:05 -0400, Michael Trew wrote:
>>>
>>> On 9/29/2021 10:44 AM, Rich wrote:
>>>> Now we have a problem that few folks younger than X even know of
>>>> Usenet, or if they do, they only know if it as "that place where one
>>>> downloads binaries via NZB files". And with #1 (few ISP's carrying it
>>>> anymore) it is hard to gain new folks joining up to discuss anything.
>>>
>>> Ah, but there must be a few stand-outs.. I've been lurking in various
>>> text newsgroups for years, and posting in a few as well. I'm 26 years
>>> old, for the record.. :)
>>
>> I'm reading and posting for 25 years now, which is more than half of my
>> life (is that what you call "Half Life? ;-).
>
> 40 years for me, and that's more than half of mine!

I'd have to guess, I think it was 79.
I was at Bell Labs.

So, 42 years. I'm old but not old enough.

--
Dan Espen

Anne & Lynn Wheeler

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Sep 30, 2021, 8:45:40 PM9/30/21
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Dan Espen <dan1...@gmail.com> writes:
> I'd have to guess, I think it was 79.
> I was at Bell Labs.
>
> So, 42 years. I'm old but not old enough.

not usenet, started with vmshare (predating usenet), TYMSHARE
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tymshare
started offering its (VM370) CMS-based online computer conferencing free
to IBM user group SHARE
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHARE_(computing)
in Aug1976 as VMSHARE ... archives here
http://vm.marist.edu/~vmshare

I had deal with TYMSHARE to get monthly tape dump of all VMSHARE (and
later PCSHARE) files for putting up on IBM internal systems and network
... most difficult time was with IBM lawyers who were concerned that
internal employees would be contaminated with customer information.

I was then blamed for online computer communication on the internal
network (larger than arpanet/internet from just about the beginning
until sometime mid/late 80s) ... folklore is that when corporate
executive committe was told about it, 5of6 wanted to fire me. from IBM
Jargon http://www.comlay.net/ibmjarg.pdf

Tandem Memos - n. Something constructive but hard to control; a fresh of
breath air (sic). That's another Tandem Memos. A phrase to worry middle
management. It refers to the computer-based conference (widely
distributed in 1981) in which many technical personnel expressed
dissatisfaction with the tools available to them at that time, and also
constructively criticized the way products were [are] developed. The
memos are required reading for anyone with a serious interest in quality
products. If you have not seen the memos, try reading the November 1981
Datamation summary.

although there were only about 300 active, claim was there were possibly
25,000 reading, activity had really taken off after I distributed a trip
report about a visit to Jim Gray at Tandem. Summer of 1981, printed
about 300 pages ... prefixed with an executive summary and summary of
the summary, packaged in Tandem 3-ring binders and sent one to each
executive committee member.

Later after leaving IBM in the early 90s, pagesat gave me a full usenet
sat. feed in return for writing SGI+AIX (unix) & MS/DOS sat. modem
drivers and a article for boardwatch magazine. I also had it up on 486
ms/dos machine with waffle.


--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Oct 1, 2021, 1:30:02 AM10/1/21
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On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 19:26:42 -0000 (UTC)
Rich <ri...@example.invalid> wrote:

> In sci.crypt Questor <use...@only.tnx> wrote:

> > As I mentioned in another forum, blame also needs to be placed on
> > former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who threatened to
> > prosecute ISPs over alleged child pornography in binary newsgoups and
> > gave the major ISPs an excuse to shut down their NNTP servers
> > entirely back in the mid-aughts.
>
> That did also have an impact. But consider that had NNTP/Usenet
> service been seen as a major selling point for folks buying ISP

Consider also that it was dropped globally not just in the US.

Jan Panteltje

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Oct 1, 2021, 2:33:32 AM10/1/21
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On a sunny day (Thu, 30 Sep 2021 20:20:38 -0400) it happened Dan Espen
<dan1...@gmail.com> wrote in <sj5k8p$r02$1...@dont-email.me>:
OK then, I think I started in 1998 with win98 and trumpet winsock and Free Agent.
But in that same year I think it was I found a CD with SLS Linux.
So as C exercise wrote my own newsreader, had to be a Linux Free Agent like style:
http://panteltje.com/panteltje/newsflex/index.html
still using it today.

