Well something had
to bring me out of my non-posting fugue. Why have I been silent so long?
Has it been aliens? Exile to a distant land? The dreaded carpel-tunnel
syndrome striking? Flesh-eating bacteria?
of these is true! But which one I will not say which one until another day! Oh, we feel the suspense build... oh, we hear the dramatic music swell...
But I just had to break my silence to write a little note here about Google/Deja News. For those few of you who are interested in, oh, knowing things, Deja News is a goldmine of all the shinola that's fit to print. It's an archive of USENET posts going back, back, back to the olden days of yore, when knights were bold and looked like little commercial-at symbols. I've been a heavy user of Deja since roughly 1997; there's nothing better than Deja news for getting your glutius maximus out of a Maximal Sling when you're stuck for information. Deja is essentially a 'work tool' to me: when I run screaming for the hills, pursued by a programming question, quite often Deja News forms my posse and comes thundering across the prairies like the cavalry, ready to trample underfoot anything that gets in its Dejaish way.
A year or two back, Deja news began to flounder. Its services started to fall. It lost archives and cut back how much it archived. In short, it had come down with a serious case of the Dot Com Trembles. Many of us offered it all the sugar pill placebos we had (in the form of petitions to save Deja), but the patient was terminal and not even a mountain of sugar would save it!
Fortunately, the Ultra-Cool Google stepped in to revivify the corpse which Deja had become. They took over the archives and restored roughly three years' worth of news -- which was a feat, if you consider that Deja had apaprantly been unable to maintain their own data, and were fast losing news at the same rate that Trump hemmorhaged money in the 80s. Being the grateful, gracious souls that good Netzians are, every fscking person on my deja news fan newsgroup turned as rabid as Old Yeller and sought some nice, tender, Google flankstake with their foam-rimmed teeth. I left the newsgroup in disgust which, in retrospect, would have been far more dramatic had I ever actually posted anything to it.
Google, being well, Google, took this all in stride. Rather than saying to us 'you sick little puppies, we just produced fish and loaves and you're pissing in the wine...', they seemed to just shrug and made our service better and better.
What can I say about today?
I can say this.
I will -gladly- bear Google's babies, just as soon as a registered trademark is equipped to produce them, and just as soon as I'm equipped to carry same.
Not only did Google fit in twenty freaking years of USENET into their archives...
Not only that...
But they then went through and timelined important moments in USENET history, with links to the appropriate articles.
My Grudd... it's like there's someone cool working at Google. There's someone incredibly cool who understands the Old Skool of thought better than any of the corporate webmonkeys (apologies to Webmonkey.com, really, you're doing a fine job!) you tend to see in this day and age.
I'm not going to have any free time soon. I need to go do some pearl diving in the waters of deja.
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