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The Internet

Usenet Archive from 1981 217

Brandon Downey writes: "I found this site the other day, after giving up on Dejanews in disgust. (Does anyone think they don't suck these days?) Apparently, this site's owner has resurrected a tape archive of usenet posts from 1981-1982. The site appears courtesy of Bruce Jones, Henry Spencer, and David Wiseman, who deserve credit for compiling this utterly intriguing selection of articles from our past."

What's amazing is not so much how far we've come, but how visionary some of the people then were.

Take this little gem, for instance:

Aallegra.131
net.general
utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!ihnss!mhtsa!allegra!rdg
Thu Nov 12 21:05:29 1981
democracy
wouldn't it be great to be able to use this electronic medium
to send notes to our government officials?  i never seem to write
postal letters or telegrams, but we all seem to find these
electric notes convenient enough to use often.  can you imagine
net.reagan with a few authentic replys?

The Usenet Oldnews Archive: Compilation Copyright© 1981, 1996
Bruce Jones, Henry Spencer, David Wiseman.
The archive gets better than this though -- there are articles about whether you can be prosecuted for profanity on usenet, copies of the TCP/IP digest volume 1, and even people asking for dice rolling programs for d&d on a vax! Check it out for yourself, it's well worth the read."

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Usenet Archive from 1981

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  • Canter & Seigal (also sp?) were posting Green Card Lottery Spam, IIRC.

    I think they were the inspiration for the CancelMoose too, weren't they?

    I always wanted one of those T-Shirts, too!


    This is my .sig. It isn't very big.
  • Nothing funnier than making fun of religion and homosexuality. If you want to hear someone actually do it well with intelligent humor, you might want to listen to the Frogs. Then you can steal their lyrics and you might have something new to post instead of the same old stuff you've been posting since steelcage.

    Hope this helps,

    Rev

  • because I cannot find any newsgroups with the word sex in it... :-)
  • they then took the one part of their service that was unique and served an important purpose for the online community (the Usenet archive) and place it offline for the last 3 1/2 months

    Granted, this would suck if you really liked the Usenet archives, but I've never used them. What is the need for them? Is it more of a look back, reread past conversations and what-not? Sorry, I just don't understand the need to have it all archived; it's always nice to have the option, I guess, but it's not an option I've needed/used...

  • The text beneath the URL is a quote ... Yeah, I _should_ have used the preview button ...
  • No alternative data, but here [industrialsoftworks.com] is an alternative interface that filters out most of the crap, and allows you to get to the meat of your question a lot faster.

    Also available at your local neighborhood freshmeat [freshmeat.net]

  • by grappler ( 14976 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @09:11AM (#824976) Homepage
    From net.rumors:


    Aucbernie.2227
    net.rumor
    utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!ucbernie!daemon
    Fri Apr 16 10:38:54 1982
    Bill Joy's plans
    Bill Joy has decided to become involved with a new startup company and
    will be phasing out of the CSRG over the next few months. He will be
    joining Sun Microsystems, Inc., a company whose founders include Andy
    Bechtolsheim, the designer of the Sun workstation. SMI is one of a
    number of companies which plan to offer microprocessor-based networked
    workstations running 4.2BSD software.

    Bill plans to continue full time until July 1 when an early version of
    the 4.2BSD distribution should be complete and running in house. He
    will continue half time through its polishing, tuning, beta testing and
    documentation phases. Bill expects to finish writing his PhD thesis by
    December.

    Bill will continue as a contributor and advisor to CSRG, although it
    will be a secondary activity for him. While SMI may need to develop
    proprietary software in certain specialized areas, Bill expects fixes
    to the shared base of 4.2BSD programs which are made at SMI can be
    distributed by Berkeley. The current cooperative efforts between CSRG
    and various industrial groups are seen as a model for the
    relationship.

    Bill has been a valued colleague and friend during his years at
    Berkeley and he will be very much missed. I hope you will join me in
    wishing him well as he makes this transition.

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is"

  • Linux was made in 1991, that's 10 years after this Usenet snapshot. So why would there be a Linux newsgroup? It wouldn't make any sense.

    Chris Hagar
  • Deja's going to be 'out' if they don't straighten things up soon.

    Deja is providing a service which is in demand, as is evidenced by the large number of lusers in this forum complaining about it.

    Deja provides this service for free, so there is no legal avenue for any of their lusers to require improved service. Nor can their lusers threaten to withhold payment.

    Deja is apparently the best provider in this market segment, so there will be no migration of customers to competing services.

    Given those facts, please explain to me why they are going to be "out"?
  • What do people have against Deja? I don't see what's so wrong with it...

    First, they switch their company from being the top player in providing a good, useful, and focused service (Usenet posting and archival), to become just another one of the myriad 'me-too' portal sites with a low-grade product comparison and rating scheme tacked on.

    Secondly, they then took the one part of their service that was unique and served an important purpose for the online community (the Usenet archive) and place it offline for the last 3 1/2 months... and who knows (if?) when it will ever return?

    Whatever happened to doing one thing better than anyone else as a viable business model, instead of having everyone trying to to the same things badly?

  • re:
    Aesquire.123
    net.unix-wizards,net.v7bugs
    utzoo!decvax!duke!chico!esquire!psl
    Sun Aug 16 13:54:43 1981
    setuid & the super user

    I see in the very interesting newgroup unix-wizards there is a reply to a message by Bill Joy from Peter Langston.
    I wonder if this is the same Peter S. Langston (www.langston.com) who developed the predecessor of the immortal game: Empire?