The interesting thing is that I now have a searchable database of all those postings I found interesting going back to 1998.

As for age, I will be 75 in a few months.
Hey I am still coding and designing electronics :-)
http://panteltje.com/panteltje/newsflex/download.html

Rich

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Oct 1, 2021, 10:48:32 AM10/1/21
to
I got access to the internet circa 1992, a terminal session over dialup
to a Sun sparc station 50. Sometime after that I discovered Usenet.
So I've known about/been lurking in Usenet since circa 1993. But I
likely spent more time lurking than posting back then, as the internet
access was a "work account" that came with all the normal "behave"
legalese that "work accounts" come with. It would be until I got a
personal dialup account before I really started being more active than
a lurker. And the exact time for that is lost to history, but is
likely circa 1996 or 1997. So somewhere from 24 to 29 years for me.

Rich

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Oct 1, 2021, 10:55:41 AM10/1/21
to
True, and anyone outside of the US would not have cared much about the
NY AG's blustering.

From the ISP perspective, it is a simple matter to monitor number of
users signing up vs. number of users using "the web" and number of
users using "Usenet". They all likely had logs and stats showing
something like 99% of new users never touch Usenet and something like
98% of existing users never touch Usenet and so after some time, they
decided to drop Usenet because it was a direct cost to them, but
clearly not a reason why all those users were paying them for access.

And, if those ISP's were running NNTP servers *and* carrying the
alt.binaries hierarchy, the huge size of alt.binaries made the NNTP
server a huge cost burden for the amount of storage necessary for even
a few days of retention on alt.binaries.

Now, they /could/ have just dropped alt.binaries.* and saved themselves
the expense of storage for that portion of Usenet. But if they did
have stat's showing something like only 2% of their users ever use
Usenet, then dropping everything in their view did little harm to
anyone. They were not likely to lose anything but pocket change from
the 2% of users who might complain or go elsewhere.


Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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Oct 1, 2021, 12:30:03 PM10/1/21
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On Fri, 1 Oct 2021 14:55:40 -0000 (UTC)
Rich <ri...@example.invalid> wrote:

> And, if those ISP's were running NNTP servers *and* carrying the
> alt.binaries hierarchy, the huge size of alt.binaries made the NNTP
> server a huge cost burden for the amount of storage necessary for even
> a few days of retention on alt.binaries.

Not just storage (which is cheap) but also bandwidth lwhich after
all was (and is) their main product and at the time very expensive. Losing
vast quantities of bandwidth to a full USENET feed (and often that was the
option for USENET peering take it all or take none of it) at a time when WWW
was often claimed to stand for World Wide Wait was not good business.

> They were not likely to lose anything but pocket change from
> the 2% of users who might complain or go elsewhere.

Not even that when nobody is providing an NNTP service as part of
the package because even if you have to go elsewhere for USENET you still
need the ISP for connectivity.

but USENET was just the first service to go, most ISPs these days
provide connectivity, maybe static IPs, maybe IPv6 and (reluctantly) an
outgoing SMTP relay, but you'll have to ask about it and they probably
wouldn't bother if they didn't need it for themselves. You want email, or
web hosting or USENET or an ftp archive or ... "Go find it yourself start at
Google they've got everything you need".

Rich

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 1:13:07 PM10/1/21
to
In sci.crypt Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> wrote:
> On Fri, 1 Oct 2021 14:55:40 -0000 (UTC)
> Rich <ri...@example.invalid> wrote:
>
>> And, if those ISP's were running NNTP servers *and* carrying the
>> alt.binaries hierarchy, the huge size of alt.binaries made the NNTP
>> server a huge cost burden for the amount of storage necessary for
>> even a few days of retention on alt.binaries.
>
> Not just storage (which is cheap) but also bandwidth lwhich
> after all was (and is) their main product and at the time very
> expensive. Losing vast quantities of bandwidth to a full USENET feed
> (and often that was the option for USENET peering take it all or take
> none of it) at a time when WWW was often claimed to stand for World
> Wide Wait was not good business.

