Thanks to everyone who came to the celebration in Seattle!
If you missed it and want your own copy of historical (old) Usenet maps,
you can download it now.
I have updated the PDF online to include everything that was in the
display copy. The full copy is at
ThisPDF is intended to be printed, because most of the pages are in
On 7/9/19 9:28 AM, Mary Ann Horton Gmail wrote:
I've succeeded in copying the files from floppy.
Thanks to everyone
for the great suggestions!
I used a USB-to-serial adapter, combined with PuTTY and the usual
serial tools (DB-9 to DB-25 adapter, gender changer, and null modem).
I even dug out my AT&T PC 6300 MS DOS manual for details on writing
BAT files (although the main script had a bad habit of exiting after
the first file got copied). I wound up calling a 3 line script
separately for each file to be copied over, and using PuTTY's
scrolling history to save the files.
I've collected these and other old Usenet maps here:
I hope to display these (and hand out a few copies!) in Seattle this
Does anyone have anything put together that can easily do the "leroy"
thing described here:
and produce the graphical map it contains?
On 6/23/19 4:10 PM, Mary Ann Horton Gmail wrote:
> Hunting around through my ancient stuff today, I ran across a 5.25"
> floppy drive labeled as having old Usenet maps. These may have
> historical interest.
> First off, I don't recognize the handwriting on the disk. It's not
> mine. Does anyone recognize it? (pic attached)
> I dug out my AT&T 6300 (XT clone) from the garage and booted it up.
> The floppy reads just fine. It has files with .MAP extension, which
> are ASCII Usenet maps from 1980 to 1984, and some .BBM files which
> are ASCII Usenet backbone maps up to 1987.
> There is also a file whose extension is .GRF from 1983 which claims
> to be a graphical Usenet map. Does anyone have any idea what GRF is
> or what this map might be? I recall Brian Reid having a plotter-based
> Usenet geographic map in 84 or 85.
> I'd like to copy these files off for posterity. They read on DOS just
> fine. Is there a current best practice for copying off files? I would
> have guessed I'd need a to use the serial port, but my old PC has DOS
> 2.11 (not much serial copying software on it) and I don't have
> anything live with a serial port anymore. And it might not help with
> the GRF file.
> I took some photos of the screen with the earliest maps (the ones
> that fit on one screen.) So it's an option to type things in, at
> least for the early ASCII ones.
> Mary Ann