  • This is most likely Morris Sr.... Morris Jr is the worm guy....
  • oops, that's net.rumor, not net.rumors...

    http://communication.ucsd.edu/A-News/NET.rumor/N ET.rumor-index.html

    And here's a reply to the Bill Joy rumor:


    Fri Apr 16 14:47:31 1982
    To my broker

    With reference to the previous rumor (Bill Joy):

    Sell Berkeley July futures short.
    Buy SMI July long.

    Lynn F. TenEyck
    unc!lynn


    aint that the truth.

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is"

  • The entry for "emoticon [tuxedo.org]" in The Jargon File [tuxedo.org] says:

    It appears that the emoticon was invented by one Scott Fahlman on the CMU {bboard} systems sometime between early 1981 and mid-1982.
  • Aah .. Ronda Hauben :) She's done a lot for Internet research, such as publishing a book on the subject ("Netizens") with her son Michael who was also the editor of an online newsletter called the Amateur Computerist which had a 1994 edition celebrating 25 years of UNIX ( http://studentweb.tulane.edu/~rwoods/internet/amco mp61.html [tulane.edu]), among other things. The guy behind the Usenet archives, by the way, is Bruce Jones, who was one of the first Usenet ethnographers and nearly wrote his thesis on the subject, just in case you were wondering. As well as the A-news archive, he also maintains an archive [ucsd.edu]on the discussion on the history of Usenet, in which most of the Usenet biggies participated (Rich Salz, Mark Horton, Gene Spafford etc.) For more on Internet history and culture, check out http://duplox.wz-berlin.de [wz-berlin.de] (warning: most of the articles are in German, but the most important ones have been translated).

    Jillian.

  • Has Dejanews again made available the archive older than a year? Last I heard they'd chopped it off at a year. It had suddenly become much less useful, as there's been a lot of useful info that wasn't repeated over and over.
  • I was in High School. The CS course there was in a small room (former broom closet?) with 3 terminals in it. One of them was paper and not CRT. Connected to a mainframe elsewhere in the county via phone lines. I can still remember the delay between typing and seeing the echo.
  • Most of the larger search engines have Usenet search options. The trouble is, none are as yet as big as Dejanews, which, it has to be said, has done a good job of indexing the vast amount of data on Usenet. In the past, that is :-(
  • yeah, maybe we can find an archive of people talking about what a piece of crap windows 1.0 was. might be interesting to see if it had the program has performed an illegal operation and will be teminated.

  • For all you know he might be writing on a machine which doesn't have lowercase characters... like... well... god, I have no idea what you would use to connect from your office/whatever in those days...

    A Timex Sinclair 1000 desparately soldered togther to emulate an RS232 port?

    Unless there were actually VTs which were case impaired....

    Maybe a PET which would require switching video modes to see 40 columns of lower case characters.

  • Aresearch.189 net.suicide utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!mhtsa!alice!research!rob Tue Dec 8 19:35:02 1981 net.suicide I am interested in talking to other people on the network interested in suicide. I belonged to a club in graduate school, but we couldn't keep membership up. :)
  • this is taken from the first posting for net.suicide [ucsd.edu] the smiley is mine actually, but it is pretty funny, isn't it?
  • by J.J. ( 27067 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @07:13AM (#824992)
    There was a researcher from Columbia that used this archive as one of the major sources for her paper Early Usenet [ais.org]. It's not the most well-researched article, and if it was written by a techie I'd be surprised, but it's a good job of collecting together a lot of the gems from the archive.

    For instance:

    Often queries would be posted on Usenet asking others for
    information or advice. This would make it possible to build on
    other's experience. For example, one poster wrote, "does anybody
    know of an Arpanet (BBN-1822) interface for the Intel Multibus
    IEEE standard 796. We could always back up Ron Crane's old
    parallel port interface, but would prefer something already done
    on the slim chance that it happens to exist." (9) Hoping to work
    collaboratively with others who were interested, the poster
    continued, "It just occurred to me that a SUN workstation would
    make a dandy Arpanet Ethernet gateway. Is there anybody else out
    there in internet land who might want to share efforts." (10)


    Enjoy.
    J.J.

  • Date: 26-May-81 10:21:40 PDT (Tuesday)
    From: Hamilton.ES at PARC-MAXC
    Subject: FILM-BUFFS disappears

    Several higher authorities believe that the existence of FILM-BUFFS
    would be pushing the use of the Arpanet too far beyond its
    research-oriented mandate. Not wanting to jeopardize the lists we
    have now, I yield to those people's better judgment.

    Oh, for the day when such strictures disappear! When WORLDNET lets
    each interested party EFT his $10/yr for "postage", and Large Lists
    rule the world!


  • I wonder what discussion will be held on /. in 2020, when an old dejanews-archive of 2000 will be found and opened...

    ("Oh look... they still tried to discuss the pros and cons of win 2000... how cute!")
  • I must disagree. FidoNet was a lot worse than Usenet was at that time. Spam, lots of irrelevant nonsense and flaming were quite common on FidoNet, around 1990. UseNet was at that time virtually free of that. Of course it all changed when Usenet became accessible in non-academic, non-government environments (read AOL).
    (2:283/309.5 was my first number, several others lost in the mists of time to follow)
  • They've (deja) been very quiet about the whole affair. I did, however, come across this:

    "Old Usenet messages - Starting May 4, many messages posted over two years ago will not be accessible on a temporary basis, and after May 8, all messages posted over a year ago will not be accessible on a temporary basis. We will be taking this opportunity to reconfigure the service that provides messages posted prior to May 1999. Therefore, these messages will not be accessible on the site for some time, possibly a few months. Have no fear: We're committed to bringing these messages back online as soon as possible."

    Why they feel they have to "reconfigure the service" is beyond me.

  • I'll probably get flamed for this, but I have to say, ME TOO! I desperately need some kind of newsfeed so that I can get help fixing my root partition (Where did block 0 go?) :)

    Mikael Jacobson
  • Man, I'll tell ya what.. When I upped from my 300bd modem to a Hayes 2400, WOW! I was in shock at the speed!

