While modern day Internet users may have a tacit understanding that the net of the past is very different from how we know it today, they probably don’t realize how different. Enter Olduse.net, a website that re-creates that good ol’ Usenet feel. With Olduse, you can browse the hottest tech news of 1981 and see what’s buzzing in the IBM newsletter. What you can’t do is use your mouse, and just forget about multitouch all together.
For the uninitiated (or simply, the under 50), Usenet was an early precursor to email and web forums. Once logged in, users could select from newsgroups and read posts from other users. Amazingly, the proprietor of Olduse updates the site daily with the latest news from 30 years ago. Today, you can see all the posts up to September 13, 1981. Tomorrow, all the posts from September 14 will be available for viewing.
While the site really doesn’t have much of a function, it’s another fascinating look at the archaeology of the early Internet. In this digital age, we don’t bury the past to preserve it, we dredge it up and re-package it.
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