alt.folklore.computers FAQ

alt.folklore.computers is a Usenet newsgroup dedicated to what is called the "folklore" of computing; that is, the set of stories, details, anecdotes and "useless culture" that has formed around the computing community since its beginning. Obvioulsy, this set of stories has a very large intersection with the official "history" of computing.

At the time when I, personally, had time to follow the group and read all the postings, I took on the task of maintaining the FAQ for the group. A FAQ is a list of frequently asked questions (hence the acronym) an their answers. Lately (that is to say, for some years now) I haven't really had the time to follow the discussion in the group, let alone update this list (I do make a few changes every now and then based on e-mail people send me). In any case, the information here is, for the most part, still valid and interesting. So, if you want to learn a little bit more about computing culture, click here and enjoy. And, of course, you can send questions, suggestions and corrections to my e-mail.

Another interesting text about the history and folklore of computing is The Jargon File, by Eric Raymond. It has been published as a book, and you can buy it online from