[TUHS] Steve Bellovin recounts the history of USENET

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Thu Nov 21 13:28:32 AEST 2019

On Thu, Nov 21, 2019 at 11:18:10AM +0800, George Michaelson wrote:
> there is a big US bias in the archives of USENET. All I could find
> preserved (before Google deleted it) was my updates to the maps for
> York.ac.uk. In collecting history, the US erased most of Europe and
> Asia basically.  Our timelines are artificially compressed into the
> modern era.

Can you explain this a bit?  When I was on Usenet, 1980-1990 or so, it
was very small, my guess is maybe 10,000 people that posted, maybe less.
My memory is I could post a question to comp.arch or where ever, and I'd
wake up in the morning and someone from Australia or some other place
over the pond had an answer.  It was usually a grad student or a prof
or someone really smart.

So is this an archive thing?  Because in my memory, it was not a Usenet
thing, smart people from all over the world posted.

As an aside, I remember being on a canoe with my dad, a physics researcher
and prof, and trying to explain Usenet to him.  I said something like
"it is so cool Dad, so many cool people, everyone should be on it".  And
then AOL happened and it went to shit.  If my thoughts helped that along
I am _so_ sorry.  It was awesome when it was small.

This list is sort of like early Usenet, smart people, people who know the
history.  Lets keep it small but Steve should be here.


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