Electronic Dustbins of History

20 Year Archive now Available on Google Groups: I’ve never been a huge Usenet user (a post here, a thread there), but Google’s gathering of Usenet posting dating back to 1981 is fascinating, historic stuff. Read Tim-Berner Lee’s announcement of what became the Web (Aug. 1981), the first thread on AIDS (Dec., 1982), the first mention of Madonna (July, 1983), and many other ground-breaking events!

I especially love how banal and ordinary the first post they have on record is (dated May 12, 1981):

“We have recently installed a Versatec V-80 electrostatic plotter for producing phototypesetter facsimiles. Aside from a couple of hardware problems, we are satisfied with its performance.”

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