The USENET system has been around for over 20 years – almost 30, in fact – and has some interesting conversations archived on it. Google has done a great job of archiving these conversations on a service called Google groups. You can search through the conversations to find some of the most interesting of them that have taken place over the years. Here are some things that you find on the Google groups service that may take you back to a time when you were much younger and when computers were the things that only the true geeks in the world had.
Oh No! Y2K!
If you are old enough to remember the panic that went on before the year 2000 because of the dating systems on computers, you’ll appreciate the fact that you can see conversations about computer dating going back all the way to the 80s on the USENET system. People had been concerned about the fact that computers had a chance of failing when they rolled over to the year 2000 for many years. On the USENET system, you’ll find some of the most interesting conversations about it. One of the things that make these conversations interesting is that the people talking about the issue are mostly computer experts who actually understood the issues they were speaking about and who offered very interesting opinions.
In 1985, the Coca-Cola Corporation decided that they were going to introduce a brand-new Coke to the world. If you’re too young to remember this, the fact that you can’t find a can of the concoction anywhere should give you some indication as to how well it went over. You’ll find plenty of alarmed people on the USENET system talking about the travesty of New Coke. Some of the concern that the users were feeling about their beloved soft drink being changed comes through in the posts very well and, as you may have guessed, is rather amusing.
Well, not exactly, but users on the USENET system were already looking for a way to search through all the information contained on it by the…