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UseNet (newsgroups)

  • distributed bboard (bulletin board) system supported mainly by Unix machines
  • originally implemented in 1979-1980 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve Daniel at Duke University
  • largest decentralized information utility in existence
  • by 1994 original UUCP transport for Usenet faded out of use
  • lot of newbies and journalists refer to "Internet newsgroups" as though Usenet was and always had been just another Internet service. This ignorance greatly annoys experienced Usenetters.


The store-and-forward network consisting of all the world's connected Unix machines (and others running some clone of the UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) software). Any machine reachable only via a bang path is on UUCPNET. This term has been rendered obsolescent by the spread of cheap Internet connections in the 1990s; the few remaining UUCP links are essentially slow channels to the Internet rather than an autonomous network.