[TUHS] Floppy to modern files for Usenet maps

Mary Ann Horton Gmail mah at mhorton.net
Wed Jul 10 02:28:04 AEST 2019

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 

I've collected these and other old Usenet maps here:


I hope to display these (and hand out a few copies!) in Seattle this week.

Does anyone have anything put together that can easily do the "leroy" 
thing described here:


and produce the graphical map it contains?

     Mary Ann

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.
> Thanks,
>     Mary Ann

More information about the TUHS mailing list