October 2020 screenshot showing 60 PB of usenet group data.
Example of RecipeBook, a simple markup language based on XML for creating recipes. The markup can be converted programmatically for display into, for example, HTML, PDF or Rich Text Format.
A diagram of Usenet servers and clients. The blue, green, and red dots on the servers represent the groups they carry. Arrows between servers indicate newsgroup group exchanges (feeds). Arrows between clients and servers indicate that a user is subscribed to a certain group and reads or submits articles.
Gilmore in 2018
Charles Babbage, sometimes referred to as the "father of computing".
Usenet Provider Map
The "Big Nine" hierarchies of Usenet
A visual example of the many complex steps required to prepare data to be uploaded to Usenet newsgroups. These steps must be done again in reverse to download data from Usenet.
October 2020 screenshot showing 60 PB of usenet group data.

The alt.* hierarchy is a major class of newsgroups in Usenet, containing all newsgroups whose name begins with "alt.", organized hierarchically.

- Alt.* hierarchy

He created the alt.* hierarchy in Usenet and is a major contributor to the GNU Project.

- John Gilmore (activist)

The alt.* hierarchy was created by John Gilmore and Brian Reid.

- Alt.* hierarchy

Along with faculty such as Susan Owicki, Forest Baskett, and James H. Clark, his research concerned the connection of Stanford to the Internet, and the development of the SUN workstation.

- Brian Reid (computer scientist)

In 1987, he and John Gilmore created the alt.* hierarchy on Usenet.

- Brian Reid (computer scientist)

Forest Baskett; James H. Clark; John L. Hennessy; Susan Owicki; Brian Reid. "Research in VLSI Systems Design and Architecture". Stanford University. 1981.

- Susan Owicki

The alt.* hierarchy is not subject to the procedures controlling groups in the Big Eight, and it is as a result less organized.

- Usenet

500 related topics



International electronic mailing list for technical women in computing.

Susan Owicki

List of fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery

Award and fellowship granted by the Association for Computing Machinery as its highest honorary grade of membership, reserved for ACM members who have exhibited "professional excellence" in their "technical, professional and leadership contributions" Since 1993, the people that have been elected as fellows are listed below:

Susan S. Owicki


Acronym of Unix-to-Unix Copy.

Business card with UUCP email address

The term generally refers to a suite of computer programs and protocols allowing remote execution of commands and transfer of files, email and netnews between computers.

Packages such as UUSLAVE/GNUUCP (John Gilmore, Garry Paxinos, Tim Pozar), UUPC/extended (Drew Derbyshire of Kendra Electronic Wonderworks) and FSUUCP (Christopher Ambler of IODesign), brought early Internet connectivity to personal computers, expanding the network beyond the interconnected university systems.


Use of messaging systems to send multiple unsolicited messages to large numbers of recipients for the purpose of commercial advertising, for the purpose of non-commercial proselytizing, for any prohibited purpose (especially the fraudulent purpose of phishing), or simply repeatedly sending the same message to the same user.

An email inbox containing a large amount of spam messages
Menu from Monty Python’s "Spam" sketch, from where the term is derived. Spam is included in almost every dish to the consternation of a customer.
Screenshot from a spam video on YouTube claiming that the film in question has been deleted from the site, and can only be accessed on the link posted by the spambot in the video description. If the video were actually removed by YouTube, the description would be inaccessible and the deletion notification would look different.

It later came to be used on Usenet to mean excessive multiple posting—the repeated posting of the same message.

Digital Equipment Corporation

Major American company in the computer industry from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Original Digital Equipment Corporation logo designed by Elliot Hendrickson in 1957, used from 1957 to 1993
DEC VAXstation
DECUS - Logo Digital Equipment Corporation Users Society

Brian Reid

Usenet newsgroup

October 2020 screenshot showing 60 PB of usenet group data

A Usenet newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted from users in different locations using the Internet.

The alt.* hierarchy has discussion of all kinds of topics, and many hierarchies for discussion specific to a particular geographical area or in a language other than English.

Andrew Cuomo

American lawyer and politician who served as the 56th governor of New York from 2011 to 2021.

Cuomo in 2017
Cuomo in 2017
Cuomo as HUD Secretary, 1998
Cuomo with Elijah Cummings and Paul Sarbanes in 1998
Cuomo as HUD Secretary holding a press conference with then Treasury Secretary Larry Summers in June 2000
Cuomo with Representative Gary Ackerman in October 2008
Election results by county
With former US President Bill Clinton (center left) in 2012
Cuomo meeting with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and a bipartisan group of governors and mayors in 2021
Cuomo leading the 2018 New York City March For Our Lives rally
Cuomo in New York City in October 2012 following Hurricane Sandy
Protesters oppose Cuomo's proposed overturn of a fracking ban in 2012. Cuomo later decided against the move.
Cuomo speaking at the inaugural ride of the Second Avenue Subway on December 31, 2016
Cuomo at NYC Pride March in 2013
Cuomo with President Bill Clinton and Kerry Kennedy in 2000

On June 10, 2008, Cuomo announced that three major Internet service providers (Verizon Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint) would "shut down major sources of online child pornography" by no longer hosting many Usenet groups.

Time Warner Cable ceased offering Usenet altogether, Sprint ended access to the 18,408 newsgroups in the alt.* hierarchy, and Verizon limited its Usenet offerings to the approximately 3,000 Big 8 newsgroups.

Big 8 (Usenet)

October 2020 screenshot showing 60 PB of usenet group data

The Big 8 (previously the Big 7) are a group of newsgroup hierarchies established after the Great Renaming, a restructuring of Usenet that took place in 1987.

alt.* was not part of the original seven but created separately as a place with more freedom and fewer rules than the Big 7.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

International non-profit digital rights group based in San Francisco, California.

Logo since 2018
EFF logo used until July 2018
In early 2010, EFF released this poster in celebration of its founding 20 years before.
EFF booth at the 2010 RSA Conference

The foundation was formed on 10 July 1990 by John Gilmore, John Perry Barlow and Mitch Kapor to promote Internet civil liberties.


Any individual advocating widespread use of strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies as a route to social and political change.

John Gilmore is one of the founders of the Cypherpunks mailing list, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Cygnus Solutions. He created the alt.* hierarchy in Usenet and is a major contributor to the GNU Project.
Julian Assange, a well-known cypherpunk who advocates for the use of cryptography to ensure privacy on the Internet

In late 1992, Eric Hughes, Timothy C. May and John Gilmore founded a small group that met monthly at Gilmore's company Cygnus Solutions in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was humorously termed cypherpunks by Jude Milhon at one of the first meetings - derived from cipher and cyberpunk.