Usenet Archaeology

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Jason Evans

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Sep 22, 2021, 7:32:08 AMSep 22
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Hi all,

I've been engaged in a bit of Usenet Archaeology to find useful, funny,
and interesting articles from the past. While Usenet has only around 40
years, the sheer amount of information out there is vast and yet also
surprisingly limited since there are big gaps where articles just aren't
available.

I'm planning on writing a tutorial this week on how I do research on the
big-8.org website. I'll post a link here and I'm always open for
suggestions. Results should be posted to alt.usenet.reposts if possible,
with the full headers intact.

x-posted to alt.folklore.computers because of their great, friendly, and
knowledgable folks who might be interested and r/usenet on Reddit because
I know at least some of them would be interested in this also.

__
JE

Thomas Koenig

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Sep 23, 2021, 4:35:31 PMSep 23
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Jason Evans <jse...@mailfence.com> schrieb:
> Hi all,
>
> I've been engaged in a bit of Usenet Archaeology to find useful, funny,
> and interesting articles from the past. While Usenet has only around 40
> years, the sheer amount of information out there is vast and yet also
> surprisingly limited since there are big gaps where articles just aren't
> available.
>
> I'm planning on writing a tutorial this week on how I do research on the
> big-8.org website. I'll post a link here and I'm always open for
> suggestions. Results should be posted to alt.usenet.reposts if possible,
> with the full headers intact.

Hm... if you happen to find the "Usenet Olympics" by Peter da Silva
by any chance, please repost it. I remember it well, but have been
unable to find a copy.

Kerr-Mudd, John

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Sep 23, 2021, 4:46:30 PMSep 23
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Googlefu weak?
http://uffish.net/attic/weirdness/Usenet-Olympics.html
--
Bah, and indeed Humbug.

John Goerzen

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Sep 23, 2021, 11:52:16 PMSep 23
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On 2021-09-22, Jason Evans <jse...@mailfence.com> wrote:
> I'm planning on writing a tutorial this week on how I do research on the
> big-8.org website. I'll post a link here and I'm always open for
> suggestions. Results should be posted to alt.usenet.reposts if possible,
> with the full headers intact.

Thank you, that would be great. Looking at your posts, you seem to be getting
full headers with unredacted email addresses out of Google. I'm interested in
how you're doing that, too.

John

Thomas Koenig

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Sep 24, 2021, 3:51:32 AMSep 24
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Kerr-Mudd, John <ad...@127.0.0.1> schrieb:
Apparenlty :-)

> http://uffish.net/attic/weirdness/Usenet-Olympics.html

Thanks a lot indeed! Saved for future reference.

(And it wasn't by Peter da Silva after all, it seems).

Charlie Gibbs

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Sep 24, 2021, 1:16:59 PMSep 24
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Thanks for the memory. It prompted me to dig into my own archives
(being the pack rat that I am, I have copies of lots of this stuff)
and I found my own copy. The version posted on the web site is
missing the first couple of hundred lines. Here they are:

========================================================================

Msg-ID: <1991Oct8.2...@cbfsb.att.com>
Posted: Tue, 8 Oct 1991 20:34:51
Org. : AT&T Bell Laboratories
Person: scott.forbes

Eric Raymond:
>I'm looking for more material like this. I'm especially interested in
>finding the following:
>[...]
>* The complete USENET Olympics series.

------------ cut here ------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Usenet Olympics -- Opening Ceremonies
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Usenet Sports Programming Network presents:

\\ \\ \\
//// //// ////
\\\\\\ \\\\\\ \\\\\\
//////// //////// ////////
(________) (________) (________) The 1991
\ / \\ \ / \\ \ /
\ / //// \ / //// \ / Usenet Olympic Games
\ / \\\\\\ \ / \\\\\\ \ /
|| //////// || //////// ||
|| (________) || (________) ||
|| \ / || \ / ||
|| \ / || \ / ||
\ / \ /
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||

Brought to you by DuPont Chemical, the makers of napalm.

