The PhoneBoy Blog


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The Internet has an infinite memory

Digg had pointed me to an article about you are what you post, which reminded me of something I’ve know about for ages: that the Internet has an almost infinite memory. To reaffirm this, I looked on Google (where else), but not on google.com, but rather on Google Groups, which is a searchable archive of Usenet.

Back in the early 1990s, I was using Usenet quite a bit. There wasn’t much of a World Wide Web back then. Hell, I remember working to get a Usenet feed in college so I could read and post. I ended up just getting an account on a local ISP on a Unix Shell machine which, of course, had a Usenet feed. :) I was able to, without a whole lot of effort, find several threads where I had participated. What is anything particularly revealing? Maybe. Damaging? I don’t particularly think so. Here’s a sampling of what I found:

  1. Several newsgroups I voted on creating
  2. An indication of my political views at the time (which are somewhat different from now)
  3. My evolving relationship with women in general. Man I was a dork back then. I do wonder what happened to a particular woman I was friends with in college, though.
  4. My opinion on the F-word. An opinion that I generally still stand behind (though I am cautious around the kids)
  5. Oh my God, I was an AOL member! (You have to remember, this was before the Internet was as big as it is today)
  6. My various trials and tribulations with various things on the Mac and Apple II platforms. And even some MIPS computers
  7. I ran a Macintosh User Group in college (I hardly remember that!)

And that’s just within a small part of Google. It’s amazing that I’ve been online for so long and that so much of my interactions are just “there” for the mining.


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.