In 1981, sending an email could take days.
Or so says an unverified wikipedia source. When you wanted to send an email, you needed to know every hop skip and jump that you were sending through.
If I wanted to send my mail from Stanford to MIT, I might need to specify that it's got to go through 🚀 NASA AMES, Moffett Field, UC Berkeley,
Area 51, and University of Illinois.
I'd do that with a special address called a 💥bangpath💥 that would list the steps we're zipping through:
When the mail hit a node, the forwarder would strip off one bang-segment and send it to the next address.
The bangpath was a system inside of UUCP (Unix-to-Unix Copy). In the late 1970s, UUCP was primarily used to send mail, but it's suite of tools included ways to send and receive commands to be run on other computers.
It would be another 10 to 15 years before Tim Berners-Lee started work HTTP.
So when Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis started working on what would become Usenet in 1979, their idea was heavily coupled to UUCP. Even the name "Usenet" was meant to be similar to the Unix user's group "Usenix."
Behind the scenes, Usenet would take the bangpath away from the user. Instead, a user would post to the server they belong to and the servers would then share that information between each other. (EDIT: note that you still would need the bangpath of your server; e.g. hplaps!hpftc!econrad)
Like many parts of the internet, Usenet was a product of the western world in the middle of the cold war. For many, it was taken for granted that folks living behind the iron curtain would never be involved in any early flame wars.
It was taken for granted that most of the world would end in a much more real flame war.
But 1990, something weird happened. Programmers from Moscow's nuclear energy research institute created their own operating system, managed to access the internet, and quietly registered the Usenet *su domain. src
One year later the Berlin wall fell. And you can still find the post from eunet.politics about it:
Unbelievable! Incredible! Historic!
Linus Torvalds introduced Linux on Usenet in 1991 with the phrase:
Are you finding it frustrating when everything works on minix? No more all-nighters to get a nifty program working?
net.space, the Challenger explosion was announced:
At 8:39 AM PST today, the shuttle Challenger exploded at about a minute into the flight. NASA is searching for survivors now. It appeared that the orbiter and external tank exploded completely: television pictures showed the SRBs moving away from a cloud of debris. Thus it appears that the first inflight disaster of the NASA space program has claimed the lives of six astronauts and NASA's first passenger. The disaster occured 17 years and 1 day after the Apollo I tragedy. -- Rick.
mi.jobs, Jeff Bezos seeks Unix Developers for a "well-capitalized Seattle start-up."
Well-capitalized start-up seeks extremely talented C/C++/Unix developers to help pioneer commerce on the Internet. You must have experience designing and building large and complex (yet maintainable) systems, and you should be able to do so in about one-third the time that most competent people think possible. You should have a BS, MS, or PhD in Computer Science or the equivalent. Top-notch communication skills are essential. Familiarity with web servers and HTML would be helpful but is not necessary. Expect talented, motivated, intense, and interesting co-workers. Must be willing to relocate to the Seattle area (we will help cover moving costs). Your compensation will include meaningful equity ownership. Send resume and cover letter to Jeff Bezos: mail: be...@netcom.com fax: 206/828-0951 US mail: Cadabra, Inc. 10704 N.E. 28th St. Bellevue, WA 98004 We are an equal opportunity employer. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ "It's easier to invent the future than to predict it." -- Alan Kay
In 1989, we get eye witness accounts of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
The situation is Beijing is MUCH WORSE that what is reported by the media. A friend of mine just made a phone call to her brother at Beijing Normal Univ. Her brother said that thousands have been killed, many of them run over by tanks.
I dunno about you all, but I'm starting to think this "internet" thing could be a really big deal moving forward.