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Computer-related horror stories, folklore and anecdotes (1990) (speedygrl.com)
78 points by ben0x539 on May 18, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

Is there still a good way to browse Usenet archives? When Google bought Dejanews, it made a big thing of how you could go right back to the moments in history - the first smiley, the first mention of Madonna etc. Now Google Groups seems to make historical Usenet really hard to browse - hiding the email addresses and trying to bounce you to modern groups. Or am I missing something?

Point your NNTP client at: nntp.olduse.net or one of those new-fangled "Web" browser things at: http://olduse.net/

olduse.net is not an archive, as such, but more of a repeat performance - "updated in real time as it was thirty years ago" - the bang!path email addresses are not hidden, and work-arounds to the "line eater bug" abound.

The Google archive at: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!browse seems useful to me, with, for instance, with 400+ results for "The Devouring Fungus".

The Google interface has a "Show Original" function under the "More messages actions" pulldown, and a "Show unmasked email addresses" function behind a Captcha. Perhaps I'm missing something?

Neat! Interestingly, many of these stories made it into dead tree form in Karla Jennings' _The Devouring Fungus_, which provides a nice narrative around this folklore and investigates some of these more thoroughly. She also goes into computing history a bit (Babbage, Zeus, etc.)

I was surprised to see it's still in print, so if you're an old neckbeard or interested in computing history, it's recommended.

https://openlibrary.org/books/OL14414111M/The_devouring_fung..., but it appears to be "checked out". The concept of an electronic file being checked out to one person on the whole internet is a goddamned abomination.

"Let's see if 160Kb makes it around the Net." Love it.

If you think that's bad, I heard a story about a guy at the local TAFE (Australia's Technical and Further Education) who annoyed all his classmates. This being the 90s, they were still using floppy disks.

Well, one day he annoyed the class a little more than normal. When he went for a bathroom break, they took his floppy disk, removed the magnetic media and replaced it with a circular sander. Sanded the heads right off his FDD when he got home.

The page contains this quote:

> ...the teflon insulation reacted with the hot (molten) metal to

> form HF gas. When the fire department turned on the sprinklers

> in desperation: hydrofloric acid.

I'm interested in where that comes from.

Last bit is definitely correct, since hydrofluoric acid is HF in solution with water.

HF is produced in Pyrolysis of Teflon[1], so I wouldn't say 100% myth busted.


I was wondering if that post was included in full in the link, as I failed to find it.

I always like stories about weird hardware/software problems where one is interfering with the other.

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