How far back can you find a reference to yourself online?

As I sit at home with a cold thats slowly turning into Flu I’m sitting here idling the time away when I thought what is the earliest post I could find online that I made – as I can’t do much else & I’ve exhausted the news sites.

Now I’ve been online in one form or another for quite sometime – having had my first modem sometime around 1984 and the internet does have the habit of keeping things forever (almost), so how hard would it be?

Well firstly how long does things last? Well Usenet predates the Web (which most people will think of when you say ‘the net’) by almost a decade but although most posts still exist curtesy of some 9″ tapes there are holes. This comment yesterday on SlashDot describes how reading those tapes were used to seed DejaNews & then Google Groups and are 4 of the largest ever files on The tapes were old so some of the magnetic material fell off meaning that there are gaps and some of the posts are now history.

On the other hand I can find numerous mentions of my home address & phone number being listed online… not that I’m worried as it’s an address I’ve not lived at for over a decade – which shows how inaccurate data can be but still it’s still there for all to find.

So, back to the original task, whats the earliest post I can find?

So far there’s this one posted to the then popular usenet group sci.astro on Sunday November 14 1993:

Newsgroups: sci.astro
From: ("Peter T. Mount")
Subject: Re: BASIC program to calc. Moon's position 
References: <>
Organization: Maidstone Astronomical Society
X-Newsreader: Simple NEWS 2.0 (ka9q DIS 1.24)
Lines: 30
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1993 19:45:11 +0000
Message-ID: <>

In article <> writes:

> I'm looking for a BASIC program that calculates the R.A. and Dec.
> of the Moon for any date.  I'm not much of a programmer, so I'm seeing
> if a relatively short program already exists without my having to
> sweat over writing one.  It only needs to be accurate to 5 or 10
> arcminutes.  QuickBASIC or FutureBASIC format preferred.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Aaron Spurr, Planetarium Director
> Grout Museum of History and Science      phone: (319) 234-6357
> 503 South St.                            fax:   (319) 236-0500
> Waterloo, Iowa  50701
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Aaron, try Astronomy with your Personal Computer by Peter Duffett-Smith,
published by Cambridge University Press;
		ISBN 0 521 38093 6 (hardback)
		ISBN 0 521 38995 X (paperback)

It contains what you need (and more) in BBC-Basic format, but is a doddle to
convert into QBasic format.-- 
**         Peter T. Mount         * Internet: **
** Maidstone Astronomical Society *  FidoNet: 2:440/8                    **

That sounds about right, I first joined the TCP/IP internet in mid 1993 as part of a talk I was making in November about this new (then) thing called the Internet, but is there anything before that?

What is the first thing you can find of yours that’s still online?

Author: petermount1

Prolific Open Source developer who also works in the online gaming industry during the day. Develops in Java, Go, Python & any other language as necessary. Still develops on retro machines like BBC Micro & Amiga A1200

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