How does a gal from small town in Tennessee end up living in London and working with local government in England? It’s all down to Usenet, of course. And now it’s shutting down.
DURHAM, NC — This week marks the end of an era for one of the earliest pieces of Internet history, which got its start at Duke more than 30 years ago.
On May 20, Duke will shut down its Usenet server, which provides access to a worldwide electronic discussion network of newsgroups started in 1979 by two Duke graduate students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis.
Life’s a funny old thing…You make one tiny decision and forever after you follow a different path in life. For me, joining Usenet discussions was one of those little divergences with a butterfly effect.
I met my husband, when he was a graduate student at Sheffield and I was a grad student at the University of Tennessee via a Usenet forum and Unix email. A quirk of the system meant a response to the forum was sent to my personal email. Online etiquette was touchy then…everyone was sensitive to flaming. I sent him a strongly worded email. We entered correspondence. We met up in person in Wales a few months later. And the rest, as they say, is history.