Ah, yes, a 'peering' arrangement that is "all or nothing" causes a huge
bandwidth charge, to receive alt.binaries.*, even if they were all
subsequently dropped locally to avoid any 'copyright infringement'
appearances. That right there would have given the bean-counters at
the ISP reason enough to target Usenet as a "drop this cost center"
item.

Charlie Gibbs

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 1:43:25 PM10/1/21
to
You're lucky. My ISP sold all its e-mail accounts down the river
to Google (and yes, I do know the provenance of that phrase).
Fortunately I was already getting email and Usenet through
third parties.

--
/~\ Charlie Gibbs | Life is perverse.
\ / <cgi...@kltpzyxm.invalid> | It can be beautiful -
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | but it won't.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | -- Lily Tomlin

Charlie Gibbs

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 1:43:27 PM10/1/21
to
32 for me. In 1989 a local BBS (Mind Link) established a link to
Usenet in a way that made a number of newsgroups look like their
local message groups. I've been on a.f.c ever since.

Andreas Kohlbach

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 1:47:25 PM10/1/21
to
On Fri, 01 Oct 2021 06:30:41 GMT, Jan Panteltje wrote:
>
> OK then, I think I started in 1998 with win98 and trumpet winsock and
> Free Agent.

Must have started 1996, using the Netscape Communicator Suit first under
Windows, then Forte Agent. Since 1997 I use Linux but until around 1998 I
was still booting Windows to check the usenet. I think my first Linux
newsreader was slrn. Around 2002 I switched to Gnus which I still use
today.
--
Andreas

Jan Panteltje

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 1:59:04 PM10/1/21
to
On a sunny day (Fri, 01 Oct 2021 13:47:19 -0400) it happened Andreas Kohlbach
<a...@spamfence.net> wrote in <874ka0z...@usenet.ankman.de>:
Actually I think it was win3.1 with trumpet winsock and Free Agent for me
so on Usenet a bit earlier than 1998.
Been in Linux since 1998 and never went back to windows,
Had to use it and program in it for my work at times though.

Thomas Koenig

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Oct 1, 2021, 2:27:51 PM10/1/21
to
Questor <use...@only.tnx> schrieb:
I thought the correct description was "the naughties"?

Carlos E. R.

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 3:37:52 PM10/1/21
to
On 01/10/2021 19.43, Charlie Gibbs wrote:
> On 2021-09-30, Carlos E. R. <robin_...@es.invalid> wrote:
>> On 30/09/2021 21.26, Rich wrote:

...

>> Indeed.
>>
>> My ISP, for instance, since years does not provide email to new
>> clients, but fortunately has not cancelled the existing accounts.
>> They also closed our web pages.
>
> You're lucky. My ISP sold all its e-mail accounts down the river
> to Google (and yes, I do know the provenance of that phrase).
> Fortunately I was already getting email and Usenet through
> third parties.

I think that my ISP did sell us to some local mail provider, certainly
not google. I suffer hiccups.

Now, I realize that I should be with an independent mail provider,
because it makes me impossible to migrate ISP. Too many people know my
address, too many services I registered or subscribed, too big a
nuisance to change. Back then, I did not imagine this. Although I think
that back then independent mail providers were more expensive or didn't
offer similar service to what my ISP offered.

--
Cheers,
Carlos E.R.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 4:00:02 PM10/1/21
to
On 30 Sep 2021 23:36:02 GMT
Bob Eager <news...@eager.cx> wrote:

> On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:25:46 -0400, Andreas Kohlbach wrote:
>
> > I'm reading and posting for 25 years now, which is more than half of my
> > life (is that what you call "Half Life? ;-).
>
> 40 years for me, and that's more than half of mine!

Ah the joys of being in the right place at the right time, I first
heard about USENET and the UUCP network in the mid 1980s but failed
(despite repeated attempts) to persuade my employer that they needed a feed
from UKC so I didn't get connected until I got a Demon account in 1992 -
eek that's nearly thirty years ago! Where's my time fly swatter ?

