Discussion:
Usenet Stories
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Jason Evans
2020-09-06 12:08:36 UTC
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I'm doing a couple of conference presentations next month on reviving
Usenet. Part of it will be telling stories from Usenet to both stir .

One of the most famous stories is from a Finnish grad student starting
his own OS. I've already got that one in my notes.

What I'm looking for are interesting and/or funny stories from Usenet.
I've got several gigs of archives from archive.org going back to the
80's. If you can tell me the story, the newsgroup, and approximately when
(withing 3-5 years), I can probably find the original posts with some
digging. That's how I found the original post from the grad student :).

Thanks!

X-posted to alt.folklore.computers, alt.fan.usenet, news.groups,
r/usenet, r/internet, and r/oldinternet
Bob Eager
2020-09-06 14:08:36 UTC
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Post by Jason Evans
I'm doing a couple of conference presentations next month on reviving
Usenet. Part of it will be telling stories from Usenet to both stir .
One of the most famous stories is from a Finnish grad student starting
his own OS. I've already got that one in my notes.
What I'm looking for are interesting and/or funny stories from Usenet.
I've got several gigs of archives from archive.org going back to the
80's. If you can tell me the story, the newsgroup, and approximately
when (withing 3-5 years), I can probably find the original posts with
some digging. That's how I found the original post from the grad student
:).
The 500 mile email
--
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org
Bud Spencer
2020-09-06 15:02:51 UTC
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Post by Bob Eager
The 500 mile email
Legend!


/
Bud
/

a1=S0
b1=[1..2,'L0L']
a2=2*a1
a3=S1.4#b1
a4=(a2,a3)
a5=64*a4
John Levine
2020-09-06 18:27:03 UTC
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Post by Bud Spencer
Post by Bob Eager
The 500 mile email
Legend!
I gather that early on, there were two overseas Internet links to
Australia, different ISPs connected to one or the other, and for a
while email to your neighbor in oz might take a detour through
California.
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-06 22:01:40 UTC
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On Sun, 6 Sep 2020 18:27:03 -0000 (UTC)
Post by John Levine
Post by Bud Spencer
Post by Bob Eager
The 500 mile email
Legend!
I gather that early on, there were two overseas Internet links to
Australia, different ISPs connected to one or the other, and for a
while email to your neighbor in oz might take a detour through
California.
A very similar thing went on between the various Irish ISPs for
a while with each having a connection out of the country as their feed.
Eventually an interchange was set up in Dublin but until then Irish
internet traffic mostly took long routes.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Jason Evans
2020-09-07 16:59:48 UTC
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Post by Bob Eager
The 500 mile email
The original post is here:
https://www.ibiblio.org/harris/500milemail.html

It was originally never posted to Usenet, but to a long dead mailing
list. Though, I'm sure people posted and re-posted it here also. It also
doesn't have anything to do with Usenet so it really doesn't fit with
what I'm trying to do.
--
JE
Michael LeVine
2020-09-07 17:35:34 UTC
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Post by Jason Evans
Post by Bob Eager
The 500 mile email
https://www.ibiblio.org/harris/500milemail.html
It was originally never posted to Usenet, but to a long dead mailing
list. Though, I'm sure people posted and re-posted it here also. It also
doesn't have anything to do with Usenet so it really doesn't fit with
what I'm trying to do.
How about the following

"PC Roadkill" Michael Hyman

Also a number of books by Robert L. Glass
"Power of Peonage"
"Computing Shakeout"
"The Universal Elixer and other Computing Projects Which Failed"
"The Second Coming: MOre Computing Projects that Failed"
"Software Foaklore"
"Tales of Computing Folk"
"Computing Catastrophies"
"Software 2020"
"Software Soliloquies"

Some can be found on Amazon and
https://www.abebooks.com
--
Michael LeVine
***@redshift.com