[Title sequence: Computer generated athlete-type graphics whiz by
as Olympic trumpet music blares in the background. Fade slowly to
a camera shot of USPN studios; the announcer voice-over begins as
the studio lights come up:]

Don Pardo:
>USPN presents live coverage of the 1991 Usenet Olympic Games!
>We take you now to Bryant Gumbel at USPN Olympic Headquarters in
>Atlanta, Georgia.

[Fade in to Bryant sitting at a desk, with an array of TV monitors
showing the Usenet Olympic logo (five flaming torches) in the
background.]

Bryant:
>Thank you, Don, and welcome to the 1991 Usenet Olympic Games.
>USPN is proud to present the ultimate pinnacle of net competition,
>and will be bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of all the
>major news and events as they happen, where they happen.
>
>Our staff of reporters and correspondents has been in preparation
>for several months, as have the competitors arriving here today.
>We have participants from over 78 newsgroups in the Olympics, in
>events ranging from synchronized flaming to the marathon.
>
>Our coverage will begin with the opening ceremonies, which are
>already in progress. We take you now live to Wolf Blitzer,
>standing by at Spafford Stadium.

[Fade to a 'sky-cam' shot from high above the stadium.]

Wolf:
>Thanks, Bryant. This is Wolf Blitzer, reporting to you live from
>the opening ceremonies of the Usenet Olympic Games. You're seeing
>the stadium as it appears from the Usenet Blimp, hovering high
>above the ceremonies, and as you can see most of the teams have
>already entered the stadium.

[Cut to Wolf Blitzer on the reviewing stand; he is wearing a
flak jacket and carrying a gas mask.]

>We're looking forward to an exciting, event-driven Olympics here
>at Spafford Stadium, and you can feel the anticipation in the air.
>Now entering the stadium is the news.admin team:

[A group of harried-looking sysadmins walks onto the track, circles
the stadium as quickly as possible, and takes its place among the
already assembled teams. The audience applauds lightly.]

Wolf:
>News.admin isn't an energetic team, but they've got a lot of power
>in some of the voting events. Ah, here comes the alt.flame team:

[A band of angry-looking college freshmen carring blowtorches enter
and look around the stadium as if daring anyone to post anything.
After a tense interval, they settle into place.]

Wolf:
>As might be expected, alt.flame took home several gold medals in
>the track and flame events last year, and are expected to repeat
>that performance here at the 1991 games. But there are a lot of
>loose cannons among the alt.flamers, and they tend to work against
>each other in the team sports.

[Several tall, narrow lights appear on the playing field, and the
rec.arts.startrek team beams into the stadium. The team is equally
divided between redshirt Security guards and Starfleet Admirals.]

Wolf:
>One of the biggest teams in the Usenet Olympics, rec.arts.startrek
>fields competitors in almost every event.

Bryant cuts in:
>Wolf, haven't there been reports of some bad blood between r.a.st
>and one of the other groups?

Wolf:
>Yes there have, Bryant, and here comes the "other group" now:

[The rec.arts.sf-lovers team, brandishing everything from swords
to lightsabers, enters the stadium. Many of the r.a.st athletes
put their hands near their phasers, and the r.a.sf-l team responds
with glares and similar hostility.]

Wolf:
>You can see there's no love lost between these two teams, Bryant.
>After the fiasco at the Badwill Games, where an apparent r.a.sf-l
>gold medal in Group Reorganizing was wiped out by r.a.st protests,
>there's been nothing but hatred between these two newsgroups.
>
>And that's the last of the teams entering the stadium. Here comes
>the torch-bearer, preparing to light the five torches in the logo
>and officially open the Usenet Olympics:

[Kent Paul Dolan enters, carrying a flamethrower set on "medium".
He jogs about a quarter of the distance around the track, holding
the nozzle above his head, and then sees the r.a.st team: ]

Kent:
>YOU!
>You ruined
>my beautiful
>r.a.sf-l
>reorg!
>
>You're all
>a bunch of
>morons!
>
>Take this!

[Kent sets the flamethrower on "eat flaming death" and fires into
the r.a.st group, toasting several redshirts. The r.a.st team
responds with phaser fire, temporarily stunning Kent; alt.flame
and r.a.sf-lovers immediately jump into the fray...]

