End of an era: Duke university is to shut down their Usenet server, the place where it all started.This week marks the end of an era for one of the earliest pieces of Internet history, which got its start at Duke more than 30 years ago.Maybe newer services like twitter and facebook have taken over, but there is still nothing compared to the distributed nature of Usenet. Those services all have centralized storage of their data which means there is one place to delete it. With Usenet, you can't unpublish anything. This is both a blessing and a curse.
On May 20, Duke will shut down its Usenet server, which provides access to a worldwide electronic discussion network of newsgroups started in 1979 by two Duke graduate students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis.
Working with a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill, they came up with a simple program to exchange messages and files between computers at Duke and UNC using telephone modems.