Politics is the art of looking for trouble,
finding it everywhere,
diagnosing it incorrectly,
and applying the wrong remedies.
Groucho Marx
JimP
2020-09-08 14:31:42 UTC
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On Mon, 7 Sep 2020 16:59:48 -0000 (UTC), Jason Evans
Post by Jason Evans
Post by Bob Eager
The 500 mile email
https://www.ibiblio.org/harris/500milemail.html
It was originally never posted to Usenet, but to a long dead mailing
list. Though, I'm sure people posted and re-posted it here also. It also
doesn't have anything to do with Usenet so it really doesn't fit with
what I'm trying to do.
Fascinating. I never had to configure sendmail though.
--
Jim
Bob Eager
2020-09-08 14:43:57 UTC
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Post by JimP
On Mon, 7 Sep 2020 16:59:48 -0000 (UTC), Jason Evans
Post by Jason Evans
Post by Bob Eager
The 500 mile email
https://www.ibiblio.org/harris/500milemail.html
It was originally never posted to Usenet, but to a long dead mailing
list. Though, I'm sure people posted and re-posted it here also. It also
doesn't have anything to do with Usenet so it really doesn't fit with
what I'm trying to do.
Fascinating. I never had to configure sendmail though.
I tried once. Despite being warned by someone.

I installed postfix instead.
--
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org
Niklas Karlsson
2020-09-08 14:53:03 UTC
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Post by Bob Eager
Post by JimP
Fascinating. I never had to configure sendmail though.
I tried once. Despite being warned by someone.
I installed postfix instead.
I wouldn't touch sendmail.cf directly, but depending on your use case,
doing it via sendmail.mc and running it through the macro processor is
tolerable.

Postfix _is_ nicer, though.

Niklas
--
A few minutes ago I attempted to give a flying fsck, but the best I
could do was to watch it skitter across the floor. -- Anthony de Boer
Bob Eager
2020-09-08 15:41:53 UTC
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Post by Niklas Karlsson
Post by Bob Eager
Post by JimP
Fascinating. I never had to configure sendmail though.
I tried once. Despite being warned by someone.
I installed postfix instead.
I wouldn't touch sendmail.cf directly, but depending on your use case,
doing it via sendmail.mc and running it through the macro processor is
tolerable.
The trouble is that m4 is awful, too.
Post by Niklas Karlsson
Postfix _is_ nicer, though.
Indeed!
--
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...

Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-08 19:53:36 UTC
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On 8 Sep 2020 14:43:57 GMT
Post by Bob Eager
Post by JimP
Fascinating. I never had to configure sendmail though.
I tried once. Despite being warned by someone.
I had a lot of fun configuring sendmail when I built a puntmail
workalike (I called it drop-kick and it actually had a "drop" and a
"kick"), raw sendmail.cf no macros.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Scott Lurndal
2020-09-08 20:45:51 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On 8 Sep 2020 14:43:57 GMT
Post by Bob Eager
Post by JimP
Fascinating. I never had to configure sendmail though.
I tried once. Despite being warned by someone.
I had a lot of fun configuring sendmail when I built a puntmail
workalike (I called it drop-kick and it actually had a "drop" and a
"kick"), raw sendmail.cf no macros.
I always found the O'reilly _Sendmail Cookbook_ to be quite useful
when working with sendmail.cf.
Niklas Karlsson
2020-09-09 14:45:53 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
I had a lot of fun configuring sendmail when I built a puntmail
workalike (I called it drop-kick and it actually had a "drop" and a
"kick"), raw sendmail.cf no macros.
You're a better man than I. I consider sendmail.cf a Lovecraftian
nightmare.