Rich

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 4:31:32 PM10/1/21
to
My first 'internet email' was with $job, and as I knew full well the
monitoring/tracking possibilities of internet networking I used it only
for $job. When dialup ISP's suddenly popped onto the scene in my area,
I signed up and got a user...@isp-domain.com email address (in large
part driven by $job actually starting to do some of those
monitoring/tracking possibilities). When 'broadband' (DSL) appeared
later in my area, I realized the negative aspects of having my email
address tied to "@isp-domain.com" and bought my own domain and setup my
own email hosting. That was circa 2000 now, and I've had the same
email address through three different ISP's and four different "links".
That was also generally in the time before the advent of
google/yahoo/hotmail "webmail" service overall, so one's options were
generally an "@isp-domain.com" including the negatives related to
switching ISP's or "host it yourself".

Jakob Bohm

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 4:46:12 PM10/1/21
to
I was fortunate in the 1990s to early 2000s to use a dial up ISP that
had a private NNTP hierarchy as their main support channel (it grew out
of a local distributor of Modem hardware, and their initial setup was a
huge modem bank from the rack-mounted variant of the modems that I had
purchased directly). Before that, they had run their own support BBS.

Later they were bought out by incompetent foreign operators and the
dedicated newsgroups faded away. Much later they sold all the e-mail
accounts (which I paid for until the price was dropped to 0) to a local
search portal's e-mail service. I'm now stuck with a DSL line that
keeps changing my home IP too often, while our office connections are
with more expensive providers, that keep at least some semblance of
stable IP connectivity for our company servers.

Which means company e-mail runs on our own and rented servers, while
personal e-mail is hosted at a dedicated provider that also sells web
hosting (to those that need it). For NNTP, I pay for a personal account
with a global usenet host, while home access uses a free provider
that doesn't allow access from work networks.


Enjoy

Jakob
--
Jakob Bohm, CIO, Partner, WiseMo A/S. https://www.wisemo.com
Transformervej 29, 2860 Søborg, Denmark. Direct +45 31 13 16 10
This public discussion message is non-binding and may contain errors.
WiseMo - Remote Service Management for PCs, Phones and Embedded

Branimir Maksimovic

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 5:24:46 PM10/1/21
to
On 2021-10-01, Rich <ri...@example.invalid> wrote:
> generally an "@isp-domain.com" including the negatives related to
> switching ISP's or "host it yourself".
Sure, that is why you scared to live you real email address :P

--

7-77-777
Evil Sinner!

Lawrence Statton (NK1G)

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 5:26:16 PM10/1/21
to
Andreas Kohlbach <a...@spamfence.net> writes:
> On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 01:44:05 -0400, Michael Trew wrote:
> I'm reading and posting for 25 years now, which is more than half of my
> life (is that what you call "Half Life? ;-).

My first Usenet post was in 1985 — before the Great Renaming.

--
NK1G
echo 'lawre...@abaluon.abaom' | sed s/aba/c/g



Branimir Maksimovic

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 5:26:33 PM10/1/21
to
On 2021-10-01, Jakob Bohm <jb-u...@wisemo.com.invalid> wrote:
> hosting (to those that need it). For NNTP, I pay for a personal account
> with a global usenet host, while home access uses a free provider
> that doesn't allow access from work networks.
>

me as well, usenet server 5$ for lifetime :P
>
> Enjoy
>
> Jakob


--

7-77-777
Evil Sinner!

Charlie Gibbs

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 6:03:05 PM10/1/21
to
Over there. The flies are on that arrow beside the banana.

Chris M. Thomasson

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 8:38:44 PM10/1/21
to
On 9/30/2021 1:59 PM, 711 Spooky Mart wrote:
> On 9/30/21 3:16 PM, Chris M. Thomasson wrote:
>> On 9/30/2021 11:12 AM, Ahem A Rivet's Shot wrote:
>>> On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:58:04 -0500
>>> 711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:
>>>
>>>> It's as if the gremlin knows a problem has been solved and so it creates
>>>> two new ones.
>>>
>>> <raises lightning rod>
>>>
>>>     Gremlins evolve like everything else.
>>>
>>
>>
>> Have you ever fed them past midnight? Ouch. ;^)
>
> Just be sure you don't feed *me* after midnight!
>
> Unless it's pizza, that's ok.
>

:^D Indeed! lol.

