TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: USENET (Was Re: Don't Forget Peter Jennings'... Flaw)

USENET (Was Re: Don't Forget Peter Jennings'... Flaw)

Dennis G. Rears (
Sat, 13 Aug 2005 23:43:51 -0400

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This Digest does not exist to serve as
> a mouthpiece for CDT or for that matter, _any of Usenet_. Usenet is
> so nineteen-sixtyish it is not funny. It might have been a cute and
> quaint thing back in the 1980's or even the 1990's, but this is 2005
> for god's sake. Only a ... well ... Usenetter would pay any attention
> to the load of crap coming out of that network most of the time.

I am mostly a lurker to USENET now. My favourite group
( was taken over by politics a long time ago. I was
involved in USENET a long time ago. I was a newsgroup moderator and
news admin. I have since gone in a different way. I salute Pat in
maintaining the Telecom Digest and the link to USENET. He has a lot
more patience than I ever had.


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Well, Dennis, that is why they used to
call me the 'Moderator who doesn't give a shit' or even an iota of a
shit for that matter. A long time ago, when there were a grand total
of 80-100 newsgroups in total, I used to at least glance through them
all every day. I am talking now about 1980-85 or so. Believe me you,
in those days there was but _one_ voice-telecom related newsgroup, and
that was me doing business as comp.dcom.telecom, period, that was it.
Just like AT&T 'got some competition' from 'outsiders' in their business,
I got competition also. First there was 'alt.dcom.telecom' which started
when some readers got angry at me (as I recall it was the 'caller-ID'
debacle that started the hassles or maybe the 'hacker' scandals around
1989-90 which gave birth to both your computer privacy and
the Computer Underground newsgroup of Jim Thomas). But I didn't give a
shit ... then there was the fuss in 1993 when
got started. Then came the web in 1994-95 and god only knows how many
telecom newsgroups from various directions. When it got to the point I
had to put in six to eight hours each day merely to get all the
messages out (if I wanted any coherence in the messages, and some
standardization to the punctuation, and an archives I could be proud
of, etc) I had to give up my full time employment and work on this
Digest, which became my full time 'employer'. I still did not give a
shit ... like the NPR or CBP models, I experimented with begging to
have pennies pitched at me by the audience, only to have a producer
and radio host from NPR -- for god's sakes! -- ask me (and the readers
here) if I had 'cleared' my proposal of asking for money with the
Usenet hierarchy. I didn't give a shit ... just kept on doing my

But when it got to be time to pay the rent and buy cat food for Tarzan
and Oliver and hopefully some bologna, peanut butter and bread for
myself, while some of the audience was quite generous and helpful (my
patrons as I call them), most of the audience (and I am sure NPR and
CPB have discovered this also) were not quite willing to be as generous,
so I had to switch to a paid advertising basis, like any good .com
site. So it is no longer true that I don't give a shit; now I worship
at the Divine Google Scorecard Church, when services are held each
month about the 25th or so for the proceeding month. The Google
Scorecard; that is where things are at these days on the net. With
Google Scorecard (Ad Sense) assisted by the Social Security Disability
Choir, I _finally_ am able to pay my bills in a more or less timely
way each month, feed Missy, Callie and Sassy, and actually (gasp!) go
out to our local public house for a beer now and then; and my patrons
supplant that income just a little. I must say however that all those
commercials on television and the net claiming to make tons of money
for a 'couple hours per day at your computer' are just a bunch of

So yes, Dennis, I have lots of patience, lots of calluses and other
thick skin, and I have actually gotten a wee bit wiser in the past
quarter century or so. Thanks for writing to me. PAT]

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