    Sheesh, now I bitch about my DSL not being up yet and how I have to settle for these lame 52k connections all the time...
  • No, but here's an ancestor of rec.arts.movie.erotica: review of 'Goodbye Emmanuelle', the 4th of a series of classic softcore movies starring Sylvia Kristel.
    net.movies [ucsd.edu]
    ---
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This archive begins, for all practical purposes, in May of 1981. Usenet itself began, more or less, in January of 1980. Therefore this archive is missing the entire first year of network traffic (probably less than a day's stuff these days). If you or anyone you know has copies - electronic or hardcopy - of earlier news articles, please contact Bruce Jones (address and other pertinent info listed at the end of this index). The A-News part of the archive ends in May of 1982.

    I've got them sitting right here, but you probably don't want them, it's only a few megabytes of this crap:

    Asdcsvax.300
    NET.unix.wizards
    utzoo!duke!decvax!ucbvax!sdcsvax!jmcg
    Wed Jan 16 03:40:05 1980
    First post!

    Asri-unix.301
    net.unix-wizards
    utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!menlo70!sri-unix!chico!
    trb@B erkeley
    Sat May 26 20:11:18 1980
    Usenet r0x0r5! Imagine a beowulf of these newsgroups!
  • Inflation was prety high then....
  • Another neat bit of history here: in the tcp-ip digest #12 [ucsd.edu] we get the birth of modern email and web address formats...


    From: decvax!watmath!bstempleton at Berkeley
    Subject: standard net address


    ... It seems to me that userid@site.forwarder is much more sensible than userid.site@forwarder. (this is a simple change that had better not take more than 1 minute to implement in any already written code - or else the code was badly done)

    at sign is found rarely in userids, and almost never on the arpanet, if at all. Dot is found commonly. It seems to make sense to say, you want to join our net, here is a format for your site name, instead of "here is a format for your userid names"

    Aside from all that userid@location is much more readable than userid.location if you ask me...

  • That *almost* compiles... it chokes on printw() and when trying to pass a non-prototyped K&R-style function to signal() :-)
  • Some interesting stuff of what the plural of "UNIX." (Article-ID: ucf-cs.379) According to the BTL Legal and Patent Division, UNIX is an adjective that describes Bell System software distributed under the license, so the plural would be "UNIX systems" extrapolated from "UNIX system" (mhtsa.134). Lou Warshawsky of General Instrument R&D suggests "Unices" (gi.113) as does someone from perdue (perdue.180). Someone from npois suggests that the plural of UNIX is "UNI (long-u,n,long-i)" (npois.293). Someone from utzoo says that, because "Unix" is an ordinary English word, it forms ordinary English plurals. "[I]t is not derived from Latin and therefore does not form -ices plurals. The plural of Unix is Unixes" (utzoo.1375).

    Quotes and references:
    The Usenet Oldnews Archive: Compilation Copyright© 1981, 1996 Bruce Jones, Henry Spencer, David Wiseman.

    Chris Hagar

  • i did, but not until circa 85
  • ...on when the first "Free Animal Sex" post appeared on Usenet?
    How about the first Ponzi scheme?

    ----------------
    Programming, is like sex.

  • Wasn't there an Ask Slashdot recently about a kid wanting to know how to become a computer historian? This is some of the stuff he should be doing.
  • i think that post was made up by the slashdot reader (as opposed to actually being part of the archive).

    --

  • Along with involuntary servitude (the draft) and printing money, the government seems to reserve the setting up of pyramid schemes to itself. What is the Social Security system if not an enormous pyramid?

    The Usenet Oldnews Archive: Compilation Copyright© 1981, 1996 Bruce Jones, Henry Spencer, David Wiseman.

    I wonder if these people had any idea they would all be posted on Slashdot..

    Chris Hagar

  • Their usenet archive is alive and well.... http://www.deja.com/usenet/ [deja.com]
  • *sniff sniff* That's so beautiful... all of our old conversations stored for later use. From years ago... wait a minute... yet followin' me eh? Keeping track of what I say eh?

    *insert shifty eyed paranoid scene here*

    They must be stopped... oh yes...You'll never take me alive!

  • To me this just once again underscores the need for an Internet archive. Is there any project like this out there? Is it commercial, or non-commercial? Is it international, or national? What parts of the Internet does it archive, who decides, and how does it do them? If the answer is no to the first question, these questions apply to a _possible_ archive. I really think we will kick ourselves in 50 years for having lost all this data.
  • Where is the pr0m ... ?

    I tought this was what newsgroups were all about...

  • Click here [ucsd.edu] and read the last article.

    Here, Bill Joy and Bob Fabry discuss the progress of BSD tcp/ip, and it's quite interesting. From what i understand, bill developed it while everyone else squabbled over clunky, slow tcp/ip implementations. Bill also made sure it was scalable for faster lines (10mbit for example). Other implementations only seem to get 100kbit/sec..

    On 11/780's, these numbers typically scale up by 1.4 so that we can project the throughput with the improvements described above to be about 11.2 Megabaud, user-user.

    And.. the end-note which proves it's historical significance..

    We will be working with Rob Gurwitz at BBN in the coming weeks, combining our version of TCP/IP with his current version. We look forward to making a high-performance version of the protocol available to the VAX/UNIX community at an early date. Regards, Bill Joy and Bob Fabry

    This is a killer archive. Someone needs to collect all old archives of old 'net' material and categorize it. For example, Kern & richie (c inventors) have old stuff on their web pages, like Source code to a C compiler from 1971! (1971!!!!!!!)

    CLearly there is a demand, and a need for all academia et al to pull old data off their tapes, before it's too late.
  • by MyopicProwls ( 122482 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @06:46AM (#825015) Homepage
    MyopicProwls
    net.general
    uses for this new medium
    Thu Nov 11 22:15:01 1981
    wouldn't it be great if we could use this new medium for advertisers to send us needless, unwanted messages about their products? Perhaps we could get advertisements for where to find pornography even! Think of the possibilities!

    MyopicProwls

  • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @09:48AM (#825016) Homepage Journal
    after giving up on Dejanews in disgust. (Does anyone think they don't suck these days?)

    When is Slashdot going to make its archives accessible?

    Perhaps an Idea Futures [ideosphere.com] claim may be in order that says "Deja, Inc. will make its full archives accessible sooner than will Slashdot." It sure would be nice to be able to write a present day article and link back to comments/articles in the Slashdot archives.

    Over a year ago there was a post on Slashdot about the origin of Deja News and its plausible connection to the NSA. That post is no longer accessible via the web. Deja, Inc., having started in the "Echelon II" building within walking distance of top NSA spook Bobby Ray Inman's MCC and its linguistic data mining spin-off Cycorp [cyc.com] in Austin is a story to which comments in this article might like to link if we are to discuss the value of the 1981 Usenet archive in context of the larger problem it is trying to solve:

    How to decentralize control of history.

  • Don't I feel young... these posts are from before i was born...
    ----------------------------------------- -------------
  • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @06:47AM (#825018) Homepage
    I remember being able to read all of alt.sex, every day... and it was an intelligent, useful, wide-ranging discussion. Graphics? Only ASCII art! :-) There were few stories; most of the content were Q&A and discussion. Elf was top dog!

    I remember when the entire collection of newsgroup names would fit on a single sheet of paper. alt.pathetic-egos-creating-useless-groups hadn't happened.

    I remember when everyone used their real EMail address in the FROM: line -- because there weren't any scum-sucking address-harvesting bastards who'd spam your mailbox to death.

    And I remember my only access was a teletype terminal...

    There are still useful Usenet groups, and they're not even heavily spammed. It's worth snagging a copy of Free Agent and accessing the Usenet from a proper application, instead of those godawfulw web-enabled things like Deja.


    --
  • Deja is providing a service which is in demand, as is evidenced by the large number of lusers in this forum complaining about it.

    Deja isn't providing the service which is in demand (Usenet archival). That's why there is 'complaining'. If said service in demand is no longer available or continues to be trivialized and shunted aside by the company, Deja will be 'out' when they go out of business from the loss of customers.

    Deja provides this service for free, so there is no legal avenue for any of their lusers to require improved service. Nor can their lusers threaten to withhold payment.

    Who ever mentioned legal matters? If Deja gets lost in the strands of the web because of its ill-advised attempt to become a product portal (such a 'last century' concept!), they will lose whatever market share they still have from attrition and eventually cease operations - or try another web fad of the moment when the cash flow crunch comes. OUT!

    Deja is apparently the best provider in this market segment, so there will be no migration of customers to competing services.

    What market? Certainly you don't mean that Deja is the best provider among the dime-a-dozen 'product rating' and 'product comparison' services? It seems (to me) to be to be the height of foolishness to give up on the unique and important service that made your company/brand known and used widely throughout the net (effectively what Deja did in its business model switch). Instead of building on the market segment they were dominant in and branching out from there into related areas, Deja stuffed Usenet into the back closet and jumped onto the latest net fads to be an also-ran among the myriad 'portals' and 'product' sites that currently clutter the web. Sounds like a losing and ultimately fatal strategy to me.

    And that's why Deja will most likely be 'out' if they don't refocus soon - first on bringing back the Usenet archive (which should be their #1 priority in my opinion) and then dumping the extraneous aspects of their site that are overdone and duplicated elsewhere, exchanging those for a narrower and more specialized focus that their company can truly be ascendant in. Perhaps they'll even have some openings for those looking to be the 'internet historians' that we've been talking about the past few days?

    In the end, it's better to be a Deja that provides a solid, well-known, and widely used service to the online world than try and fail at being one of a million Yahoo! wannabes.
  • What were they thinking in 1981 in alt.binaries.erotic.pictures.hampster.duck-tape?
  • by zCyl ( 14362 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @07:17AM (#825023)
    Awatmath.1946
    net.followup
    utcsrgv!utzoo!decvax!watmath!idallen
    Tue Mar 9 21:49:08 1982
    On telling people not to crack security.
    It's like avoiding a black market -- either you "license" people under your own roof to play with your system and (possibly along the way...) find holes, or else you tell them not to play and force them "underground". I'd rather find out from people close at hand, that my system has holes. Telling people not to play won't stop holes from being found. It just means they will be found by less friendly people. -IAN!
  • by E V I L G E E K ( 209142 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @07:19AM (#825024)
    82.01.08_watmath.1400_net.jokes [ucsd.edu]

    Awatmath.1400
    net.jokes
    utzoo!decvax!watmath!bstempleton
    Fri Jan 8 01:31:59 1982
    How many USENET people does it take to change a light bulb?

    Well, it all depends. If the person decides to change it quietly,
    only one. If he mentions it on the net however...