Michael Trew

unread,
Oct 1, 2021, 10:07:46 PM10/1/21
to
Yes, no need for Winsock after Windows 3.1 .. I have a Gateway 2000
machine with Windows 3.11 from 1994 or so, still hooked up on my desk
here. It has an internal modem, and I occasionally boot it up and toy
around with it for fun. There aren't many websites that work with it,
but text Usenet and basic text e-mail would still work fine.

Dave Garland

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 12:19:33 AM10/2/21
to
On 9/30/2021 12:44 AM, Michael Trew wrote:
> On 9/29/2021 10:44 AM, Rich wrote:
>> Now we have a problem that few folks younger than X even know of
>> Usenet, or if they do, they only know if it as "that place where one
>> downloads binaries via NZB files".  And with #1 (few ISP's carrying it
>> anymore) it is hard to gain new folks joining up to discuss anything.
>
> Ah, but there must be a few stand-outs.. I've been lurking in various
> text newsgroups for years, and posting in a few as well.  I'm 26 years
> old, for the record.. :)

I hooked my dialup BBS to a few newsgroups in the mid '90s (yes,
UUCP). My BBS was business oriented, so alas I had to deal with a few
spammers (who I think at that time just didn't know it wasn't
acceptable). Then came the web, and dialups vanished.

Ant

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 2:12:57 AM10/2/21
to
In alt.folklore.computers Branimir Maksimovic <branimir....@icloud.com> wrote:
> On 2021-10-01, Jakob Bohm <jb-u...@wisemo.com.invalid> wrote:
> > hosting (to those that need it). For NNTP, I pay for a personal account
> > with a global usenet host, while home access uses a free provider
> > that doesn't allow access from work networks.
> >

> me as well, usenet server 5$ for lifetime :P

Which server is that? Do they still offer it and has binaries? ;)

--
So many leaks (liquid & digital types), sneezes, itches, pains, videos, issues, software updates, games, etc. Also, BUSY & tired! :(
Note: A fixed width font (Courier, Monospace, etc.) is required to see this signature correctly.
/\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://aqfl.net & http://antfarm.home.dhs.org.
/ /\ /\ \ Please nuke ANT if replying by e-mail.
| |o o| |
\ _ /
( )

Branimir Maksimovic

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 7:08:30 AM10/2/21
to
On 2021-10-02, Ant <a...@zimage.comANT> wrote:
> In alt.folklore.computers Branimir Maksimovic <branimir....@icloud.com> wrote:
>> On 2021-10-01, Jakob Bohm <jb-u...@wisemo.com.invalid> wrote:
>> > hosting (to those that need it). For NNTP, I pay for a personal account
>> > with a global usenet host, while home access uses a free provider
>> > that doesn't allow access from work networks.
>> >
>
>> me as well, usenet server 5$ for lifetime :P
>
> Which server is that? Do they still offer it and has binaries? ;)
>
https://usenet-news.net
10GB lifetime for only 5$.
If you need binaries you pay more, of course :p

--

7-77-777
Evil Sinner!
https://github.com/rofl0r/chaos-pp

Michael Trew

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 10:49:41 AM10/2/21
to
On 9/30/2021 7:36 PM, Bob Eager wrote:
> On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:25:46 -0400, Andreas Kohlbach wrote:
>
>> On Thu, 30 Sep 2021 01:44:05 -0400, Michael Trew wrote:
>>>
>>> On 9/29/2021 10:44 AM, Rich wrote:
>>>> Now we have a problem that few folks younger than X even know of
>>>> Usenet, or if they do, they only know if it as "that place where one
>>>> downloads binaries via NZB files". And with #1 (few ISP's carrying it
>>>> anymore) it is hard to gain new folks joining up to discuss anything.
>>>
>>> Ah, but there must be a few stand-outs.. I've been lurking in various
>>> text newsgroups for years, and posting in a few as well. I'm 26 years
>>> old, for the record.. :)
>>
>> I'm reading and posting for 25 years now, which is more than half of my
>> life (is that what you call "Half Life? ;-).
>
> 40 years for me, and that's more than half of mine!