Niklas
--
"Having major planets disappear is always a bad sign." - Jim Blinn
Charlie Gibbs
2020-09-09 17:20:52 UTC
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Post by Niklas Karlsson
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
I had a lot of fun configuring sendmail when I built a puntmail
workalike (I called it drop-kick and it actually had a "drop" and a
"kick"), raw sendmail.cf no macros.
You're a better man than I. I consider sendmail.cf a Lovecraftian
nightmare.
I never went near sendmail. Configuring X was bad enough.
--
/~\ Charlie Gibbs | Microsoft is a dictatorship.
\ / <***@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | Pick your poison.
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-09 17:48:16 UTC
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On 9 Sep 2020 17:20:52 GMT
Post by Charlie Gibbs
Post by Niklas Karlsson
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
I had a lot of fun configuring sendmail when I built a puntmail
workalike (I called it drop-kick and it actually had a "drop" and a
"kick"), raw sendmail.cf no macros.
You're a better man than I. I consider sendmail.cf a Lovecraftian
nightmare.
I never went near sendmail. Configuring X was bad enough.
Compiling X the first time caused me some grief - the version of
Interactive I had lacked TCP/IP, streams and IPC. It also had an irritating
line length limitation in make that broke the Xlib Makefile (at least) in
X11R5. Pseudo TTY pairs was the only communication mechanism available, and
only one side of that was implemented in the X11 code. Getting an X on the
screen that moved with the mouse took some effort.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Robert Swindells
2020-09-09 19:02:51 UTC
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Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Post by Charlie Gibbs
Post by Niklas Karlsson
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
I had a lot of fun configuring sendmail when I built a puntmail
workalike (I called it drop-kick and it actually had a "drop" and a
"kick"), raw sendmail.cf no macros.
You're a better man than I. I consider sendmail.cf a Lovecraftian
nightmare.
I never went near sendmail. Configuring X was bad enough.
Compiling X the first time caused me some grief - the version of
Interactive I had lacked TCP/IP, streams and IPC. It also had an
irritating line length limitation in make that broke the Xlib Makefile
(at least) in X11R5. Pseudo TTY pairs was the only communication
mechanism available, and only one side of that was implemented in the
X11 code. Getting an X on the screen that moved with the mouse took some
effort.
I thought that STREAMS was in the base product of Interactive UNIX, I
bought the AT&T manuals for it and remember writing a driver to get X11
to work.

I was using a graphics card with a TMS34010 processor so getting the
display part working was a lot more effort than the comms driver.
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-09 20:06:59 UTC
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On Wed, 9 Sep 2020 19:02:51 -0000 (UTC)
Post by Robert Swindells
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
Post by Charlie Gibbs
Post by Niklas Karlsson
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
I had a lot of fun configuring sendmail when I built a
puntmail workalike (I called it drop-kick and it actually had a
"drop" and a "kick"), raw sendmail.cf no macros.
You're a better man than I. I consider sendmail.cf a Lovecraftian
nightmare.
I never went near sendmail. Configuring X was bad enough.
Compiling X the first time caused me some grief - the version of
Interactive I had lacked TCP/IP, streams and IPC. It also had an
irritating line length limitation in make that broke the Xlib Makefile
(at least) in X11R5. Pseudo TTY pairs was the only communication
mechanism available, and only one side of that was implemented in the
X11 code. Getting an X on the screen that moved with the mouse took some
effort.
I thought that STREAMS was in the base product of Interactive UNIX, I
bought the AT&T manuals for it and remember writing a driver to get X11
to work.
I believe that happened in the release *after* the one I was using.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
John Levine
2020-09-09 21:33:38 UTC
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Post by Robert Swindells
I thought that STREAMS was in the base product of Interactive UNIX, I
bought the AT&T manuals for it and remember writing a driver to get X11
to work.
STREAMS were added in SVR4 so it depends which version you had. We shipped
a lot of SVR3 based systems.
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
Robert Swindells
2020-09-09 21:50:31 UTC
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Post by John Levine
Post by Robert Swindells
I thought that STREAMS was in the base product of Interactive UNIX, I
bought the AT&T manuals for it and remember writing a driver to get X11
to work.
STREAMS were added in SVR4 so it depends which version you had. We
shipped a lot of SVR3 based systems.
It was SVR3.2, my AT&T STREAMS manuals are the same version.
Scott Lurndal
2020-09-10 15:49:13 UTC
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Post by Robert Swindells
Post by John Levine
Post by Robert Swindells
I thought that STREAMS was in the base product of Interactive UNIX, I
bought the AT&T manuals for it and remember writing a driver to get X11
to work.
STREAMS were added in SVR4 so it depends which version you had. We
shipped a lot of SVR3 based systems.
It was SVR3.2, my AT&T STREAMS manuals are the same version.
I believe that STREAMS was an optional product for SVR3.2. It was
built-in to SVR4.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-09-09 17:03:28 UTC
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On 9 Sep 2020 14:45:53 GMT
Post by Niklas Karlsson
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
I had a lot of fun configuring sendmail when I built a puntmail
workalike (I called it drop-kick and it actually had a "drop" and a
"kick"), raw sendmail.cf no macros.
You're a better man than I. I consider sendmail.cf a Lovecraftian
nightmare.
Compared to modifying the XSLT used to convert docbook-xml into
XSL-FO so as to suit company documentation standards, sendmail.cf is a piece
of cake. Control flow in XSLT resembles dynamic come-from with wild cards
and XSL-FO is complex and has never been completely (or correctly)
implemented.
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Thomas Koenig
2020-09-06 16:22:09 UTC
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Post by Jason Evans
What I'm looking for are interesting and/or funny stories from Usenet.
There was the Usenet Oracle, now renamed as the Internet Oracle.

