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Neil Franklin's Usenet Archive

This page contains my archive of Usenet threads.

I have experienced quite a few Usenet groups. Collected here are all threads I took part in by posting and some other threads I thought worthy of keeping a copy of. So news groups I only peeked into and then left are not recorded here.

I have added comments about what I think of the groups.

alt.ascii-art, from 1999.04 to today
The totally cool art of making pictures using nothing more than the ASCII character set. Makable in any text editor, viewable in any file viewer or editor, and all this on any platform.
alt.consciousness.near-death-exp, from 1998.01 to 1998.03
About the Near-Death Experience (where people who nearly died go through an "visit to the afterworld" experience). - This group has a slight tendency toward flaming. But apart from that it is good. I had to give it up when changing my news provider.
alt.folklore.computers, from 1997.12 to today
About "the good old times" in computing, tube/valve monsters, punched cards, minis, tapes, home micros. - The second group I got into. A great group. Not surprising, that I have read it longer than any other one, and am still reading it.
alt.hacker, from 1998.01 to 1998.01
Where the newbies go to try and learn to "hack" (that is to break in), which pisses off the oldtimes who want to hack (do nifty stuff). - Over 100 "m3 hack t00" posts a day. Only ray of light was an nice list of security oriented web sites.
alt.hackers, from 1997.12 to 1998.08
Where the real hackers (those who do nifty stuff) fled to. - Was protected by "auto moderation" system. you had to know how to break the Usenet moderation system to post. In July an group of puerile Italian "hackers" found that out how. So it went to the dogs.
alt.hacking, from 1998.01 to 1998.01/dt>
Another hacking group that went the way of alt.hacker. - Many "m3 hack t00" posts.
alt.healing.reiki, from 1998.02 to 1998.02, 2002.09 to today
About the Reiki system of spiritual healing. - Consisted mainly of an over 100 posts a day flame war, actually the private vendetta of one guy plus all the reactions to him, and about 1% of content. That small amount of content included an history of the method and its politics. - Since then it has recovered
alt.history.costuming, from 1997.12 to 1997.12
About historical costume making. - Too newer aera for my interest, mainly American Civil War and World Wars, hardly any medieval.
alt.html, from 1998.01 to 1998.01
About the files that make the Web move. - Mostly beginners who should really read a good intro or theory text.
alt.life.afterlife, from 1998.01 to 1998.02
About theories af what happens after death. - Too spaced off for me. I prefer alt.conscious.near-death-exp and alt.out-of-body, as both are more down to earth.
alt.out-of-body, from 1997.12 to 2002.09
About the Out-Of-Body Experience (where people feel as if the concious part of them (soul?) leaves their body and goes wandering). - Was ince a great group. A wide selection of psychics, parapsychic and spiritual stuff, with many sensible and intelligent posters. - Unfortunately since the beginning of 2000 invaded by a bunch of "Skeptics" barbarians. Has in 2002 entirely degraded into 1000th time useless repeat flaming of fundamentalist materialists over spiritualism.
alt.paranormal, from 1997.12 to 1998.01
About parapsychology. - The absolute Hell in comparison with alt.out-of-body. The biggest flame war I have ever seen, up to 300 posts a day. - The main focus of the flaming has died in the mean time, so it may have improved (at least the flamewars crossposted to other groups have stopped coming).
alt.religion.emacs, from 1997.12 to 1997.12
About the Emacs editor with all its extensions. - While I use Emacs for nearly everything I simply lost interest in the too many advocacy posts there.
alt.sys.pdp10, from 2000.08 to 2003.12
About the DEC PDP-10 computers. - From the days when large real computers had 36 bits, multiple users and no GUIs. I started an project to clone these. Left the group after giving up the project.
alt.sys.pdp8, from 2000.08 to 2002.12
About the DEC PDP-8 computers. - The first really small (12 bit) computer that could be used as an personal computer in 1965.
ch.comp, from 1998.02 to 1998.02
About computers, local discussion in Switzerland (in German). - nowhere near as good as alt.folklore.computers.
comp.arch.fpga, from 2000.09 to 2003.12
About working with FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). - Good group. A bit VHDL/Verilog heavy, but the chip stuff gets treated well enough for me. Some Xilinx people frequent it.
comp.security.unix, from 1998.01 to 1998.01
About computer security in Unix systems. - Decent group. But not good enough to keep me reading, I prefer the Bugtraq mailing list.
comp.unix.admin, from 1997.12 to 1998.02
About administering Unix systems. - Decent group. But at an not particularly high level of challenge.
de.alt.folklore.computer, from 1997.12 to 1998.02
German language counterpart to alt.folklore.computers. - Decent group, but not as good as the original. Gave it up when I decided I was doing too much Usenet.
rec.arts.books.tolkien, from 1999.07 to today
About the writings of J R R Tolkien. - Quit a good group. Has some a bit odd characters in it, but definitely worth reading, because it also has some very knowlegable good discussants in it.
rec.arts.comics.elfquest, from 2001.10 to today
About the great Elfquest comic series. - With one of the originators occationally posting. Very low traffic group. The real meat seems to be in mailing lists though.
rec.games.frp.misc, from 2000.03 to 2000.10
About fantasy roleplaying games. - Quit a good group. This is the dice/pen/paper type of roleplaying, not the computer games (which are not acceptable discussion in this group). Gave it up because I was just doing too much Usenet, and this is an 300 post/day one.
rec.org.sca, from 1997.11 to 1998.06
About the SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism), an medieval recreation group. - The original reason I finally got on to Usenet after doing years of mailing lists. Has too many debates for my taste about how authentic the stuff should be, they tend also to turn into flaming too often. And over 100 posts/day.
rec.sport.archery, 1997.12 and from 1998.04 to 1998.06
About archery. - A block of historical archery crossposted to rec.org.sca in 1997.12 and then later my regular reading. Is too much "modern" bows (compounds) and material and championship stuff for my taste (relaxation and medieval recreation). It spawned an group alt.archery.traditional which turned up on my news server and then froze after 15 posts.
soc.history.medieval, from 1997.12 to 1997.12
About medieval history. - Contains some real historians and some wanabees. Highly intellectual. And a highly flamable mix.
soc.support.transgender, from 1998.03 to 1998.04
About transgendered people (those whose personality feels at ods with the socially demanded sex specific behaviour). - Is mainly an flame war between those that want sociaty to accept them the way they are and those who have changed sex and see the first group as a threat to their acceptance as "normal" people.

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This page is by Neil Franklin, last modification 2004.01.03