I'm quite curious who the oldest poster is on this newsgroup.. I don't
mean age, but who's been here the longest.

Branimir Maksimovic

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 11:13:16 AM10/2/21
to
On 2021-10-02, Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> wrote:
>
> I'm quite curious who the oldest poster is on this newsgroup.. I don't
> mean age, but who's been here the longest.
i am
on "usenet since 1996 :P
--

7-77-777
Evil Sinner!
to weak you should be meek, and you should brainfuck stronger
https://github.com/rofl0r/chaos-pp

D.J.

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 11:58:00 AM10/2/21
to
On Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:04:16 -0500, 711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart>
wrote:
>I've heard many times that Usenet is dead. I never stopped using Usenet.
>I've been lurking Usenet for decades and I never considered it dead.
>It's obscure because most people are mesmerized by social media, reddit,
>and the like. Let the proles and zombies have their addictive behavior
>modeling distractions. As for me and my net, we will serve the ASCII.

I first got onto Usenet about fall of 1991, via a feed on a
Professor's Windows ms-dos 386 computer withl imited groups.

The university computer staff on main campus had told us 'newsgroups
are impossible at this time'.

So, we went about proving they were wrong.

My branch campus got Usenet in 1992. I vaguely remember my first posts
happening to here and a few other places. Unfortunately, my posts i
have are on floppy, and no drive. I have some backups on external usb
drives, and some on CDs, from 2000 up through today.

When I tried to go back on Google groups, they stopped at about 2003.
With hints there were some earlier, but I couldn't find them.

Anyway, I got onto dial-up, then a cable modem a few years after that.
Moved a few times, so my email address has changed about 5 to 8 times.
I'm not sure just how many.

Bob Eager

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 12:07:12 PM10/2/21
to
My 40 years is when we started a feed to the UK from the USA. Slow
initially, but we ended up being a major provider for a while.

A few years later I set up a news server on our VAX/VMS cluster (ANU News
anyone?) for those who didn't use UNIX.



--
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org

711 Spooky Mart

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 12:12:00 PM10/2/21
to
On 10/1/21 2:32 PM, Carlos E. R. wrote:

> I think that my ISP did sell us to some local mail provider, certainly
> not google. I suffer hiccups.
>
> Now, I realize that I should be with an independent mail provider,
> because it makes me impossible to migrate ISP. Too many people know my
> address, too many services I registered or subscribed, too big a
> nuisance to change. Back then, I did not imagine this. Although I think
> that back then independent mail providers were more expensive or didn't
> offer similar service to what my ISP offered.

I ran into problems like this once. So I registered my own domains and
run my own mail server so I know I'll never be left hanging by a
provider. It is the safest way to maintain continuity especially with a
personal brand or business presence. Since this hierarchy is beginning
to look like a retirement community I want to offer some advice to our
future caretakers.

All youngsters and nascent hackers:

1. Register a domain name and never lose it.

2. Pay for at least 5 years in advance and put it on your calendar to
check yearly.

3. Set up your emails on your own domain so you won't ever lose them.

4. Get a cheap backup VPS, super encrypt and backup your stuff to it. Do
not use free cloud services for anything important. Pay the $20-30 per
year for the VPS ... it's worth it.

5. Every geek should have at least one VPS playground. Several is better
for separation of concerns and robustness. Running a couple physical
servers off your home or business connection is equally advised. Heck
even a few raspberry pi cards will do for most private stuff.

6. Run your own Usenet feed on one of your VPS machines and invite me.

This advice comes from me learning the hard way: always encrypt and
backup your stuff onto an ecosystem that you control, and maintain your
presence on infrastructure that you control, or else, you will likely
get clobbered when you least expect it.

--
███████████████████████████████████
█░░░░░░░░░░░█░░░░░░░░███░░░░░░░░███
█░░███████░░█░░████░░███░░████░░███ [chan] 711
█░░░░░░░██░░█░░░░██░░███░░░░██░░███ spooky mart
██████░░██░░███░░██░░█████░░██░░███ always open
██████░░██░░███░░██░░█████░░██░░███ stay spooky
██████░░██░░█░░░░██░░░░█░░░░██░░░░█ https://bitmessage.org
██████░░██░░█░░██████░░█░░██████░░█
██████░░░░░░█░░░░░░░░░░█░░░░░░░░░░█
███████████████████████████████████

Mainlander

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 12:26:08 PM10/2/21
to
news.individual.net


--
grey...@mail.com
That's not a mousehole!

