Can anyone give me any information on USENET?

ebally

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 18, 2004
124
0
London, UK
Every now and again I see people mentioning USENET on various forums. I was just wondering if anyone can shed any light on what USENET actually is?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
ebally said:
Every now and again I see people mentioning USENET on various forums. I was just wondering if anyone can shed any light on what USENET actually is?
Before the WWW, and before forums like this USENET a.k.a. internet news was a great place for discussion, getting help, etc... It was also the internet's first major source of pr0n.

More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet

B
 
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ebally

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 18, 2004
124
0
London, UK
Thank for replying.

It all seems soo complicated...! Am I to understand that you need to subscribe to a server (with a monthly fee) to access USENET?
 
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iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
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ebally said:
Am I to understand that you need to subscribe to a server (with a monthly fee) to access USENET?
Maybe, maybe not. Your ISP may have one quietly running in the corner somewhere (the hostname is traditionally news.yourisp.net if it's there). There are still some free ones around for text too, though the binary stuff (with basically the same junk found on the p2p networks) usually involves a paid subscription.

You can also get to Usenet for free through Google, although their current interface is kind of pathetic.
 
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balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
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New England
iMeowbot said:
You can also get to Usenet for free through Google, although their current interface is kind of pathetic.
Truly sad, isn't it?

At least they kept all the data from DejaNews. I can still find posts of mine dating back to 1992 or so. (Believe it or not some of these old posts have come in handy. How did I solve that last time?). They even somehow imported some groups from a BBS I was active on in those days.

Web forums like this seem ephemeral by comparison.

B
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
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12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
balamw said:
Web forums like this seem ephemeral by comparison.
Yeah, sad... so many posts lost in the wind. :( I guess companies like Google might be really saving a lot of that material. Makes the web feel more permanent. :) But I guess that might be an illusion. :(
 
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MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,648
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USA
ebally said:
Thank for replying.

It all seems soo complicated...! Am I to understand that you need to subscribe to a server (with a monthly fee) to access USENET?
If you have access to the Internet, then you likely have access to USENET. Certainly my ISP has a news server. Yours probably does as well. If you ISP has a technical support web site, it will give you the URL for the server.
 
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iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
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MisterMe said:
If you have access to the Internet, then you likely have access to USENET. Certainly my ISP has a news server. Yours probably does as well. If you ISP has a technical support web site, it will give you the URL for the server.
That used to be true. :( The bandwidth and storage requirements are phenomenal if any real attempt is make to keep up with the binary load, so more and more ISPs have been dropping the service over the past several years.
 
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superbovine

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2003
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ebally said:
Thank for replying.

It all seems soo complicated...! Am I to understand that you need to subscribe to a server (with a monthly fee) to access USENET?
Ironically before I have even touched a gui much less a machine with mosaic, i used usenet quite frequently. Seems, a bit odd anyone would think it as complex by today's standards.
 
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balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
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978
New England
superbovine said:
Seems, a bit odd anyone would think it as complex by today's standards.
Says a lot for the unfiying power of HTTP doesn't it.

Remember UUCP, FTP and Gopher? Their functions have been replaced with web services now, it's microsoft's worst fear come true. ;)

B
 
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superbovine

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Nov 7, 2003
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balamw said:
Says a lot for the unfiying power of HTTP doesn't it.

Remember UUCP, FTP and Gopher? Their functions have been replaced with web services now, it's microsoft's worst fear come true. ;)

B
ftp i still use daily. i used usenet the most. I wasn't to keen on gopher cause i didn't really have any information i needed to obtain from there.
 
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superbovine

macrumors 68030
Nov 7, 2003
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yellow said:
Ahhh.. alt.binaries.erotica, I know thee well..
bahahah... i always seemed to find the "research" facilities with free anonymous ftp of porn.
 
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balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
superbovine said:
ftp i still use daily.
superbovine said:
bahahah... i always seemed to find the "research" facilities with free anonymous ftp of porn.
And now we know what you use ftp for every day. ;)

I remember those days too, having been one of those research facilities. Our Linux ftp server password was hacked and the hard drive got full of porn and warez in a matter of minutes. Amazing to think that finding 200MB of free space on the 'net was considered a good place to stash stuff.

B
 
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iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
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mkrishnan said:
Gotta love MIME content encoding. :)
Grr, it only the binaries kids would just use MIME, life would be way simpler. But noooooooooo, they're still using uuencode and this weird almost-but-not-quite-8-bit thing called yEnc that doesn't fix any of the things that were wrong with uu.
 
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yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,032
1
Portland, OR
uuencode.. awesome.. I still have a couple uuencode/uudecodes around here somewhere.. on floppy probably.
 
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mrichmon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2003
873
3
iMeowbot said:
Grr, it only the binaries kids would just use MIME, life would be way simpler. But noooooooooo, they're still using uuencode and this weird almost-but-not-quite-8-bit thing called yEnc that doesn't fix any of the things that were wrong with uu.
Come now. The real posts where shar archives. :)

tar and feather the thing, shar it and embed the whole steaming pile in the unshar script, post and repeat. Ahhh, good times.
 
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SummerBreeze

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2005
593
0
Chicago, IL
It all seems so difficult, and all of a sudden I feel really young since I've never really experienced the world of USENET. Thanks for the clarifications on what it is, I used to see the word all the time and I didn't really know what it meant.
 
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