Have you ever used Usenet before the Eternal September?

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Have you ever used Usenet before the Eternal September?
Yes 47%  47%  [ 7 ]
No 53%  53%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 15

LonelyJar
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07 Feb 2016, 3:32 pm

Have you ever used Usenet before the Eternal September?



Edenthiel
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08 Feb 2016, 11:49 pm

alt.ensign.wesley.die.die.die

Also,

obhack (label for the obligatory hack you'd put at the end of a post to alt.hackers if you went off topic)

I think I started in maybe 1988 by weaseling access from my college's BOFH in the DP (that's Data Processing) department. I kept using that account after I graduated & well into the 90's via the same modem used to visit the many small local BBS's in the city at the time.


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mr_bigmouth_502
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13 Feb 2016, 10:17 am

I WISH. I seriously feel like I missed out on an awesome part of computing history by being born after the Eternal September began. I mean, I missed out on the era of BBSs, Usenet, the early WWW, IRC, FTP, Telnet shell accounts, university mainframe networks... computing nowadays seems so bland in comparison.


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Edenthiel
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14 Feb 2016, 3:17 am

The Internet today is certainly much, much bigger and encompassing. Back then, it was enough to *find* interesting things. Or people. There was no Google or Yahoo! - even AltaVista (the first successful search engine IIR) was years away. You had to find out about interesting things through magazines, library dead tree books, or BBS's. Oh, and by randomly trolling through ftp servers. And the only people you could email were for the most part other students or researchers.

This page loaded for me at about 60 Gigabits/sec - back then, a modem would be set to 2400, 4800 or 9600 bits per second & unless you had a dedicated phone line you didn't really stay on for long periods of time. 14.4 kb/s was a big deal, because downloading images was possible. 28.8 kb/s was the threshold for things like really basic 2-player gaming (...by the mid 90's) or downloading anything sizable...like a few megabyte file...overnight. The concept of an "always on" Internet as we have now was still science fiction fantasy except when someone was physically on campus, hardwire-connected via local network to the local servers.

It's easy to romanticize the early days. But those who used it back then thought it was kinda neat, but it didn't feel as much a part of life as it does now because it was still so awkward, slow and sparse. It wasn't something you'd think of as a first or second or even third resource yet. And it certainly wasn't yet treated like a library/encyclopedia or general communication tool. Info searches were still handled in the early 1990's by Silver Platter 'encyclopedia' systems of maybe 20 cd-drives accessed locally only. Mostly being online wasn't a much a part of life because so few people were connected to it and so few 'things' (servers/files/services) were available. And commercial websites hadn't happened yet, either. It was the realm of kooks, for the most part.

Besides, just wait 30 years. Some youngster will be saying they wish they'd been around in the days of YouTube, Ebay, Amazon/Amazon Web Services and Facebook!


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Spiderpig
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14 Feb 2016, 5:01 am

I didn't even get to use the Internet till about a thousand days into Eternal September, so nope. Somewhere around day 3000 I learned there was something called Usenet, and, by the time I learned there was an Eternal September, more than four thousand days of this month had gone by.

By the way, IRC is still alive and well.


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Simargl
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28 Apr 2016, 11:57 pm

Ah, early 90s [sigh] :)

2400 modem over analogue line to university network, then breaking into some professor acc (they had open x.25 out), then jump to one of couple gateways, and then world was mine.

Later I had Telemate script for logging directly on x.25.
I also had an "borrowed" acc on utoronto (sun os).

Internet officially arrived in my country only couple of years later (in 96 if I'm not wrong).

P.S.
Talking about "Eternal September" we have to mention person who invented this phrase:
Dave Fischer.

Great guy, and IMHO one of the greatest living artists.



Meistersinger
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29 Apr 2016, 12:29 am

Edenthiel wrote:
alt.ensign.wesley.die.die.die


I think I started in maybe 1988 by weaseling access from my college's BOFH in the DP (that's Data Processing) department.


BOFH!! !! !! ! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Does anyone know if Chi-net from Chicago is still in existence? That's the only place I know of that has the complete archive of the Bastard Operator from Hell articles! Many are the times I wish I could pull those stunts on end users when I worked for Follett Software (in the late 1980's) and Apple Computer (2002-2004). Randy Seuss and Ward Christiansen were (and still are) Data Processing rock stars, in my book.



Darmok
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29 Apr 2016, 12:40 am

Edenthiel wrote:
2400, 4800 or 9600 bits per second

Luxury!

The best we had in those days was Fidonet on dialup at 300 baud. And we were lucky!


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Meistersinger
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29 Apr 2016, 12:50 am

While in grad school, I nearly got expelled from the library science department at Shippensburg University of PA for nearly running up a $1000.00 bill while accessing one of the more expensive databases on a dialup system who'se name escapes me at the moment. For some reason, when I logged of that system, it never completed the log off script...

When I worked for Naval Research and Development in Warminster from 1993-1995, the favorite pastime was seeing what was down many of the gopher holes around the world. gopher, for you youngun's, was a menu-driven information system developed at the University of Minnesota-St. Paul (mascot: Golden Gophers, get it?). Until Lynx became available From the University of Washington (which was the only thing available at the time to search the web from any kind of command line (normally VMS or whatever flavor of UNIX you had access to), Gopher was the bees knees.



Edenthiel
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29 Apr 2016, 12:56 am

Gopher! That was the other way to find things - for the life of me I couldn't think of it. :)


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Nine7752
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29 Apr 2016, 9:56 pm

I remember dialing in to my shell at world.std.com, gophering, fingering, usenetting... finding images that sounded interesting from the description, downloading each piece, reassembling them, and then seeing what they were maybe 10 minutes later. When the web started coming about, I remember Jamie Zawinsky (jwz) had some really early curated links out there that were useful. People just put together pages to help lay out the land. It was going to be Snow Crash but better.

It was a bold new world, but as Edenthiel noted, it was pretty limited. This is much cooler, though ads and cruft have filled the tubes up more than anyone ever guessed or wanted. Did I say "get off my lawn" or "uphill both ways" yet?


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Edenthiel
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29 Apr 2016, 11:37 pm

Another thing I'd completely forgotten - thank you! - was uuencoded images. Download any number of text files filled with gibberish, cat them together, run them through a decoder and...find out that a chunk in the middle was missing.

But when it worked, it was like magic!


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Simargl
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29 Apr 2016, 11:44 pm

Edenthiel wrote:
Another thing I'd completely forgotten - thank you! - was uuencoded images. Download any number of text files filled with gibberish, cat them together, run them through a decoder and...find out that a chunk in the middle was missing. But when it worked, it was like magic!

uuencode was very useful for FTPmail too.

Remember ftpmail(at)sunsite.unc.edu?



eric76
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04 May 2016, 11:52 am

I was on in a limited manner prior to Eternal September, but most of my activity was after that.

I was quite active on alt.folklore.urban (AFU) and news.admin.net-abuse.email (NANAE) through most of the 1990s.



TudorGothicSerpent
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04 May 2016, 11:25 pm

Reading through threads like this kind of reminds me of what sort of world I've lived in for my entire life. I mean, man. I was barely even born before the Eternal September. I can't easily imagine a world without widespread Internet access.


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Nine7752
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06 May 2016, 11:28 pm

Heck, before that was dialing into BBS's like compuserve directly, not even on the internet or on computers. I remember having a dumb terminal (for work) and misusing by dialing into all kinds of boards. At least it wasn't scrolling thermal paper.


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