    One to have a bulb that needs changing.
    One to start up a group called net.lightbulbs.
    Another to suggest it should be called net.bulb so subgroups can exist.
    Another to post to net.lb and two more to yell at him/her.
    Another to post to net.bulb
    Mark to claim net.bulb is official.
    Another to start up net.bulb.ge to discuss whether General Electric bulbs are the best type.
    Another to say that as news administrator of N machines, he should decide the name of the newsgroup.
    Two more to suggest that the whole issue of what kind of light bulbs to use be discussed at USENIX.
    Ten more to claim that many who won't be at USENIX still use bulbs and that the net is the right place to discuss it.
    One person to make a typo and post to net.bulbs.
    Somebody in the midwest to claim that since they use exclusively LEDs that their funders would not tolerate system resources being used to discuss light bulbs, and that they will not take or forward net.bulb.
    Three members of the ACLU to claim this is censorship and evil.
    Two more to defend it as control of resources. One to ask in net.unix-wizards if anybody has a DH driver that can control
    an rs-232 lightbulb controller.
    Another to insist that no DH on a 780 has lightbulbs attached.
    Somebody from the ARPANET to insist that DCA will not fund discussion of lightbulbs that are not DOD approved.
    Matt and Mark again to suggest a usenet policy on bulbs.

    As you might have guessed, the correct answer is infinite, cause it will never end...

    -Brad Templeton

    The Usenet Oldnews Archive: Compilation Copyright© 1981, 1996
    Bruce Jones, Henry Spencer, David Wiseman.


  • by Fervent ( 178271 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @07:20AM (#825025)
    I find interesting what's there and not there. Hockey, my favorite sport, had its own newsgroup before basketball (yet had no posts yet). There is a user group for UNIX and BSD, but no Linux. There is no Apple newsgroup.

    Most disturbing is the net.suicide newsgroup, however. At first I thought it was there for some introspective views on the possible collapse of the internet they were on. Turns out to be a newsgroup where posters want to commit suicide. (When a poster no longer posts to the group, does that mean he's been successful?)

  • by Krilomir ( 29904 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @07:23AM (#825026)
    So, are there there any users here at slashdot that did post something to the usenet back then? I imagine it would be funny to find your old posts are read them again :)

  • Any comparable (in quality) *nix client? I like pan, but it's interface could use some teaking and it's still a bit buggy.
  • You must not use Deja. I personally don't care at all if they use ads to make money, but the fact is that over the last year or two they have altered thier interface as to be almost unusable. Some examples: * Default search not in Usenet discussions anymore. * Attempt to become "consumer product rating site". * Usenet searches messed up (as seen in other posts) A real alternative would be one that held at least a year of useful posts, with a good search engine. Ads would be fine with me, and I'd even pay a small fee for a subscription (I already pay Newsguy for reliable news feeds - it would be nice if they added a good online search capability, I'd pay a bit extra for that). I used to use Deja a lot to look for all kinds of things, but I haven't usd them for over halfa year and am unlikley to return. They forgot what made them popular in the first place, and are now doomed to the fate of all second rate portal sites - it would be nice if someone came along to take over with the original vision.
  • I remember this. The security flaw was not Unix-specific, but was not on most operating systems.

    On Unix at that time, people's terminal /dev entries were generally writable (unless you did a "mesg n" command). You could send a command to a "smart" terminal that would get echoed back to the Unix system. It would appear that the targeted user had typed the command.

    About this time, I found a bug in 4.1BSD that allowed you to bounce commands off a user's terminal without even knowing what kind of terminal they had.

    By the way, I have a boring post in this archive. I posted as "unc!jqw", which was an account I had hacked into at that time.

  • Did anyone else catch this post [ucsd.edu] concerning the new digital audio standard that was just agreed upon by Sony and Philips... Funny how no one (well, at least I don't) remember an encoded "card" which is read by a scanner to play music...
    ---------------------------------------- --------------
  • :)
    sheesh...what prudes.

  • by semis ( 14252 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @07:24AM (#825050) Homepage
    From this [ucsd.edu] gem in the net.unix-wizards group:

    Wed Mar 3 15:38:05 1982
    UNIX security breach

    The rootshell: (post contains quote from LA Times)
    Computer experts are scurrying to counter what may be the most serious threat to computer security to crop up since the machines were invented.
    A group of students at the University of California at Berkely figured out an extremely simple and undetectable way to crack a large number of computer systems and remove, change or destroy the information they contain.
    ...

    [Note: notice the word "crack". At least they got it right back then!]


    The script kiddie: (poster asking for the sploit)
    ... What's the straight scoop? What is this magic method? I would appreciate it if you would respond via "mail" instead of broadcasting it.

  • by ghoti ( 60903 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @07:25AM (#825051) Homepage
    Check this out (it's about the strongest chess computer at the time):


    The secret of the Elite's strength is its cpu: a 4 mhz 6502! In order to pull off this trick, Fidelity cannot produce the Elite in mass quantites, and requires special orders which deliver it direct from the factory. They sift through thousands of 6502's to find one that runs a bit fast, attach a heat sink, and then turn up the clock rate.


    Bruahahahaha ...
  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @07:27AM (#825055)
    This one reminds me of the "math problem" on pentium 60/75/90 [ucsd.edu]

    Amcnc.1058 net.bugs.4bsd utcsrgv!utzoo!decvax!duke!mcnc!swd Wed Feb 10 13:57:15 1982 fp bug?
    On our 11/70, this program

    double cos();
    main() {
    printf("%20.20f\n", cos(0.0));
    }

    prints out
    1.00000000000000000000
    On our VAX 11/780, it prints
    1.00000000000000010000

    We are not amused.

    Has anyone else encountered this problem and/or fixed it?
    We have compared the cos routine on the 11 and the 780 and they are identical.

  • Aihnss.748
    net.jokes
    utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!mhtsa!eagle!ihnss!karn
    Mon Dec 14 12:36:57 1981

    How many computer engineers . . .
    One to redesign your house wiring.
    One to suggest improvements to the design.
    One programmer to scoff because light bulbs will be free in the near future.

  • &lt old_guy_voice &gt

    That takes me back... In 1990 I spent 5 grand on a 386 25Mhz with 4MB of RAM and an 80 MB hard drive. It had a 2400 baud modem. I joined a local bulletin board system and had one hour access a day. It cost me a little less than my DSL does now. If I was quick, I could download about one megabyte in that one hour. Telix was the terminal program of the gods - it had ZModem downloads with the ability to resume broken downloads.