Mainlander

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 12:31:17 PM10/2/21
to
On 2021-10-02, Ant <a...@zimage.comANT> wrote:
> In alt.folklore.computers Branimir Maksimovic <branimir....@icloud.com> wrote:
>> On 2021-10-01, Jakob Bohm <jb-u...@wisemo.com.invalid> wrote:
>> > hosting (to those that need it). For NNTP, I pay for a personal account
>> > with a global usenet host, while home access uses a free provider
>> > that doesn't allow access from work networks.
>> >
>
>> me as well, usenet server 5$ for lifetime :P
>
> Which server is that? Do they still offer it and has binaries? ;)
>

binaries are a PITA. No necessary, specially when you are 77+ :)

Mainlander

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 12:35:48 PM10/2/21
to
On 2021-10-02, Branimir Maksimovic <branimir....@icloud.com> wrote:
> On 2021-10-02, Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> wrote:
>>
>> I'm quite curious who the oldest poster is on this newsgroup.. I don't
>> mean age, but who's been here the longest.
> i am
> on "usenet since 1996 :P

I got onto the Internet using an Amiga, and a cheap cheap dialling
method, which caused a major phone bill when it failed. Must be 1994+.

J. Clarke

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 12:49:37 PM10/2/21
to
On Sat, 02 Oct 2021 15:13:14 GMT, Branimir Maksimovic
<branimir....@icloud.com> wrote:

>On 2021-10-02, Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> wrote:
>>
>> I'm quite curious who the oldest poster is on this newsgroup.. I don't
>> mean age, but who's been here the longest.
>i am
>on "usenet since 1996 :P

Earliest post of mine that I can find is 1997. Was on Compuserve for
a long time before that.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 1:30:03 PM10/2/21
to
On 2 Oct 2021 16:26:05 GMT
Mainlander <Mainl...@katamail.com> wrote:

> On 2021-10-01, Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> wrote:
> > On Fri, 1 Oct 2021 14:55:40 -0000 (UTC)

> > themselves. You want email, or web hosting or USENET or an ftp archive
> > or ... "Go find it yourself start at Google they've got everything you
> > need".
> >
>
> news.individual.net

Sure or Eternal September or Aoie or ... but for sure not your ISP
who don't care where you go for the many services they don't provide.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 1:30:04 PM10/2/21
to
On 2 Oct 2021 16:07:10 GMT
Bob Eager <news...@eager.cx> wrote:

> My 40 years is when we started a feed to the UK from the USA. Slow
> initially, but we ended up being a major provider for a while.

UKC I presume.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 1:30:04 PM10/2/21
to
On Sat, 2 Oct 2021 11:12:51 -0500
711 Spooky Mart <7...@spooky.mart> wrote:

> Since this hierarchy is beginning to look like a retirement community

We are sometimes known as the auld farts of computing - although
sadly several of the auldest farts are no longer with us and are much
missed, but we're not all retired some of us are still active in the biz.

Anne & Lynn Wheeler

unread,
Oct 2, 2021, 1:53:28 PM10/2/21
to
Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> writes:
> I'm quite curious who the oldest poster is on this newsgroup.. I don't
> mean age, but who's been here the longest.

archived usenet (including a.f.c.) from 1993
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/93.html

after leaving IBM and getting full (satellite) usenet feed from pagesat
http://www.art.net/lile/pagesat/netnews.html
in return for doing satellite modem drivers and writing boardwatch (BBS)
magazine article.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boardwatch

before that, vmshare back to aug1976 ... previous post (google archive)
https://groups.google.com/g/alt.folklore.computers/c/VM5_IvSR6gw/m/PMNWpqmaAwAJ

and IBM internal network (larger than arpanet/internet from just about
beginning until sometime mid/late 80s).

--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970