OT: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discover it?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Jamie Kahn Genet, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Recent events have lead me to wonder now newbies ever get on Usenet or
    IRC nowadays.

    For myself I was reading everything I could find about computers and the
    Internet years before I was even able to purchase my first computer, and
    well before I ever got to get online on someone else's computer.

    So I knew about Usenet, email, FTP, gopher, and the new WWW before I
    ever got to do any of it myself :-D Strange I know, but I also had a
    good idea how the Mac OS worked before I ever got to use it myself (I
    read MacWorld magazines from the library - they were so much friendlier
    than PC mags).

    Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?

    Regards,
    Jamie Kahn Genet
    --
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Jan 16, 2009
    #1
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  2. Jamie Kahn Genet

    Donald Hall Guest

    In article <1itoi83.1lx1f7c1xfnoalN%>,
    (Jamie Kahn Genet) wrote:

    > Recent events have lead me to wonder now newbies ever get on Usenet or
    > IRC nowadays.
    >
    > For myself I was reading everything I could find about computers and the
    > Internet years before I was even able to purchase my first computer, and
    > well before I ever got to get online on someone else's computer.
    >
    > So I knew about Usenet, email, FTP, gopher, and the new WWW before I
    > ever got to do any of it myself :-D Strange I know, but I also had a
    > good idea how the Mac OS worked before I ever got to use it myself (I
    > read MacWorld magazines from the library - they were so much friendlier
    > than PC mags).
    >
    > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    > even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    > Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?
    >
    > Regards,
    > Jamie Kahn Genet


    Just before I got connected in 1995 I read Adam Engst's "Internet
    Starter Kit for Macintosh". Everything was laid out in there, including
    Usenet. It was a great book. Thanks, Adam!

    Don Hall

    --
    Donald S. Hall, Ph.D.
    Apps & More Software Design, Inc.
    http://www.appsandmore.com
    don at appsandmore dot com
    "Schedule your scripts with Script Timer"
    Donald Hall, Jan 16, 2009
    #2
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  3. Jamie Kahn Genet

    Bob Ball Guest

    In article <1itoi83.1lx1f7c1xfnoalN%>,
    (Jamie Kahn Genet) wrote:

    > Recent events have lead me to wonder now newbies ever get on Usenet or
    > IRC nowadays.
    >
    > For myself I was reading everything I could find about computers and the
    > Internet years before I was even able to purchase my first computer, and
    > well before I ever got to get online on someone else's computer.
    >
    > So I knew about Usenet, email, FTP, gopher, and the new WWW before I
    > ever got to do any of it myself :-D Strange I know, but I also had a
    > good idea how the Mac OS worked before I ever got to use it myself (I
    > read MacWorld magazines from the library - they were so much friendlier
    > than PC mags).
    >
    > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    > even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    > Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?
    >
    > Regards,
    > Jamie Kahn Genet


    An evocative question! I discovered the beginnings of the Internet
    around 1992, first with a 286 PC. Living in the Detroit area, I bought
    Internet access through an Ann Arbor provider who offered a shell
    account. So I began to use email via Pine and discovered newsgroups
    through -- what? -- nn? as well as Gopher and telnet before I bought a
    Mac LC2 later in 1992, and learned about Eudora, Newswatcher, Fetch,
    Anarchie and the rest. I had wanted to learn more about Unix starting
    with the shell account but had no compelling reason to.
    That doesn't answer the question. I think I discovered it because the
    ISP gave me a server address for it, as has every ISP I've used since.
    What, I wondered, was Usenet News? I found out.

    Off topic: I had a Compuserve subscription starting in 1983, and it
    seemed to me years later that Compuserve's CB Simulator, which I did
    use, maybe was an implementation of IRC, which I've never used. I just
    checked IRC with Wikipedia; it says IRC debuted in 1988.

    --
    Bob Ball
    If you want to think positive thoughts, surround yourself with positive people.
    If you want to email me, eliminate the negative.
    Bob Ball, Jan 16, 2009
    #3
  4. In article <1itoi83.1lx1f7c1xfnoalN%>,
    (Jamie Kahn Genet) wrote:

    > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised
    > or even included for free nowadays with your ISP?