    A few years later I spent 300 dollars on the Sound Blaster Pro when it came out - it was the first stereo sound card, but was only 8-bit. In 1994 I installed Linux.

    Kids these days - you don't know how lucky you are.
    &lt/old_guy_voice&gt

    Torrey Hoffman (Azog)
  • the archive is was recorded at about the time i was born, early may '81. this is about as nostalgic as i have ever felt. thankyou, slashdot, for reporting this.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    UUCP... notice how a lot of them have !bangpaths.
  • IB M invents new math [ucsd.edu]

    After revolutionizing the data processing industry with the 360, IBM is now revolutionizing mathematics. It seems that sometimes the IBM personal computer will tell you that .1 divided by ten is .001, instead of .01. This apparently happens sporadically, and is the result of a fault in the output routine, not the calculation. Stay tuned for more developments as they happen.
  • by sulli ( 195030 )
    The TCP/IP digest 1.1 [ucsd.edu] is really quire remarkable. Shows you how much we depend today on the work these guys did!

    Gotta love the quote, though: "TCP and IP, the DoD Standard Networking Protocols for the Eighties." How modern yet quaint!

    sulli

  • The number of people in this forum bitching about Deja simply astounds me. It is a free service. You pay not one red cent for it. And yet, when they have to take stuff offline for awhile because it would cost to much otherwise, "it's gone to hell" and people start asking for "a good alternative". When they try to add some way to generate income to their service, so they can keep it online and continue to give it away for free, people give up in disgust. I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that if that "good alternative" was also a paid service, they'd get precisely zero new subscribers from this forum.

    </RANT>
  • Check out net.jokes. There are some good ones in there, as well as some debate about ethnic jokes in there. I found this one from (I think) Brad Templeton, founder of clari.net and former moderator for rec.humor.funny:

    Awatmath.1335
    net.jokes,net.news
    utzoo!decvax!watmath!bstempleton
    Fri Dec 18 22:02:24 1981 The censorship debate
    OK : here goes.

    *Flame on*
    The debate on this topic is astounding. I was a little surprised to see my own site contributing so much of the net.jokes.q material, but I see other sites have made up for their slack. I have a (perhaps mistaken) impression that the people reading this come from a group far more educated than the general public. We are not the general public - we're UNIX programmers, users and students working in high-tech environments. For this reason I am under the impression that ideas like censorship would not be brought up. Censorship, as I see it, is based on a few tenets. One, somebody decides that certain material might tend to deprave or corrupt. That some people might take something under the heading of jokes seriously indicates they are the ones who should get their heads examined. Secondly, censors (in a broader sense) snip because of possible libel. Again, a joke is rarely considered in such terms. Some censors want to snip because material 'offends' them. It's difficult to argue with such people, (not because they have a point, it's just difficult to argue with them) although many have tried. A typical example occured recently at Universities all over Canada

    Recently feminists of all sorts tried to close down Engineering society newspapers on campuses. At this university, the society arranged it so they would distribute their paper, Enginews, only to students who came into the society office and showed a valid student card! Despite this, some people claimed they found the material offensive, even though they had to work subversively to get it. (I might add, the paper still publishes)

    The netnews is in some forms a 'press', but it is a unique new type. With this system, I can have the computer screen out the smut I don't want to see for me. This gives the censors even less of a leg to stand on because it is now clearer that only those who have asked to read net.jokes.q are reading it.

    Ah well, enough tirade. I just hope that this new form of news and discussion distribution does not fall prey to vultures. Those of us on the ARPAnet and usenet are pioneers, in a way, of what may become the main method of news distribution. Let's do it right.

    Another note: Somebody suggested signing names. CCA-UNIX has a rather nice and simple mod to their mail which puts the name from /etc/passwd (entered vi chfn) into a mail message every time. Perhaps something for this in news might be nice.

  • Erm... linus didn't create Linux untill 1991.

    That's no excuse.
  • They're mostly from institutions of higher learning or research labs, like MIT, Berkeley, PARC, Bell-Labs, etc. I found a charter post on the Net.Aviation newsgroup from Andrew Koenig of Bell-Labs who went on to write several books on C and C++. I'm sure we can find other prominent figures.

    Very interesting stuff here.
  • By the way, Free Agent is available from http://www.forteinc.com/getfa/download.htm

    It really is a nice bit of kit.

    --
  • .. That simply displays, each day, everything that appeared on usenet on the same day in 1981.


    --
  • Amicrosof.170
    net.micro
    utcsrgv!utzoo!decvax!microsof!gordon
    Tue Feb 2 09:53:34 1982
    XENIX - real UNIX

    In response to the characterization of XENIX as a UNIX look-alike, I would like to point out that Microsoft XENIX is the real thing: A superset of Bell V7 UNIX.
    We have our 3.0 distribution, and XENIX 3.0 will soon be available. Bell forces us to call it something besides UNIX (the word 'UNIX' can be used only in the context of 'the UNIX operating system'), so XENIX it is.

    gordon letwin
    decvax!microso

    Having worked on XENIX (argh that really dates me), I remember being glad when I first saw this announcement, but not so glad after the company bought a copy. How times change....NOT.

  • I propose a consist where the person to find the first request for porn wins (I'm not sure what they win but they do).
  • I was browsing throught the archives, and they seemed a bit empty. Not from the small number of posts, but more like a big empty hole.

    I though about this for a while, then it hit me: the alt.flame, alt.duche-bag, and alt.hairy.duche-bag groups are missing enitrely! Not only that, but no SPAM!

