Internet Technologies/History of Usenet

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Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis developed Usenet as graduate students in 1979. They thought that the software could be replacement software for Duke University to post announcements. Steve Bellovin became interested in the software and wrote the first UNIX-based “news” software for the system. (Interview with Tom Truscott April 18, 2007)

At the time the current announcement software that was used by the university was made obsolete because of a hardware upgrade. Usenet was a side project of Truscott and Ellis that they worked on in their spare time. Bellovin wrote the script, and soon after “netnews” was created; linking Duke University and the University of North Carolina. Soon after the program was made available to the public and “A News” was created which was the first Usenet package. (Usenet History)

Usenet is bulletin board software where users with the correct software can read and post messages. It is still running today, URL’s that begin with news refer to Usenet groups. The NNTP or Network News Transport Protocol is the transportation system that sends out the Usenet messages. (Siegel 2006)

•Giganews, "Tom Truscott", Interview April 18, 2007,

•Giganews, "Usenet History"

•Siegel F Carolyn, "Internet Marketing" Foundations and Applications 2E. Chapter 2 Internet Fundamentals, P-31