    I'm not new to usenet, but I learned about it from a coworker in 1989 or
    1990. Back then, just about the only way to get on usenet from the Mac
    was with a terminal emulator or with a Hypercard stack that was written
    to be a news reader; it put each message on a separate card.

    --
    It's now time for healing, and for fixing the damage the GOP did to America.
    Michelle Steiner, Jan 16, 2009
    #4
  5. Jamie Kahn Genet

    Pseudo Guest

    Re: OT: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discoverit?

    On Sat, 17 Jan 2009 08:38:32 +1300, Jamie Kahn Genet wrote:

    > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    > even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    > Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?


    I used to use dmoz as a homepage, and wondered what the alt.whatever.etc
    addresses were in the directory listings. Thought I might be missing out
    on something interesting, so started with trying to read messages in
    Outlook Express. That lasted about a week, then I found Forte Agent and
    went from there.

    Now I lurk via Pan and Motzarella, and am still surprised that most net-
    savvy people I know have never heard of usenet or newsgroups.
    Pseudo, Jan 16, 2009
    #5
  6. Re: OT: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discoverit?

    Jamie Kahn Genet wrote:

    > Recent events have lead me to wonder now newbies ever get on Usenet or
    > IRC nowadays.


    Thinking about this subject makes me feel old. ;-)

    In 1988 a friend of mine got a modem (1200 bps!) and introduced me to the world
    of BBS (Bulletin Board Systems). In those days the "real" Internet with TCP/IP
    was out of reach for almost everyone, unless you worked in science or one of
    those big tech companies that could afford it. A few months later I also had a
    modem, and one of the BBS in my area had a few boards that were "different" in
    a way that users there seemed to be more tech-savvy than anywhere else, and
    discussions took place on a relatively high level. Only later I found out that
    those boards were really newsgroups that were gated into this BBS. Sometime
    later I got mail and newsgroup access through a popular protocol called UUCP.
    I had my first real internet connection when I was in university, and at that
    time I still had to join a research project and have a professor sign my
    application. The WWW was relatively new then (otherwise we had Mail, Usenet,
    ftp, Gopher), my first impression was that it looked like Gopher with colours
    and pictures (if you got an X Terminal).

    Then came a time when the rest of the world found Usenet, changing the
    signal/noise ration to the worse. People started to flame each other, spam
    came up, and this is where we are today.

    Today almost everyone who can afford to buy a computer and get a telephone line
    can get access to the net. They no longer get an introduction from a system
    administrator, and some neither learn about Netiquette nor about the difference
    between services like Mail, News, and the web because you get it all through
    www.google.com, so why bother? I'm afraid that many new users will never learn
    what Usenet is good for, and why people would prefer it over those colourful
    web forums.
    Michael Kallweitt, Jan 16, 2009
    #6
  7. Jamie Kahn Genet

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    On Fri, 16 Jan 2009 13:38:32 -0600, Jamie Kahn Genet wrote (in article
    <1itoi83.1lx1f7c1xfnoalN%>):

    > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    > even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    > Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?


    I participated in open network accessible discussion groups starting sometime
    around 1980. Whether it was called Usenet at that time I can't recall. I do
    remember accessing the discussions from a CRT based terminal and an Apple II
    computer using a terminal emulator. In the early 1970s I participated in
    networked discussions that were hosted by an APL service based in Canada.

    --
    James Leo Ryan ..... Austin, Texas .....
    TaliesinSoft, Jan 16, 2009
    #7
  8. Jamie Kahn Genet

    Geopelia Guest

    I saw newgroups described in a computer book.

    I found the newsgroups on xtra. In those days, xtra was quite good.
    xtra have since scrapped newsgroups, now I've got motzarella, (and aioe, but
    I think that has finished now).

    I also use Google groups, but find them a bit confusing.
    Yahoo groups are good if you want to post and see pictures. You might need
    to be a member.
    Geopelia, Jan 16, 2009
    #8
  9. Jamie Kahn Genet

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Re: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discover it?