    Me, I envy those of you who had the privilage of using the internet while it was still primarily an information source, not a marketing media.

    I was only about a year old when this archive was created.

  • from: this one you see emails like [ucsd.edu]:

    tcp-ip@brl
    Postel@isif
    Geoff@SRI-CSL

  • The Deja Development Monkey said...
    Of course, you shouldn't have to understand, you're just a 'consumer' of the service.

    And aren't companies, even dot.coms, theoretically supposed be give at least lip service to the maxim that 'the consumer is always right'? The attitude that "mere consumers" have no need to know why corporate actions are taken is a serious problem generally, and in the specific case of Deja's removal of the Usenet archive, the 'blackout' of information as to why it was done has probably contributed to more ill feelings toward the company than the actual takedown of the archive itself.

    Actually, the specific information that you just shared with us is exactly what Deja (and other companies/services) SHOULD be telling their consumers when a major change like the removal of the Usenet archive is done.

    People can understand and be tolerant of the considerable issues in moving the company, compacting and transferring the data to new servers, etc... but its hard to have empathy for vague, unjustified 'reasons' and hollow platitudes 'promising' to return the archive... someday... that seem to be stonewalling and cover-up. (Which is basically all that Deja has publicly posted on the subject.)

    Thanks for posting, Deja Development Monkey! Your one explanation has been more enlightening than months of emails to the company itself.

  • The history of USENET would be a great book for someone to write. I jumped on the USENET bandwagon shortly after the move from 'NET' to the current alt., rec., etc. heirarchy.

    Ahh... a few chapters:
    1) alt.binaries: Not just for fractals anymore
    2) alt.sex.bondage.particle-physics: Quarks turn you on?
    3) AOL Sucks, the formative years.

    I still really like USENET, though. You just have to be a little more selective about the groups you frequent. ('sci.physics' ain't what it used to be...)

  • Hmm, so far the longest thread I can find is it NET.movies. [ucsd.edu]

    The topic? The rumor that Spock dies in the new Star Trek movie!

    Long live geekdom
  • Canter and Seigal (sp?), sometime in the '92-94 era.

    It was April of 1994. There was spam before they hit, and the term was coined before that. Just no one did it as big as they did and were so blatant about it. Then they got a deal to write a book about it to tell others how to do it, and we all KNEW that usenet would never be the same again.

    The book bombed, but others noticed and improved upon the entire idea, much to the chagrin of intelligent netizens everywhere...

  • utcsrgv!utzoo!decvax!microsof!gordon

    Geez, even back then, Micros~1 couldn't spell their complete name!

    ;-)
  • More like:

    Geek 1: "My god. Look at all the eCrap and iWhatever! It's all over the damn place! They actually called website companies 'dot-dot-coms'!'

    Geek 2: "Yeah, that's why the marketroids were the first against the wall when the revolution came."
  • Can I get a cluster of thoes? Sorry, had to be said....

  • Actually, I thought dejanews (or deja, or whatever) had gone dramaticaly down hill until a couple weeks or so ago when I found that they now have www.deja.com point at their portal-thingy, but www.dejanews.com now points directly to their usenet search. Of course, that doesn't fix everything, but it sure makes things nicer...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    http://communication.ucsd.edu/A-News/NET.rumor/82. 04.16_ucbernie.2227_net.rumor.html Bill joy is rumored to join sun!!! I wonder if it'll happen....
  • Now the truly frightening thing is that they'll look back it with fond recollection of how good things were back then!

    ---

  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Sunday August 27, 2000 @06:58AM (#825167)
    This one is classic [ucsd.edu]

    Aqumix.1017 net.micro utcsrgv!utzoo!decvax!ittvax!qumix!msc Fri Feb 19 12:18:04 1982 IBM PC I am trying to connect an IBM personal computer as a terminal to my vax. I have the asynchronous communications package from ibm but it is not good.

    It is written in basic and is so slow that the speed of writing to the screen is about 600 baud. Also there does not appear to be any way for the vax to erase things from the screen. A backspace code from the vax is sent to the screen as a blotch (actually it looks like a tiny ace of spades). Also it uses a peculiar protocol for transferring files involving XOFF CR and XON CR which I think is going to present difficulties.

    Has anyone tackled these problems yet or am I the guinea pig? I think I'm going to have to write a new terminal emulator program which is not in basic. Naturally I would be ecstatic if someone has done it already and could mail me a copy of their program.

    As to the pc itself, it is a nice little box and the documentation is pretty reasonable. I have the color graphics controller, the epson printer and controller, a second disk drive, an async comms. card and full expansion of the memory on the mother board.

    A word of warning: don't buy one from computerland. Mine was ordered on November 6 last year. In January I received a cpu and a keyboard with the color graphics card and the async comms. card. A b/w monitor and its controller were also ordered but have yet to arrive. We didn't even get a PC-DOS disk with the initial order. We had to badger our local computerland into copying one of their disks for us. The printer didn't arrive until a few days later and the second disk drive only arrived two days ago. A 64k memory expansion card has yet to arrive. Of course I really don't know if the problems are ibm's or computerland's. You have to make up your own mind.

    In short the pc was completely unusable when first delivered due to missing key components.

