Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

January 26, 2005

End of an Era

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:52 pm

I’ve been on the Internet long enough to remember it before AOL was connected to it in 1994. (AOL was originally a self-contained service with its own content, separate from the Internet.) I remember when CompuServe (now owned by AOL) was first connected to the Internet around 1990 (anyone else remember those e-mail address with the numbers and commas?)

Though I was never particularly active on USENET (“newsgroups”), I also remember the USENET purists decrying the “commercialization of the ‘net” when all these non-tech-geeks who were unaware of USENET etiquette (“netiquette”) and history came into the newsgroups, some of them apparently unaware that they weren’t just another service of CompuServe or AOL.

Well, the wheel has turned, and AOL is disconnecting from USENET, which is to say, no longer providing newsgroup feeds to its users. Of course, the Internet being what it is now, people who want newsgroups will be able to find other sources. But as the article notes, “the event nonetheless represents a milestone in Internet history.”

Slashdot discussion here.

5 Responses to “End of an Era”

  1. Allen Glosson Says:

    Yes, I remember all of that. I also recall, about 1991, when the Pittsburgh Super Computer Center would publish a daily list of all the new web pages registered that day. There were even days when no new web pages were registered. Those were the days when some of us actually got a chance to work from home using 1200 baud modems. The bosses got the brand spanking new 2400 baud modems.

  2. Different River Says:

    In that case, you no doubt remember the Internet when there were no web pages — remember when “the Internet” meant telnet, ftp, and “finger” to read someone’s .plan file, which was the closest thing to a home page?

  3. Dave Schuler Says:

    Yup. 102256,1061@compuserve.com

  4. Dave Schuler Says:

    Remember archie, veronica, etc.?

  5. Gary Gray Says:

    I seem to remember a “pclink” that turned into AOL.

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