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs "Jamie Kahn Genet" typed:
    [snip]
    > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised
    > or even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A
    > friend? Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered
    > what this is?


    When I fianlly decided to retire the Amiga 500 and get a 486 I also bought a
    subscription to (NZ) PC World and read about usenet in my very first issue
    (1994?). So week one of owning a PC I was spending most of my 'on-line' time
    not browsing, rather on usenet. Things are still the same in that regard, or
    similar at least. Although Wiki and it's ilk have increased my 'browsing'
    time.

    Cheers,
    --
    Shaun.
    ~misfit~, Jan 16, 2009
    #9
  10. Donald Hall <spamback@127.0.0.1> wrote:

    > In article <1itoi83.1lx1f7c1xfnoalN%>,
    > (Jamie Kahn Genet) wrote:
    >
    > > Recent events have lead me to wonder now newbies ever get on Usenet or
    > > IRC nowadays.
    > >
    > > For myself I was reading everything I could find about computers and the
    > > Internet years before I was even able to purchase my first computer, and
    > > well before I ever got to get online on someone else's computer.
    > >
    > > So I knew about Usenet, email, FTP, gopher, and the new WWW before I
    > > ever got to do any of it myself :-D Strange I know, but I also had a
    > > good idea how the Mac OS worked before I ever got to use it myself (I
    > > read MacWorld magazines from the library - they were so much friendlier
    > > than PC mags).
    > >
    > > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    > > even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    > > Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > > Jamie Kahn Genet

    >
    > Just before I got connected in 1995 I read Adam Engst's "Internet
    > Starter Kit for Macintosh". Everything was laid out in there, including
    > Usenet. It was a great book. Thanks, Adam!
    >
    > Don Hall


    That was an awesome book :)
    --
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Jan 16, 2009
    #10
  11. ANY Usenet users - how did you begin? [Was: OT: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discover it?]

    Jamie Kahn Genet <> wrote:

    > Recent events have lead me to wonder now newbies ever get on Usenet or
    > IRC nowadays.
    >
    > For myself I was reading everything I could find about computers and the
    > Internet years before I was even able to purchase my first computer, and
    > well before I ever got to get online on someone else's computer.
    >
    > So I knew about Usenet, email, FTP, gopher, and the new WWW before I
    > ever got to do any of it myself :-D Strange I know, but I also had a
    > good idea how the Mac OS worked before I ever got to use it myself (I
    > read MacWorld magazines from the library - they were so much friendlier
    > than PC mags).
    >
    > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    > even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    > Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?
    >
    > Regards,
    > Jamie Kahn Genet


    Hmmm, older Usenet users are responding too which is interesting. I'd
    love to hear how you started out! :) What was your first client, if you
    remember? I don't recall exactly, but I thiiiink I know my first Mac
    client: YA-NewsWatcher. Then I switched to MacSOUP after realising OE
    and Netscape still sucked (and maybe cause my dialup was crappy and kept
    cutting out), and have never looked back.
    --
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Jan 16, 2009
    #11
  12. Re: ANY Usenet users - how did you begin? [Was: OT: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discover it?]

    In article <1itosrk.kcxt8f14w0me5N%>,
    (Jamie Kahn Genet) wrote:

    > Jamie Kahn Genet <> wrote:
    >
    > > Recent events have lead me to wonder now newbies ever get on Usenet or
    > > IRC nowadays.
    > >
    > > For myself I was reading everything I could find about computers and the
    > > Internet years before I was even able to purchase my first computer, and
    > > well before I ever got to get online on someone else's computer.
    > >
    > > So I knew about Usenet, email, FTP, gopher, and the new WWW before I
    > > ever got to do any of it myself :-D Strange I know, but I also had a
    > > good idea how the Mac OS worked before I ever got to use it myself (I
    > > read MacWorld magazines from the library - they were so much friendlier
    > > than PC mags).
    > >
    > > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    > > even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    > > Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > > Jamie Kahn Genet

    >
    > Hmmm, older Usenet users are responding too which is interesting. I'd
    > love to hear how you started out! :) What was your first client, if you
    > remember? I don't recall exactly, but I thiiiink I know my first Mac
    > client: YA-NewsWatcher. Then I switched to MacSOUP after realising OE
    > and Netscape still sucked (and maybe cause my dialup was crappy and kept
    > cutting out), and have never looked back.


