4.7 USENET History
Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet

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      In the late 1970s, Unix developers came up with a new feature: a
system to allow Unix computers to exchange data over phone lines.
        In 1979, two graduate students at Duke University in North
Carolina, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, came up with the idea of using
this system, known as UUCP (for Unix-to-Unix CoPy), to distribute
information of interest to people in the Unix community.  Along with
Steve Bellovin, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina
and Steve Daniel, they wrote conferencing software and linked together
computers at Duke and UNC.
     Word quickly spread and by 1981, a graduate student at Berkeley,
Mark Horton and a nearby high school student, Matt Glickman, had
released a new version that added more features and was able to handle
larger volumes of postings -- the original North Carolina program was
meant for only a few articles in a newsgroup each day.
     Today, Usenet connects tens of thousands of sites around the world,
from mainframes to Amigas.  With more than 3,000 newsgroups and untold
thousands of readers, it is perhaps the world's largest computer
network.