Wolf:
>Um, it looks like we've got a commotion on the field...

[Phasers, swords, lasers and fire lizards duke it out on the field,
as the r.a.sf assortment plows into r.a.st. Again, several of the
redshirted Security men are killed, but none of the Admirals are
even injured. Players from rec.arts.drwho quietly begin stunning
some of the isolated players with sonic screwdrivers.]

Wolf [putting on his gas mask]:
>Bryant, it's pandemoneum here; I don't know how much longer we can
>stay on the air...

[Mutant X-men rejects from rec.arts.comics begin fighting on both
sides, and the alt.flamers start torching each other. A news.admin
player quietly begins typing on a nearby portable computer, and
the rec.arts.startrek.info team vanishes!]

Kent [recovering]:
>You haven't
>heard the
>last of me!

[Suddenly a bronze dragon appears in the air above the stadium, and
begins chewing firestone from its rider's pouch. Simultaneously, a
Klingon Bird of Prey uncloaks and locks on the nearest target...]

Wolf:
>We're out of here! [goes off the air]

[The camera returns to the USPN studios. Scenes of great violence
and carnage are visible on the monitors behind Bryant.]

Bryant:
>Once again, violence has disrupted the opening ceremonies of the
>Usenet Olympic Games. This marks the third straight year that the
>games have been marred by pre- and post-event flaming, but it's
>the first time anything has happened this early.
>
>We'll continue our coverage of the 1991 Usenet Olympic Games with
>the opening track and flame events, the Rambling Post and the
>Controversial Topic. Stay tuned to USPN for exclusive interviews
>and more excitement as we cover the 1991 Usenet Olympics.

[To be continued...]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Usenet Olympic Games Coverage -- Day 1
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--
/~\ 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

J. Clarke

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Sep 24, 2021, 6:54:51 PMSep 24
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All of this has me flashing on something that I would have thought was
science fiction--"Tank biathlon". However it is actually a thing. A
Russian thing of course.

Branimir Maksimovic

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Sep 24, 2021, 8:22:51 PMSep 24
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My father forbid me to read SF, as I was on that when I was 11,
haven't go OUT to PLAY with other kids :P

--
7-77-777
\|/
---
/|\
Evil Sinner!

Kerr-Mudd, John

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Sep 25, 2021, 9:12:13 AMSep 25
to
On Fri, 24 Sep 2021 18:54:46 -0400
J. Clarke <jclarke...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, 24 Sep 2021 17:16:56 GMT, Charlie Gibbs
> <cgi...@kltpzyxm.invalid> wrote:
>

[]
> >Thanks for the memory. It prompted me to dig into my own archives
> >(being the pack rat that I am, I have copies of lots of this stuff)
> >and I found my own copy. The version posted on the web site is
> >missing the first couple of hundred lines. Here they are:
> >
[]

Thanks for posting that.

> All of this has me flashing on something that I would have thought was
> science fiction--"Tank biathlon". However it is actually a thing. A
> Russian thing of course.

But requoting it? Fuurfu.

Kerr-Mudd, John

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Oct 1, 2021, 3:37:40 PMOct 1
to
On Wed, 22 Sep 2021 11:32:07 -0000 (UTC)
Jason Evans <jse...@mailfence.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I've been engaged in a bit of Usenet Archaeology to find useful,
> funny, and interesting articles from the past. While Usenet has only
> around 40 years, the sheer amount of information out there is vast
> and yet also surprisingly limited since there are big gaps where
> articles just aren't available.
>
> I'm planning on writing a tutorial this week on how I do research on
> the big-8.org website. I'll post a link here and I'm always open for
> suggestions. Results should be posted to alt.usenet.reposts if
> possible, with the full headers intact.

There's more to usenet than just the big-8: e.g. UK.* has some historic posters^w posts.
>
> x-posted to alt.folklore.computers because of their great, friendly,
> and knowledgable folks who might be interested and r/usenet on Reddit
> because I know at least some of them would be interested in this also.
>
> __
> JE


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