    I wasn't using a Mac when I first ran across it. I was running OS2 and
    having a ball with all the new stuff on it.

    I don't remember what I used in those days, but it was something that
    you scripted, sucked down the article headers and then marked them for
    later sucking down the entire messages. Then after using some offline
    reader, you ran the script again to upload your replies and download new
    headers. This was on dialup which was the only thing available at the
    time down here, and actually everywhere else too, at least for the home.

    The OS2 reader was really very nice as I remember, and pretty darn quick
    considering I was on a 400Mhz or so system in those days.

    I was given a password to a few servers at the local university and you
    had to use more than one because then the newservers only had a few
    groups each and you had to switch users to get to the others. A heck of
    a lot of work for not really much results! :)

    Later I switched over to DirecPC, the old sat down/dial up satellite
    internet service, and OS2 went the way of the dodo...

    Lloyd
    Lloyd Parsons, Jan 16, 2009
    #12
  13. Michelle Steiner <> wrote:

    > In article <1itoi83.1lx1f7c1xfnoalN%>,
    > (Jamie Kahn Genet) wrote:
    >
    > > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised
    > > or even included for free nowadays with your ISP?

    >
    > I'm not new to usenet, but I learned about it from a coworker in 1989 or
    > 1990. Back then, just about the only way to get on usenet from the Mac
    > was with a terminal emulator or with a Hypercard stack that was written
    > to be a news reader; it put each message on a separate card.


    I recall a really quite good Hypercard newsreader that died because no
    one took it seriously. Pity the author (a lady who went on to write
    Visual Basic apps under windows) never compiled it as an app. What was
    it's name...?
    --
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Jan 16, 2009
    #13
  14. Jamie Kahn Genet

    nospam Guest

    In article <1itot39.1yusxyopu1drxN%>, Jamie
    Kahn Genet <> wrote:

    > > I'm not new to usenet, but I learned about it from a coworker in 1989 or
    > > 1990. Back then, just about the only way to get on usenet from the Mac
    > > was with a terminal emulator or with a Hypercard stack that was written
    > > to be a news reader; it put each message on a separate card.

    >
    > I recall a really quite good Hypercard newsreader that died because no
    > one took it seriously. Pity the author (a lady who went on to write
    > Visual Basic apps under windows) never compiled it as an app. What was
    > it's name...?


    the only hypercard usenet newsreader of which i'm aware was netnews
    reader, written by harry chesley while at apple.

    here's a bit of history google dug up about it:

    <http://iubio.bio.indiana.edu/soft/util/mac/netnews-reader.readme>
    nospam, Jan 16, 2009
    #14
  15. Pseudo <> wrote:

    > On Sat, 17 Jan 2009 08:38:32 +1300, Jamie Kahn Genet wrote:
    >
    > > Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    > > even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    > > Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?

    >
    > I used to use dmoz as a homepage, and wondered what the alt.whatever.etc
    > addresses were in the directory listings. Thought I might be missing out
    > on something interesting, so started with trying to read messages in
    > Outlook Express. That lasted about a week, then I found Forte Agent and
    > went from there.


    Yeah, I used OE for a few days back in 1999 to access Usenet - it was
    _awful_ compared to dedicated clients (though so-so for email). I
    couldn't work out why people stuck with it, but of course most people
    just aren't adventurous, so use what they're given. Or they don't know
    there's an option.

    > Now I lurk via Pan and Motzarella, and am still surprised that most net-
    > savvy people I know have never heard of usenet or newsgroups.


    That's sadly not uncommon, nor has it been for the last ten years.
    --
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Jan 16, 2009
    #15
  16. Re: ANY Usenet users - how did you begin? [Was: OT: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discover it?]

