Memories of USENET and the Years Before The Renaming

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Joel Furr

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Mar 20, 1994, 12:51:35 PM3/20/94
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As moderator of comp.society.folklore, I'd really like to see some
correspondence here in the group about the years of USENET before the
renaming. When all the groups were either net.* or mod.* and the Alt Wars
were not even born.

Mike Grubb, news admin at Duke University, theorized to me the other day
that there's probably only one person still on the net who was posting at
the very beginning -- back when there was only one site on the net (Duke
University) posting to netnews and there was only one group, general. In
other words, to have been there at the very beginning, you would have to
have been at Duke before the link to UNC was established.

Anyone out there remember what it was like when netnews was young and
September was just another month on the calendar?


Ned Danieley

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Mar 21, 1994, 3:58:29 PM3/21/94
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In article <2mi2f7$3...@news.duke.edu> you wrote:
: As moderator of comp.society.folklore, I'd really like to see some

: correspondence here in the group about the years of USENET before the
: renaming. When all the groups were either net.* or mod.* and the Alt Wars
: were not even born.

: Mike Grubb, news admin at Duke University, theorized to me the other day
: that there's probably only one person still on the net who was posting at
: the very beginning -- back when there was only one site on the net (Duke
: University) posting to netnews and there was only one group, general. In
: other words, to have been there at the very beginning, you would have to
: have been at Duke before the link to UNC was established.

I suspect there are more than that. Steve Daniel and Tom Truscott are
still around. there are probably some others who were grad students
that early; USENET was already fairly extensive (50+) sites when I got
to Duke in 1980.

G. Wolfe Woodbury

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Mar 22, 1994, 10:29:48 PM3/22/94
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Well, there are four folks still actively posting that I know were around
when netnews was invented. Tom Truscot and Steve Daniel are two. Myself
and Steve Bellovin (formerly of UNC now at research.att.com) are the other
two.

Names that no longer appear are: Dennis Rockwell, Jim Ellis and David Lupo.

As I recall the first steps it was:
duke
duke-unc
duke:unc:phs
duke:unc:phs:duke34
etc....

alice (now research.att.com), decvax and ucbvax were very early sites, as
was utzoo (and the ubiquitos Henry Spencer :-)

The main problem is that nostalgia tinges the "good old days" with a
sepia tone, and many of the details are no longer as clear as they
once were.

But don't kid yourself. Flame wars erupted on the net within a month of
its real inception. I do remember that!

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