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July 16, 2024 - @722.75 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: Usenet: The Original Forum!  (Read 939 times)
georgemoody
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« on: March 22, 2024 @329.56 »

You may or may not have seen me talk about it, but i'm an avid fan of Usenet, the decentralized forum of the 80s and 90s, consisting of mountains of both thought provoking and intelligent discussions and spammy and nonsensical ones. Even though Usenet is now mostly synonymous with downloads of dubious legality, there is a small percentage of people that still use it for its original purpose with many internet terms and many great stories having come out of this place.

what do you think about it? ever used it? and if so, do you have anything to share with the rest of us?
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2024 @493.16 »

I actually have tried to use it quite a few times over the years, there used to be a great Usenet reader app called Unison that I even purchased! But as you say it's really just a wasteland of downloads now (which is interesting in its own way from a file archiving perspective - there are files on the Usenet that might not exist anywhere else on Earth)

Plus it's really confusing to get into if you're new because you need to buy access time from a sketchy provider and they have all these weird specs like retention time and relay servers that your expected to understand :drat:

I'd love to see a guide to actually finding active Usenet communities today and how to connect to them.
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2024 @514.44 »

You may or may not have seen me talk about it, but i'm an avid fan of Usenet, the decentralized forum of the 80s and 90s, consisting of mountains of both thought provoking and intelligent discussions and spammy and nonsensical ones. Even though Usenet is now mostly synonymous with downloads of dubious legality, there is a small percentage of people that still use it for its original purpose with many internet terms and many great stories having come out of this place.

what do you think about it? ever used it? and if so, do you have anything to share with the rest of us?

I never used it but its sad that it seems to have fallen in reputablity. I wish we could have more old school style forums for general discussions about life and stuff
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sharpieBath
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2024 @573.03 »

Usenet seems really cool to me, but I haven't used it a lot. Right now, I'm subscribed to a few topics on þe tildeverse usenet server, but it's not very active, and I'm not sure where to discover different servers. (I þink SDF has a usenet server? but I haven't looked into it yet.)
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georgemoody
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2024 @577.48 »

I actually have tried to use it quite a few times over the years, there used to be a great Usenet reader app called Unison that I even purchased! But as you say it's really just a wasteland of downloads now (which is interesting in its own way from a file archiving perspective - there are files on the Usenet that might not exist anywhere else on Earth)

Plus it's really confusing to get into if you're new because you need to buy access time from a sketchy provider and they have all these weird specs like retention time and relay servers that your expected to understand :drat:

I'd love to see a guide to actually finding active Usenet communities today and how to connect to them.

I have used Unison before! it's total jank these days but i'm sure it was amazing for its time, a fair few email clients also support connecting to Usenet, including Thunderbird which i currently use. There's also pan which is a dedicated client that is still active in development.

As for providers, a couple of free ones do exist! (text-only of course, i imagine hosting anything other than that will be very costly) I myself currently use Eternal-September and have been fine with it so far, I believe you could've also used google groups to post to newsgroups but they deprecated that feature very recently. and yeah, having to keep a spec sheet is annoying but that's what you get with decentralized stuff like this :P
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2024 @595.60 »

I use usenet on Thunderbird. Subscribed to a few newsgroups, but only a couple see any activity. Would be cool to see people use it more.

One them interestingly is bridged with a Discord server, so itàs read'only, but if you're in the server and make some posts, it will be "archived" in the newgroup, which is pretty cool.

Apparently Google groups has become read-only in February, but thankfully it doesn't seem to affect my ability to post in Newsgroups.
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2024 @428.83 »

Some ancient computer dinosaurs can be found on the Usenet. According to their names (Manfred, Erika, Werner, Achim ...), those people must be like 50-60 years old now. Oh, but they can dispute like 10 year olds, like throwing obsolete words at each other! Maybe being on Usenet keeps their spirits young?

The level of discussion of the remaining Usenet users was lower than in the average message board, and those decent threads needed to be discovered under the huge pile of trash first. Is that the price of pure freedom? An unregulated mess?

Melon, you're doing a great job here, knowing this board needs a certain direction to be useable, to not catch fire from all flamewars out there in the internet. However having no limits on any discussion can be quite refreshing as well, which can only be done on such truely anarchist places like Usenet. Worth trying out.
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2024 @745.06 »

I remember not even Google Groups could help me understand Usenet---if anything, Google Groups groups and Usenet groups coexisting made me more confused. It's a bummer that it's gone private, but I never was able to access it or understand that much of it anyways---it seems like most of the quality discussion there is gone from what I've seen.
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Melooon
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2024 @749.25 »

I remember once reading that some people use Usenet as a budget backup system. They would encrypt their backups, split them into chunks and then dump them onto the Usenet as public files. Since people would not know what they were or how to decrypt them, they were essentially a private backup being stored for free (You only pay for the upload bandwidth). It's not a good way to behave, but it is an interesting way to abuse technology intended for totally different uses.  :omg:
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2024 @127.31 »

I'd love to see a guide to actually finding active Usenet communities today and how to connect to them.

I'm wondering this too. I assume any remaining members on Usenet would be actual internet veterans but I'm curious what kind of discussion goes on there. I've never experienced it at all outside of reading logs from fandom communities.
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2024 @107.66 »

I think i found someone that might help people find interesting newsgroups to follow, it's called Harley Hahn's Usenet Center, and it gives you a master list of all the servers he indexed, allowing you to find whatever you're interested about and read about it, it even gives you the option to look at it with google groups to get an idea of what's going on, seems neat
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