[TUHS] Steve Bellovin recounts the history of USENET

Michael Parson mparson at bl.org
Sun Nov 24 12:19:11 AEST 2019

On 2019-11-20 21:14, Larry McVoy wrote:
> Yeah, I'd be super happy if he joined the list.  I enjoyed reading
> those, wished he had gone into more detail.
> On the Usenet topic, does anyone remember dejanews?  Searchable
> archive of all the posts to Usenet.  Google bought them and then,
> so far as I know, the searchable part went away.

Deja News was a customer of the data center I worked at back in '97-'99, 
smartnap.net.  My usenet server fed directly into theirs, which made all 
of my other customers (and several other people on the net) want to peer 
with me, since one of the ways some people judged how "good" a usenet 
feed was was how quickly a post could be viewed on dejanews.com. They 
took up about 1/4 the space of our ~12k sq ft facility.

My current boss was one of the news admins there.  As I understood it, 
they had pretty much everything from when they started, plus had donated 
tapes of older stuff that they would periodically load up and add to the 
online bits.  By the time Google bought them, they'd dropped the 'News' 
part of their name and were focusing on being a product search engine 
under the name "Deja."  All Google was really interested in was the 
usenet archives.

> If someone knows how to search back to the beginnings of Usenet,
> my early tech life is all there, I'd love to be able to show my kids
> that.  Big arguing with Mash on comp.arch, following Guy Harris on
> comp.unix-wizards, etc.

Searching for an old username of mine on group.google.com finds posts I 
made in 1993, when I first started using usenet in college.

Michael Parson
Pflugerville, TX

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