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What is Usenet?

Back in the late 1970's UUCP was the way to pass information (files and emails) between Unix systems. In 1979Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis devised a system to allow posting notes to a hierarchical arrangement of groups, similar to a BBS.

One of the things that makes Usenet unique is that it does not use a central server and dedicated administrator. Rather, servers running Usenet servers connect to other servers more on less on the whim of the administrators. This means two things: a message posted on one server will be propagated to other connected servers, and it is not possible to cancel a message once it has been posted and propagated (excepting such ideas as CancelMoose).

As previously mentioned the groups of Usenet are arranged hierarchically into domains and subdomains. For example, the sci domain (for Science) will contain (messages related to biology), sci.chem (chemistry), etc. The domain in turn contains (posts related to herpetology), (posts related to microbiology), etc.

The groups we are interested in are in the rec.pets.cats domain (recreation.pets.cats). rec.pets.cats.anecdotes (RPCA) is where people who love cats post stories about the antics of their cats. (RPCC) is a very special kind of group - members of this group essentially role play, playing the roles of thier cats. In addition, the general philosophy is that since cats are superior creatures, they don't feel the need to adhere to such silly human standards as grammar and spelling. Some posts in RPCC will use proper English, while most of them use MeowChat.

It's also important to observe that the people on RPCA and RPCC develop very string personal attachments, and often come to view other members of their groups as family.These groups often form a major avenue for socializing for a lot of members.

Also please note that RPCA, while it still exists as a Usenet group, also exists on Facebook. The PRCA group on Facebook is a secret group - the only way to join is to be invited.

what_is_usenet.txt · Last modified: 2019/11/07 14:45 by