    Mark Callow

  • I remember the first Spam that was really Spam - in other words, it was a person who didn't care about usenet, crossposted through everywhere, and was just posting commerical ads.<p>
    Canter and Seigal (sp?), sometime in the '92-94 era.<p>
    That means that Spam has existed on usenet less than half of its life. :) <p>
    Somewhere around here, I have a C&S tour T-shirt that lists dozens of newsgroups. Funny - I can't even remember what they were posting (legal services, maybe, or a pyramid scheme), but it was like someone had thrown a rattlesnake into a little girl's teaparty... every single newsgroup seemed to drop their subject for a few days, and C&S were the object of revile and prediction of Death of the Net, F@11.<p>
    Hehehe... sort of like the cries of dismay when Delphiods got connected to the net ("They'll distroy the culture we've built!") followed by, iirc, the AOLers, and then the Protigians.<p>
    Somewhere in me is a little ember of anger for how usenet was destroyed, how all the (intentionally) open unix shell accounts, mail relay points, anonymous mail bouncers, and talk and finger services disappeared.<p>
    And yes, I still read usenet, find good articles, and am very self aware that "the good ol' days" weren't as good as memory has it. But the "flavor" of 80's netculture will always be missed by many people who participated. (As, I'm sure 90's will be missed, and 70's nc was missed in the 80's).<p>
    --<br>
    Evan
  • From:http://communication.ucsd.edu/A-News/NET.sour ces/82.04.04_ucbarpa.1044_net.sources.ht ml [ucsd.edu] Aucbarpa.1044
    net.sources
    utcsrgv!utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!G:ARPAVAX:mark
    Sun Apr 4 15:16:19 1982
    pacman/makefile
    CC = cc
    # DFLAGS = -DUSG -DNODELAY
    DFLAGS = -DNODELAY -DMINICURSES
    CFLAGS = -O
    LDFLAGS =
    CFILES = pacman.c monster.c util.c movie.c
    OFILES = pacman.o monster.o util.o movie.o

    pacman: $(OFILES)

    [snip]
    You can find the rest of Pacman listed here:
    http://comm unication.ucsd.edu/A-News/NET.sources/NET.sources- index.html [ucsd.edu]
    Including:
    Subject: pacman/makefile
    Subject: pacman/pacdefs.h
    Subject: pacman/monster.c
    Subject: pacman/movie.c
    Subject: pacman/pacman.c
    Subject: pacman/util.c

  • What do people have against Deja? I don't see what's so wrong with it... but then again I have low expectations.
  • I always wanted one of those T-Shirts, too!

    The "Green card lawyers, spamming the globe" shirt?

    I have one of those, originally purchased from Joel Furr in 1994 along with a "THE INTERNET IS FULL! GO AWAY!" shirts that were popular in 1994. I have both of them in really good condition that I only wear on "special" occasions. I wore my internet is full shirt to H2K conference in NYC last month.

    One day, I'll sell 'em on e-bay! :)

  • > So, are there there any users here at slashdot that did post something to the usenet back then?

    Hmmm. I had forgotten about this one -
    Aallegra.131
    net.general
    utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!ihnss!mhtsa!allegra!rdg
    Thu Nov 12 21:05:29 1981

    F1r57 P057!

    b1ack p4rr07

    --
  • by D_Fresh ( 90926 ) <slashdot@dougale ... AR.com minus cat> on Sunday August 27, 2000 @09:04AM (#825177) Journal
    Complete map of the Usenet in a single post. [ucsd.edu]

    Dated June 1, 1981. Imagine the time when the Usenet was small enough to sum up in a single ASCII post. It even fits onto one screen. I'm not savvy enough to break it down and analyze it, but someone out there might be able to make a few insightful comments.

    Speaking of age, Good God - what is the average age of the typical /. member? With everyone dating themselves by saying "I was only X years old when these were written" or "I was but a zygote back then," I'm beginning to feel ancient. I like to think that those who post span all age groups, but perhaps it's more skewed toward Generation Y (or whatever - people younger than my generation) than I thought. (For the record, I turned 8 in 1981, old enough to remember but larval enough to be totally unaware of computers until a few years later.)
  • Well, you could always argue that the demise of UUNET started with the cross posts from fidonet....

    Hey! FidoNET was never as bad as Usenet was. Mainly because FidoNET retained the idea of personal responsibility, and if you acted like a flaming moron, you got kicked out. If a particular node was a constant source of flaming morons, that node's feed was cut. A far cry from the anarchy and anonymous posts of Usenet, but it kept things sane.

    (And yes, I can still remember my FidoNET node number: 1:324/127.4)

    :-)
  • Your isp's local news server.

    My ISP's news server is Deja. Check it out: http://galaxy.news.gis.net [gis.net].

    --

  • .
    Oh, yeah... and all that was before HTML. ;)

    ---

    I remember the first Spam that was really Spam - in other words, it was a person who didn't care about usenet, crossposted through everywhere, and was just posting commerical ads.

    Canter and Seigal (sp?), sometime in the '92-94 era.

    That means that Spam has existed on usenet less than half of its life. :)

    Somewhere around here, I have a C&S tour T-shirt that lists dozens of newsgroups. Funny - I can't even remember what they were posting (legal services, maybe, or a pyramid scheme), but it was like someone had thrown a rattlesnake into a little girl's teaparty... every single newsgroup seemed to drop their subject for a few days, and C&S were the object of revile and prediction of Death of the Net, F@11.

    Hehehe... sort of like the cries of dismay when Delphiods got connected to the net ("They'll distroy the culture we've built!") followed by, iirc, the AOLers, and then the Protigians.

    Somewhere in me is a little ember of anger for how usenet was destroyed, how all the (intentionally) open unix shell accounts, mail relay points, anonymous mail bouncers, and talk and finger services disappeared.

    And yes, I still read usenet, find good articles, and am very self aware that "the good ol' days" weren't as good as memory has it. But the "flavor" of 80's netculture will always be missed by many people who participated. (As, I'm sure 90's will be missed, and 70's nc was missed in the 80's).

    --
    Evan

  • So I am not the only one who thinks that Deja sucks.

    Can anybody point me to a good alternative? Please? I don't understand why there is no other such service, this can't be that hard to build!

"Irrigation of the land with sewater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain'." -- Michael McClary, in alt.fusion

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