Oldest usenet post?

I don’t know if it’s a new thing, or if I just noticed it, but several folks have posted items noting their oldest Usenet posting, as garnered from Google Groups.

I don’t remember ever getting involved with Usenet as such. Bitnet, on the other hand…

The oldest one with my name attached locatable via Google Groups is here from March 18, 1992–and it’s an odd post. From the right list, though, PACS-L; possibly not where I did my earliest Bitnet posts, but close enough.

Thing is, PACS-L started a long time before 1992. The list started some time in the late 1980s (Charles W. Bailey, Jr. knows for sure); the associated journal, The Public-Access Computer Systems Review, was founded in July 1989 and began publishing in 1990. I was associated with the journal (to some extent) throughout its life, and was reasonably active on PACS-L from early days. So there’s a bunch of missing Bitnet history at Google Groups; maybe it wasn’t echoed on Usenet until the 1990s.

(The oldest Google Groups post containing “Walt Crawford” is here, and is an announcement of an issue of PACS Review volume 2; given my feelings about Stevan Harnad these days, it’s odd to have a Psycoloquy post be the earliest. Such is “history.”)

7 Responses to “Oldest usenet post?”

  1. Ruth Ellen Says:

    What a fun game!
    Mine is November 7, 1994, to alt.banjo. I had no idea that I’d been online that long.

  2. Christina Pikas Says:

    Marc Smith et al at MS Research have this site called NetScan that gives the first time a person is noted on a usenet group. It only goes back to 1999, though. It also determines unique users by e-mail. Anyway, it’s an interesting way to visualise usenet (which I’ve never used!) and to see related groups.

  3. Fiona Says:

    I usually used aliases I no longer recall, which is probably a good thing as I was mostly posting to music and TV show groups at the time. First post would have been 1997 – the first year I was able to use the Internet. Though I’d been reading about the Internet etc in books for some time, I didn’t have any way of getting access, my school only provided ARPANET until then which seemed cryptic and weird to me.

  4. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    The USENET archive is known not to be complete – nobody knew anyone would care in the future :-). So the extent varies a lot, depending on what could be found from hobbysists, and what various sources kept.

    Me: Feb 3 1986

    Probably not my earliest, but it’s up there. I’m net.old.

  5. Dorothea Salo Says:

    1 Sep 1991. Earlier than I thought. Took me a while to remember what my email address was back in those days.

  6. Alek Says:

    haha… october 1994… some strange student drivel about cyberspace.. dear oh dear… seems like an eternity ago now. thanks for the fun search anyway. :)

  7. Jim J Says:

    I’ve seen posts on Google from around April ’92 :D

    Jim,
    http://www.usenetlive.com


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