Also, a look at https://hack.org/mc/texts/net-legends.txt will
give you some things to look for.

I'm still looking for Peter da Silva's "Usenet Olympics", that
was quite funny (but of course you'll need to know some
background at the time).
Jorgen Grahn
2020-09-06 19:01:33 UTC
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Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Jason Evans
What I'm looking for are interesting and/or funny stories from Usenet.
There was the Usenet Oracle, now renamed as the Internet Oracle.
Also, a look at https://hack.org/mc/texts/net-legends.txt will
give you some things to look for.
I'm still looking for Peter da Silva's "Usenet Olympics", that
was quite funny (but of course you'll need to know some
background at the time).
Sounds interesting. I don't see it among his essays:

http://www.taronga.com/~peter/io/

/Jorgen
--
// Jorgen Grahn <grahn@ Oo o. . .
\X/ snipabacken.se> O o .
Anssi Saari
2020-09-06 16:44:37 UTC
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Post by Jason Evans
I'm doing a couple of conference presentations next month on reviving
Usenet. Part of it will be telling stories from Usenet to both stir .
I liked the Kremvax hoax although that was long before I got on Usenet.
Owen Rees
2020-09-06 20:46:19 UTC
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On Sun, 6 Sep 2020 12:08:36 -0000 (UTC), Jason Evans
Post by Jason Evans
I'm doing a couple of conference presentations next month on reviving
Usenet. Part of it will be telling stories from Usenet to both stir .
One of the most famous stories is from a Finnish grad student starting
his own OS. I've already got that one in my notes.
What I'm looking for are interesting and/or funny stories from Usenet.
I've got several gigs of archives from archive.org going back to the
80's. If you can tell me the story, the newsgroup, and approximately when
(withing 3-5 years), I can probably find the original posts with some
digging. That's how I found the original post from the grad student :).
Thanks!
X-posted to alt.folklore.computers, alt.fan.usenet, news.groups,
r/usenet, r/internet, and r/oldinternet
If you have Message-ID: <***@otter.hpl.hp.com> which was posted to
rec.arts.movies 13 Dec 90 you will find a message about v1.5 of the
scripts that evolved into IMDb. It was posted by Col Needham who is
still CEO of IMDb.

The IMDb press room page about Col Needham does not mention usenet but
that was where it started. It says the first version was published in
October 1990 so if you have rec.arts.movies for that month you may have
the message about the very first version.
Jason Evans
2020-09-07 06:27:05 UTC
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Post by Owen Rees
rec.arts.movies 13 Dec 90 you will find a message about v1.5 of the
scripts that evolved into IMDb. It was posted by Col Needham who is
still CEO of IMDb.
The IMDb press room page about Col Needham does not mention usenet but
that was where it started. It says the first version was published in
October 1990 so if you have rec.arts.movies for that month you may have
the message about the very first version.
My archives only go back to 1993 for rec.arts.movies, but I did find the
original post that you are referring to on Google Groups. Thanks, this is
very interesting! I also see that he would post yearly messages with
lists of actors and directors, so I can totally see how this became IMDB.
--
JE
Dallas
2020-09-09 17:22:07 UTC
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If you dare!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_and_the_Internet#alt.religion.scientology
Post by Jason Evans
I'm doing a couple of conference presentations next month on reviving
Usenet. Part of it will be telling stories from Usenet ...
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