Hard to believe I've consumed all of 1981's Usenet posts now on olduse.net, and it's been running for 7 months already.
Last night, there was a "very long" post, describing nearly every node on usenet in 1982. There had been a warning about this post the day before, since it would take many sites half an hour to download at 300 baud. It was handily formatted as a shell script, which created per-node files.
So, I ran this code nobody has run since 1982. It worked. I got files. I tossed them on the olduse.net wiki, and used some ikiwiki code TOVA contracted me to write just a few months ago, to make clickable links on my usenet map.
The map data was contributed in another post a while back. By 1982, usenet is getting nearly impossible to map with 1982 technology of ascii art. I enjoyed throwing graphviz, git, wikis, and the web at it.
So, we have a collaboration across time, me and "Mark" and a lot of people who described their usenet nodes and piles of technology that make creating a mashup easy. Awesome!
Some of the highlights for me have included:
As the space shuttle program is winding down, reading the excitement about
the first shuttle flights, and the play-by-play coverage of a launch,
net.columbia by a high school student borrowing his dad's
account. (A usegroup name that's hard to read without remembering
The announcements of the Motorola M68k, the IBM PC, and the CD-ROM.
Reading the TCP-IP digest, and Postel's plans for launching IPv4 soon, while the world IPv6 launch is being planned now. (The nay-sayers are especially fun to read. Including the guy who was concerned about the address space size, in 1981!)
Learning that nethack ascention tales have a history streching back 30 years, to rogue, and that the stories back then had much the same flavor as they do today.
Various celebrity sightings. Dennis Ritchie teaching C and Unix. Bill Joy talking vi. RMS talking .. nuclear politics?
The general development of usenet. B-news being rolled out, groups proliferating, many first inklings of what will be major problems and developments in 5 or 10 years. A shift in tone is already apparent, by now usenet is not only about announcements, there are already some flames.
Still 9 years to go!