    On Sat, 17 Jan 2009 12:22:22 +1300, Jamie Kahn Genet
    <> wrote in
    <news:1itosrk.kcxt8f14w0me5N%>:

    > Jamie Kahn Genet <> wrote:
    >
    >> Recent events have lead me to wonder now newbies ever get on Usenet or
    >> IRC nowadays.
    >>
    >> For myself I was reading everything I could find about computers and the
    >> Internet years before I was even able to purchase my first computer, and
    >> well before I ever got to get online on someone else's computer.
    >>
    >> So I knew about Usenet, email, FTP, gopher, and the new WWW before I
    >> ever got to do any of it myself :-D Strange I know, but I also had a
    >> good idea how the Mac OS worked before I ever got to use it myself (I
    >> read MacWorld magazines from the library - they were so much friendlier
    >> than PC mags).
    >>
    >> Anyway - how did you discover Usenet give it's not exactly advertised or
    >> even included for free nowadays with your ISP? Google Groups? A friend?
    >> Ran across a Usenet client on a download site and wondered what this is?
    >>
    >> Regards,
    >> Jamie Kahn Genet

    >
    > Hmmm, older Usenet users are responding too which is interesting. I'd
    > love to hear how you started out! :) What was your first client, if you
    > remember? I don't recall exactly, but I thiiiink I know my first Mac
    > client: YA-NewsWatcher. Then I switched to MacSOUP after realising OE
    > and Netscape still sucked (and maybe cause my dialup was crappy and kept
    > cutting out), and have never looked back.


    Then what are you doing now if you aren't looking back?

    --
    - Nicolaas
    Nicolaas Hawkins, Jan 17, 2009
    #16
  17. Re: ANY Usenet users - how did you begin?

    + (Jamie Kahn Genet):

    > Hmmm, older Usenet users are responding too which is interesting. I'd
    > love to hear how you started out! :) What was your first client, if
    > you remember?


    I don't know if I ever used a news client other than gnus. Looking back
    in my archives, it appears that my very first post was back in November
    of 1990. In usenet terms, that makes me a relative newbie of course.

    - Harald
    Harald Hanche-Olsen, Jan 17, 2009
    #17
  18. In article <160120091538235422%>,
    nospam <> wrote:

    > the only hypercard usenet newsreader of which i'm aware was netnews
    > reader, written by harry chesley while at apple.


    That's the one.

    > here's a bit of history google dug up about it:
    >
    > <http://iubio.bio.indiana.edu/soft/util/mac/netnews-reader.readme>


    It says, "The newsreader stack by itself can be obtained by anonymous
    ftp to iubio.bio.indiana.edu, in diretory
    [archive.util.mac]netnews-reader.hqx."

    However, it is actually in [util.mac]netnews-reader.hqx

    There's also an ftp hypercard stack there, compact pro, ncsa0mosaic, the
    original newswatcher, stuffit 1.5, and other ancient goodies.

    Holy nostalgia, Batman!

    --
    It's now time for healing, and for fixing the damage the GOP did to America.
    Michelle Steiner, Jan 17, 2009
    #18
  19. Re: ANY Usenet users - how did you begin? [Was: OT: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discover it?]

    In article <1itosrk.kcxt8f14w0me5N%>,
    (Jamie Kahn Genet) wrote:

    >
    > Hmmm, older Usenet users are responding too which is interesting. I'd
    > love to hear how you started out! :) What was your first client, if you
    > remember? I don't recall exactly, but I thiiiink I know my first Mac
    > client: YA-NewsWatcher. Then I switched to MacSOUP after realising OE
    > and Netscape still sucked (and maybe cause my dialup was crappy and kept
    > cutting out), and have never looked back.


    XRn was my first client. Then in Windows I mostly used T'Bird. MTNW
    has been my usual reader on mac although I've tried others.

    dick
    James Sidbury, Jan 17, 2009
    #19
  20. Re: ANY Usenet users - how did you begin? [Was: OT: To those relatively new to Usenet - how did you discover it?]

    I discovered usenet when people had general respect for making on-topic
    posts, and eschewed making repeated off-topic ones. When they did, they
    were resoundedly ridiculed and laughed at.

    I miss those days.

    --
    "You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full
    of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the
    clue mating dance." -- Edward Flaherty
    Dave Balderstone, Jan 17, 2009
    #20
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