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First Steps On The Net

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I’m constantly fascinated by the stuff that Google has stored in its archives. Today I dug through its archive of Usenet postingsand found what I think is my first public posting on the Internet from 10 Oct. 1993. I had been puttering around the Internet for months by this time already. I had gotten my first email account, I think sometime in late 1992, but I didn’t start saving my messages with any regularity until late 1993 or so. At the time that I would have posted this message, I was a student getting ready to graduate from the University of Oregon, working for the Oregon Daily Emerald covering such things like earthquakes and arrogant architects.

Aside from email, I know I had also started playing around with Internet Relay Chat, only to find it an addicting waste of time, and before that had started exploring the pre-Web system called Gopher and found it tantalizing but confusing. Then a guy I knew named Richard Fong who was an aide at the student computer lab at the Erb Memorial Union. I had been chatting him up about all the cool things I was finding on the Internet. He fired up a program called NewsWatcher on a Mac that was already very old, even for 1993, and turned me loose on its strange taxonomy of 20,000 or more subjects. Fascinated, I looked around for something I was interested in: Star Wars.

Now in this posting, (that’s a screen-grab of the headers above) I relate that I have a copy of something called “Fall of the Republic” which is written to look like a script treatment for a Star Wars movie. Keep in mind that in 1993, George Lucas’ plans for the film franchise were far from clear. It had been ten years since “Return Of The Jedi” but following the 1991 release of “Heir To The Empire” the rumors had been rife about the possibility that new movies — prequels — telling the back story of the three existing movies were under development. Well we all know how that turned out.

In any case, another friend had given be a copy of this 26-page printout of this “Fall of the Republic” treatment, and I thought I had found some top secret document which someone had circulated against Lucas’ wishes. I figured the folks who read this the Star Wars newsgroup I had just discovered would want to know about it. So that’s what my first Usenet posting was about.

They not only knew about it, but informed me that it was peice of fan-fiction that had been circulating for about 10 years. I was a bit embarrassed, but stuck with the newsgroup, and became a regular poster over the course of the next several weeks. Here’s another posting from a few days later, wherein I’m still sticking to my guns that FOTR was legit. Finally by Nov. 8, nearly a month a later, I had seen the light.

Written by ahess247

April 23rd, 2005 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized